Most burglars are in it to win it. They consider breaking into properties and stealing valuables to be their profession. While some burglars are desperate, acting more or less on impulse, you’re more likely to be targeted by a professional. As such, they will consider your property carefully before striking. They will have studied its vulnerabilities, tallied its weaknesses, and noted any impediments likely to be encountered. After taking this inventory, your would-be burglar will weigh the pros and cons of targeting your property. As a homeowner or small business owner, it’s your job to make sure the cons outweigh the pros by a large margin. So what do burglars look for? Many factors, really. But here are some of the most crucial. Evidence of inactive cameras and/or burglar alarms. Alarms are useless if your routinely forget to activate them. And, while evidence suggests that even the sight of non-working “dummy” cameras outside a home may serve as a deterrent to some criminals, professionals are unlikely to be fooled. If at all possible, consider installing working cameras, mounted high enough to avoid easy tampering. Open points of entry. Leaving the doors and windows open all day may have served folks well in fictional, small-town Mayberry. But it’s not a great strategy for success in today’s world. Unlocked or open doors and windows are an open invitation to burglars. Evidence of dogs that like to bark. An alert dog that barks when strangers approach your property is an excellent burglary deterrent. In fact, it’s a sort of living alarm system. As such, burglars are likely to avoid a home with a noisy dog. On the other hand, even dogs have to sleep sometimes. And some breeds react unreliably to approaching strangers. So it’s best not to depend entirely on an attentive dog for your home security. Electronic cameras and alarms never sleep. Evidence of occupancy. You might think a car parked in the driveway is evidence of little more than too-little garage space. But to many burglars, it’s a clue that someone’s home. Many will avoid homes with cars in the driveway for this simple reason. Consider this and other indicators of occupancy. If you leave on vacation, for example, avoid allowing mail or newspapers to pile up. Temporarily stop deliveries, or ask a neighbor to bring in items. Put interior light on timers, with varied on/off times, to further enhance the appearance of occupancy.