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Five Home Security Tips You Should Teach Your Children

Home security practices are not just for adults. If you have kids at home, they need to know about safe home security as well, especially now that summer is here and they’re likely spending more time at home alone. Here are eight tips you should teach your children, along with practices you should implement to make your home safer for kids.

  1.   Set the alarm. If you have a home security system, give your children a demonstration of how to operate it. Explain to them its purpose and importance, showing them what they should do when you leave the house. Many security systems are linked to the phone, so you’ll need to show them how to answer the phone and explain to the security company if it’s a false alarm or a real threat. Make sure your kids remember the passcode. Have them recite it aloud and tell them not to share the code with anyone. Quiz them on the code every so often to ensure they know it.
  2.   Lock up. It is essential to teach your kids to lock all the doors and keep the windows closed. If you’re not ready to give a set of house keys to your child, use a smart lock that you can unlock remotely for them. You may want to consider other security solutions such as surveillance that can be viewed remotely and smart doorbell cameras. A doorbell camera would allow you to see if a visitor is a family member, for example, and you could let them in your house using your smartphone.
  1.   Call 911. Your children probably already know to call 911 in case of an emergency. However, don’t assume that they know when and how to contact emergency services for help. Communicate with them and put an emergency procedure in place. The goal is to instill emergency preparedness without making them fearful. Teach your kids what to do in a variety of emergency scenarios, such as a break-in or a fire. Make a list of emergency numbers and information they might need to provide to emergency dispatch. Running practice drills for emergencies is recommended so that your kids know what to do and where to go. Be sure to answer any questions they may have about the process.
  1.   Do not answer the door for strangers. Children at home alone must know to never open the door to anyone else other than their family. It’s best if your children know ahead of time who they can let into the home if you’re not home and the doorbell rings.
  2.   Lock away guns. If you have firearms at your house, make sure they are not loaded and are locked away in a safe place. Be sure to talk to your kids about the dangers of guns and gun safety.

Contact Pop-A-Lock

Looking to improve the security of your home? Pop-A-Lock® can help. We’ve created the Home Site Security Audit as a way for our customers to evaluate their current home security measures. This security checklist will allow you to create a safe environment for you and your children. If you’d like to schedule a home security audit with a Pop-A-Lock Security Specialist, call 1-800-POP-A-LOCK today!

List of Common Lock Types

Common Lock Types

Whether your needs are residential, commercial, or automotive, having the proper type of lock is  necessary for maintaining the security of yourself, your family, and your belongings. One factor that people often struggle with is determining which lock is right for their specific needs.

Many different types of locks are available for a wide assortment of purposes.  We know trying to choose the right lock can be overwhelming. However, don’t stress. You can get answers to all your lock questions when you work with the professional locksmiths at Pop-A-Lock.

Types of Locks

Some of the most common kinds of locks used include:

  • Padlocks — A padlock is a detachable type of lock installed on your door. It is usually composed of three components: a body, a shackle, and some kind of locking mechanism to keep the door securely shut.  The locking mechanism of padlocks may be integrated or modular. These locks commonly are used to lock things together, but they can act as a security device on certain types of containers or doors.
  • Deadbolt locks — Generally installed on external doors, a deadbolt lock can only be opened through the rotation of a key. This kind of lock is more complex, providing more security as the single cylinder deadlock allows a key on only one side.   The other side, normally interior-facing, is solely operated by a twist knob. , These locks can also feature a double cylinder. The double cylinder lock allows keys on both sides without a twist knob
  • Doorknob — It’s important to note that not all doorknobs  have a locking function, but many do have locking mechanisms built in. The lock on a doorknob is often seen in the form of a small button or lever on the handle of the doorknob.
  • Lever handle locks — Lever handle locks are seen on the handles of doors. There are three different grades of security. Typically, Grades 1 and 2 are used for commercial applications  and Grade 3 is for residential use.
  • Electronic door locks/Smart locks — A smart lock is a newer type of lock. These locks are electronic, and use either Bluetooth, WiFi or Z-Wave communication to interact with other electronic devices in your home. You may use an app on your phone or a fob, but  some electronic door locks feature touchscreens or keypads for access.
  • Passage Sets — A passage set is a hardware set which allows the functioning of a bolt into a door strike but not that ability to lock the mechanism. For this reason, passage sets are more common in areas not requiring security or privacy.
  • Mortise locks — Commonly used in commercial construction, a mortise lock consists of a lock chassis, two levers, and a mortise cylinder. These locks are more expensive but can also last much longer than other kinds of locks.

Need Help Finding the Right Lock? Call Pop-A-Lock Today

When you are  facing any kind of lock issue at your home or business, it’s important to always get  the professional opinion of a trusted locksmith. When you contact your local Pop-A-Lock , you know you will always be provided with the help of one of the most trusted locksmith companies in the nation.

Pop-A-Lock uses its Home Site Security Audit to give customers a more thorough look at the current security measures at home and consider additional options for a safe environment. We can also rekey commercial locks for businesses, and offer a Commercial Site Security Audit.

Pop-A-Lock was founded in Lafayette, Louisiana, but has quickly become the largest professional locksmithing franchise in the United States. Our Pal Saves Kids Program is a free community service dedicated to saving children who are inadvertently locked in vehicles.

You can call (800) POP-A-LOCK or contact us online to discuss your lock questions. We provide emergency unlocking services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

8 Ways To Help Prevent Vehicle Break Ins

Unfortunately, vehicle break-ins are an all-too-common occurrence. While there is no way to guarantee that you’ll never experience a break-in, there are specific precautions you can take to minimize the likelihood that it will happen. Remember that most crimes like these are crimes of convenience, so by implementing these extra steps, you can make it more difficult or unappealing to a would-be thief to break into your vehicle.

Below, we’ve included eight tips for protecting your car from break-ins.

  1. Lock your car doors and roll up the windows. Whenever you park, double check to see if your doors are locked and your windows are closed. In many cases, thieves look for unlocked cars as it is much  easier for them to steal items inside. Thieves do not want to bust a window or pick a lock if they don’t have to, because the longer they spend at the car, the more likely it is that someone will see them. Be sure to keep your car locked while you are driving, too. For instance, if your doors are unlocked, a carjacker could hop in while you’re stopped at a light!
  2. Park in well-lit areas.  Parking in a dark or shadowy areas makes it easier for thieves to break in without being seen. Thieves prefer to operate in the dark and are less likely to break into a car if it is in a well-lit area. If you have to park on the street at night, try to park under a street light.
  3. Install a security system and advertise it. An anti-theft system such as a steering wheel lock, ignition cut-off, or window alarm can be effective at preventing a burglary. A security system may include options such as motion sensors and sirens that sound if someone breaks in. Some new systems even have two-way communication so that when the alarm goes off, you are notified on your smartphone. Also, slapping a car alarm sticker on your window can help deter thieves – even if you don’t actually have a car alarm.
  4. Hide valuables. It’s best to avoid keeping any valuables in your car, but in times when you have to, be sure to cover them with a blanket or towel,  or put them in the trunk. Place small valuables in the center console or glove box. If valuables in your vehicle are visible, it drastically increases the chance a thief will target your car.
  1. Tint your windows. Window tint can make it difficult to see inside your car, and, if thieves can’t see into your vehicle, they’ll be less likely to break in because they don’t know that anything valuable is inside.  However, be sure to check the window tint regulations in your state. The front windshield is typically the most restrictive. A good rule of thumb for side windows is to choose tinting that allows for 35% of visible light through.
  1. Make your stereo less eye-catching. Stereo systems draw the attention of thieves and are among the most commonly stolen items during car break-ins. If you have an expensive stereo, consider removing the radio faceplate and putting it in your glove box whenever you leave your vehicle. A stereo without a faceplate makes it less valuable and therefore less likely to be stolen. Also, don’t put a decal advertising the brand of your stereo, as a noticeable name brand could be an appealing target for thieves.
  2. Don’t leave your car running. While you may be tempted to leave your car on if you’re just popping into a convenience store for a minute, that short period of time still gives someone a chance to jump in and steal your car. According to the FBI, in 2016 there were more than 765,000 thefts of motor vehicles in the United States.  Furthermore, in most states, it’s against the law to leave your car unattended and running.
  3. Do not park in places that don’t feel safe. Trust your instincts. Avoid places with no lights and no security cameras. If possible, avoid a secluded parking lot, as that allows thieves to break into your car with less risk of being seen. If you park where there are other cars, thieves may target a more vulnerable car instead of yours. Try not to park in places where you see people loitering. Sometimes thieves hang around and wait for people to park so they can then look in the car to see if there are valuables inside.

Criminals often prey on easy victims. Thieves are opportunistic, and if you eliminate their opportunities for theft, you are far less likely to become a target. Following the above tips should significantly decrease the chance that your car gets broken into. Always use common sense and stay safe.

Locked Out? Call Pop-A-Lock for Help

The expert locksmiths at Pop-A-Lock know that sometimes those same security systems that help prevent thieves from breaking in can also keep us out of our own vehicles! If you’ve locked your keys in your car or lost your keys, don’t try to break into your car to get them. Instead, contact one of our fast and friendly technicians for help. We’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you get back into your vehicle and on the road.

Tips to Prevent Home Invasions

According to The US Department of Justice, 1.03 million home invasions occur each year. And the average loss of a home invasion is approximately $2,000 per home.

These statistics can be alarming. Nobody wants to be the next victim of a home invasion. Don’t worry! The more aware you are of the risks, and the more proactive you are in protecting yourself and your home, the lower your chances of a home invasion.

Ensure All Entryways Are Secured With Locks

The best way to prevent a home invasion is by enhancing security. Installing the right locks, in the right places, can go a long way. It’s shocking how many burglars (40%) enter a home through an unlocked door or window.

First and foremost, make sure every door in your home has a durable lock on it. High-quality deadbolts are solid metal (not hollow) with a throw (the distance which a lock bolt travels when turned) at least 1.5 inches long. If you want to go a step further, there are a variety of smart locks available today. These locks can allow remote access, have more controlled access through codes or phone apps, and can even have built-in cameras to increase security.

In addition to all doors, it’s imperative to make sure every window in your home has a lock on it as well. A window at any level – from basement to upper stories – is a potential entry way for thieves lurking around your property. If your windows are newer, they should come with locks on them. Check that every window is locked every night before bed or before you leave your home. If your windows are wooden or older, they may not have come with locks. If this is the case, you can easily buy bars or deadbolts to install on any window.

The last piece of advice we can give you regarding locks  is do NOT leave any spare keys hidden outside. This probably seems obvious and you’ve heard it time and time again. And yet, people continue to do it. If you need to leave a spare key outside of your home for any reason, put it in a secure lock box or something similar.

Additional Tips From Locksmith Professionals

There are other things – beyond locks and keys – that you can do around your house or property to increase security and lower the risk of home invasion. Some of them include:

  • Keep your house lit, inside and out. Install outdoor lights (preferably motion-activated) near all doors and garages. Put indoor lights on varied timers, so they turn on and off even if you’re asleep or not home. Having these systems in place can make it look like someone is home and deter thieves from targeting your property.
  • Use radio and TV. The same idea applies here – if someone is roaming your property and they hear a TV or radio on inside, they’re more likely to think someone is home and awake. This will lower the risk of a home invasion.
  • Install a smart doorbell or security camera. Many smart doorbells have cameras built in that allow you to monitor your front porch and yard. Having some sort of camera system in place can let you check in on your house from afar and alert you if someone is on your property.
  • If it’s been a while since you rekeyed your home (or you never did when you first moved in), it may be time to consider doing so. Between  babysitters, contractors, cleaners, children, past relationships, and more, the number of keys to your house roaming the world can quickly rack up. Rekeying your house is a simple and painless way to ensure only those who needs keys to your house have them.
  • It doesn’t matter what kind of security you have in place if you don’t use it. Lock your doors, turn on the alarm system, make sure the timers on the lamps are set and ready to come on at  various times.


The thought of a home invasion happening to you is frightening. But the reality is a lot of them  are preventable! If you take steps to increase security and protect your home appropriately, you’ll lower your risk of being the next victim.

Call your local Pop-A-Lock today to learn more from our trusted locksmith professionals about what you can do to protect your home! We also have a home security audit checklist you can download for free.