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Home Security Fails: What You Absolutely Shouldn’t Do

Your home is your nest, your place to escape the world outside,  a place to be comfortable and safe, where you can raise your family. With so much at stake,  don’t skimp on security. If it’s important to you to keep your family and valuables safe, be sure to evaluate your safety standards on a routine basis and make sure that you are not guilty of  these common home security mistakes that others frequently make.

Common home security mistakes

When looking for  homes to break into or vandalize, burglars and vandals choose places that seem to be easy targets. When surveilling a neighborhood, they look for homes with predictable patterns of when people come and go. They look for well-maintained homes with nice cars in the driveway. They also look for easy ways to get into your home–such as open windows, unlocked doors, or open garages.

You don’t want your home to be a target, whether you are at home or when you are gone. Here are some common mistakes that people make  that can threaten the security of their homes:

  • Hiding your spare key under a rock/doormat/flower pot–Many people have a spare key outside their front door for when they accidentally get locked out, or when a neighbor or family member needs to drop by when you aren’t home. Just don’t hide it in a conspicuous place.
  • Leaving windows and doors unlocked–unlocked windows or doors are an invitation to burglars to enter your house, either at night or when you are gone. Make sure all the doors and windows are locked when you leave the house.

Pop-A-Lock’s Home Security Services

  • Letting mail pile up–Everyone knows that a collection of mail or newspapers signal to any passersby that you are out of town. Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail or newspapers when you are gone–or ask the post office to pause your mail delivery temporarily.
  • Having outdated or non-functioning alarm systems–Keeping your alarm system working and up to date is essential. Otherwise, why have an alarm system at all? If your home security system isn’t working correctly, we can help.
  • Not having a  deadbolt lock–Burglars can break into your house even through a locked door–if the door doesn’t have proper safety locks.
  • Failing to  rekey locks upon getting a new home–If you have just moved into a new house, you don’t know who has a copy of the keys. Previous tenants, realtors, construction workers, or handymen could all have keys that would allow them entry. Or maybe you have lived in your house for several years now. 
  • Think about how many people might have had access to your keys in the past, including neighbors, dog walkers, former roommates, cleaning staff, handymen, other family members. Anyone who has had your keys in the past could easily make or distribute copies. It’s essential to rekey your locks so that you can control who has access to your keys and entry into your house.

Here at Pop-A-Lock, we provide several valuable home security services to homeowners and renters alike. 

Our specialized  home security audit will help you identify the areas in your home that might be weak points to home security, inviting burglars into your home. Our home security professionals will walk through your home to review your windows, doors, and other potential entry points to your house. We will check the locks, doors, and windows, evaluate them for safety and give you sound advice and recommendations for improving any  areas that are not secure.

Do I Need Lock Repair Or A Whole New Lock?

Do I Need Lock Repair, or a Whole New Lock?

As a homeowner, you should always be aware of the condition of your home’s locks. During daily use, be sure to look for signs of wear and tear, along with  potential issues that could lead to malfunction or easy break-ins. As a general rule, it is also a good idea to have a professional check your locks once a year,  making sure that everything is in working order and suggesting repairs and replacements when necessary. 


There is a significant difference between repairing and replacing a door lock. While repairs typically involve fixing or replacing pins and springs within the lock cylinder, replacing a lock entirely will require the removal of the old hardware and installation of entirely new hardware. 

What are the signs that a lock needs to be repaired?

As you enter and exit your home each day, pay attention to how your lock functions. There are some telltale signs that a lock should be repaired, including: 

  • Difficulty turning the key – If turning your key in the lock requires more force than it used to, your lock could be getting old and might be in need of repair. 
  • The key gets stuck frequently – Has your key ever become stuck in the lock? Even if you’re able to remove it successfully, this is a common sign that you need to repair the lock before the key gets stuck and you can’t remove it. 
  • Frozen parts – Over time, it is possible for parts of the locking mechanism to become frozen and not move, even when the key is in the lock. 


There are other signs that you need to have your locks repaired, such as if they’ve become damaged by inclement weather,  if you’ve lost your key or had it stolen. In some cases, it is more cost-effective to have a professional rekey the lock (which entails replacing the pins and springs with new ones that work with a new key) instead of replacing your locks entirely.

What are the signs that a lock should be replaced?

While it is a good idea to replace your locks every few years to protect yourself, your family, and your belongings, there are certain circumstances in which it is essential to replace your locks right away. Signs that you need a new lock include:

  • You’ve been a victim of a break-in – This is one of the clearest signs that you need to install new locks on your doors. You may want to upgrade your lock system or simply replace the locks out of an abundance of caution.
  • Your locks have been damaged beyond repair – Sometimes it’s impossible or unwise to repair a lock. Burglars will often damage locks when breaking in, or sometimes a lock will be damaged on accident. 
  • Your lock has become rusted and weathered– For locks that are exposed to the elements, rust and other damage is a notable concern. Rust inside a lock could prevent the teeth of the key from sliding under the tumblers and pushing them up. If your lock shows signs of rust or other weather damage, consider scheduling a replacement.
  • Your lock is old – Over time, particularly for locks that experience frequent use, your lock could become worn and less effective at letting you in and keeping others out. There also may be multiple sets of keys floating around (friends, neighbors, former roommates, and other residents), and you might wish to take control of your home back by replacing your locks entirely rather than having them rekeyed. 


Contact Pop-A-Lock for Help Rekeying and Replacing Your Locks

While you might be tempted to “do-it-yourself” and repair or replace your locks on your own, many people find that the task is very challenging and mistakes can be costly. Far too many homeowners have attempted to work on their own locks, only to damage the lock or the door itself, and have been forced to spend more money than they would have if they had hired a professional from the start. 


Fortunately, hiring the professionals at Pop-A-Lock is both easy and reasonably-priced. Our highly-trained and knowledgeable locksmiths are ready to help repair, rekey, or install a new lock any time you need us. We provide 24/7 lockout service for those who’ve experienced broken or damaged locks, so call us or reach out to us online to find a professional locksmith near you. 

How Can Electronic Locks Help Keep My Home or Business Safe?

How can electronic locks keep my home or business safe?

Smart home devices can curate your grocery list, tell you the temperature, translate phrases from English to Spanish and back again, and even deliver witty comebacks to your queries. 

Now, you can open your door on command (from anywhere) if you have a smart lock installed. With smart locks, the intelligent home and workplace that so many wish existed are another step closer to reality.

What is a Smart Lock?

A smart lock is a conventional deadbolt lock overlaid with a cryptographic key. Smart locks contain technology that locks and unlocks a door when instructed to do so by an authorized wireless device. It can be opened with your smartphone by installing a mobile app, or it can use a special key fob, like your car. The more sophisticated smart locks can also interface with your smart speaker, like Google Home, Alexa, and others. The cryptographic key uses wireless technology to authenticate the user and can also monitor access to your home  while monitoring  other critical events. Some smart locks even come with a camera.

Why Should You Install a Smart Lock?

One of the most convenient features of smart locks is the ability to create a virtual key that can be sent to the recipient via SMS or email. The virtual key will allow them access to your home or business, but it is ephemeral; it will only work for an allotted time period that the owner specifies.

This is a significant benefit for homeowners and business. No more leaving keys under the mat, or having to keep track of how many keys you have and who has them.

Even better, no more racing back to the office or your house to let in a guest, service technician, dog walker, or anyone else you’d like to allow in. You can do everything remotely, and you have a record of every entry and exit with a timestamp that you can reference later. You can also make multiple virtual keys for several people at once, a real benefit for when you go on vacation.

Many smart lock apps can even be used to check if you locked the doors when leaving the house,  from miles away while you tackle your workday. 

The main benefits of smart locks are:

  • Smart locks increase your ability to grant secure access to your home or business to third parties. The cryptographic authentication process is more secure than having random keys in places you cannot monitor or control.
  • Smart locks create a record of all entries and exits to your home or business. If the property is vandalized or things are stolen, you can see which authentication codes were used to grant entry.
  • The smartphone/smart lock web interface allows for many possibilities. Not only can you unlock doors, but with new technology you can also turn on the lights, set the temperature, and other functions by integrating the separate systems.
  • The ability to monitor your home remotely is enhanced with smart lock technology and other features such as cameras at the front door. Interfacing with your security system through the smart lock app. These are enormous benefits for security-minded homeowners and business owners.

Wi-fi driven technology is creating a revolution in home and business premise security, and smart locks are at the center of it. Your business or home door lock can used to be to keep people out on a basic level, but it does so indiscriminately. Now you can use smart locks to simplify your day through remote technology that allows you to grant access from miles away when necessary. 

Need Help With Smart Locks? Contact Pop-A-Lock

Since our founding in 1991, Pop-A-Lock has been committed to leading the way when it comes to new technology and trends. We strive to always use the newest and best technology to provide the highest-quality service to our customers. If you are interested in installing electronic locks  in your home or business, or if you need assistance with an electronic lock that has already been installed, call your local Pop-A-Lock today to find out how we can help you! 

I’m Locked Out Of My Car, What Do I Do Now?

I’m Locked Out Of My Car, What Do I Do Now?

We all know how it feels when that sudden realization hits you: you don’t know where your keys are. It is remarkably easy to lock your keys in your vehicle by accident. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life and all the things we have to remember, it’s a wonder we don’t all do it once a week. If you don’t drive a vehicle with a push-to-unlock button or keycode access, it’s likely you’ve done it more than once. Don’t be too hard on yourself—it happens, and Pop-A-Lock is here to help. Take the following course of action when it happens to you:


Don’t Panic

The first step is pretty self-explanatory. Again, life happens. Stay calm and collected, and remember that we are all only human. Unnecessary panic will put undue stress on you in an already stressful situation. There are ways to remedy this situation safely and efficiently.

Make Sure There are No Children or Pets in the Car

Accidents happen, and if your keys are locked in your car, that means any children or pets you had in the car with you may be as well. Kids and pets can overheat in vehicles very quickly, especially on hot summer days, so proper precautions should always be taken to ensure that they aren’t left in the car unattended. 

Locate the Nearest Phone

If your cellphone is on you, great! You can use it to contact someone to help, and in many cases, you can use your insurance company app to see what kind of roadside assistance you have available to you. If it’s locked in your car, however, you should head into the nearest business and ask to borrow a phone. Let them know you need your car door unlocked. If you know where your spare key is located in your home and you have someone that could bring it to you promptly, get in touch with them!

Call Your Local Pop-A-Lock

If you don’t have access to your spare, we will take care of you. We are here when life happens. Pop-A-Lock has been providing locksmith services since its founding in 1991, and we specialize in emergency car door unlocking services. We will send one of our talented and experienced locksmiths to your location as soon as possible to have you back in your vehicle quickly, efficiently, and safely. 

Our trained technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you. While car door locks are constantly evolving and are becoming more complicated, our team has the experience and knowhow to help you get into your vehicle in an emergency.  Contact your local Pop-A-Lock professional by phone at 1-(800) POP-A-LOCK or contact us online.