(571) 888-3230

What Are High Security Locks And Keys?

When it comes to home security, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. As a homeowner, you may desire a higher sense of security for your residence than traditional locks or deadbolts can provide. You may have previously experienced a home invasion, or have chosen to keep valuables stored within the property. Maybe you live in a neighborhood with a higher crime rate, or you simply want more peace of mind that you and your family are safe. Whatever your reason, if you’re looking to increase your home’s security, consider installing a system with high security keys and locks. These systems provide better security than a traditional lock and key, and are a great option to discuss with your locksmith.

What Are High Security Locks?

High security locks are specifically designed to provide better protection for those that install them. These locks are often equipped with reinforcement such as rods and plates, deterring criminals as they quickly realize they cannot gain entry into the property through their typical methods of picking or drilling.

High security locks may also contain a more complicated pin system, meaning the hardware is designed so only high security keys can unlock them. These locks use different technology to secure the cylinder, and are very effective at maximizing your home’s security. Though high security locks can be implemented in most existing lock hardware systems, be sure to discuss with your locksmith the best method to add these locks to your system.

Finally, high security lock systems are typically equipped with reinforced plates on the door frame. These plates make it much harder for someone to kick your door in or break the door frame. Through all of these components, high security lock and key systems make your home very hard to break into, adding an undesirable amount of noise and time spent outside to those with criminal intentions. These individuals often aim to enter a home as quickly and quietly as possible, looking to minimize the risk of being caught.

What Are High Security Keys?

When it comes to implementing a high security system, the most important component is the installation of a more complex lock. However, along with the new lock, your locksmith can make you a set of high security restricted keys. These keys are much harder to get copied, as only one locksmith in your area can make copies. The blanks used to make these keys are restricted to only one locksmith per area, and most of these locksmiths have a process for ensuring only authorized people can get copies. The locksmith may track the amount of keys that have been made, keep a formal record of authorized individuals, or require ID upon asking to copy.

Additional Security Measures to consider

It’s important to note that while adding a high security key and lock system to your home will contribute to better overall security, the system is not as effective without implementing other safety measures on your property. Make sure you address other potential security weaknesses in your home such as:

  • Entryways: Make sure all entrances to your home are well-lit. Keeping your outdoor lights on at night deters criminals as neighbors or anyone passing by can see that someone is trying to break in.
  • Landscaping: It’s best to avoid shrubbery that obscures windows. If you do have trees or bushes that block first floor windows, make sure to keep the branches trimmed down. These are often hiding places for people attempting to break in.
  • Invest in a Home Security System: If you are concerned about your home’s security, consider investing in a security system. Openly display that you do have a system, placing signs outside the property or a sticker on windows. These practices significantly decrease attempts to break in.

Need Help With Your Home’s Security? Call Pop-A-Lock Today!

When you are looking to install a high security key and lock system, it’s always best to have an expert take care of the job. Trying to do it yourself may damage the lock, as these systems are often very complicated and take the expertise of a certified and trained locksmith. Pop-A-Lock can help with installation and creation of your high security keys, giving you peace of mind that the job was done right.

Along with installing your high security key and lock system, Pop-A-Lock can help advise you on the best practices to keep your home safe. Founded in Lafayette, Louisiana, Pop-A-Lock has quickly become the largest professional locksmithing franchise in the United States. All of our technicians are certified, experienced, and ready to help you find the best security solution for your individual needs. You can call (800) POP-A-LOCK or contact us online to discuss your lock questions. Curious about the efficiency of your home’s current security? Download our free home security audit today.

Six Tips To Increase The Security of Your Rental Property (Apartments, Condos, Etc.)

Everyone wants to feel safe when staying as a guest at a rental property, whether you are checking into an AirBnB, VRBO property, or a privately-rented home, apartment, or condo.

If you are the owner of a rental property, you want your tenants to feel safe as well. There are many ways to increase the security of a rental property and ensure that your guests have a safe, enjoyable stay.

Below are six tips for deterring criminals and securing your rental property.

  1.     Secure the Main Entrance

If legal in your area, installing a double-cylinder deadbolt is recommended as it’s an upgrade from the usual single-cylinder deadbolt on many doors. If your main entrance is close to a window, a double-cylinder deadbolt can help prevent a thief from reaching through your window and opening the door. Installing a solid wood or metal door can also improve security, while door jammers provide additional protection.

  1.     Hire a Property Manager

If you have a busy schedule or live far away and are unable to visit the property often, you may want to consider hiring a property manager. A property manager can help screen tenants, maintain the property, collect the rent, and perform an array of tasks associated with renting out a property. Having someone monitor the premises regularly would also help deter potential burglars, and will allow for routine inspections of the security features that you put in place.


  1.     Install a Security System

Installing a security system is one of the most active and effective security measures you can implement. Many modern security systems can be integrated with your smart lock for extra protection and convenience. Making things even more convenient, many systems can be remotely accessible through an app on a smartphone. There are a variety of security systems out there, so look for the one that best fits your needs and your budget. Make sure the one you choose has everything you need, such as door and window sensors and motion-detecting lights. If you’re not willing to spend the money on a sophisticated security system for a rental property, you can always potentially deter intruders by posting “Security Cameras in Use” decals around the property.

  1.     Add Lighting

Lighting is one of the easiest ways to deter burglars. Having proper lighting indoors and outdoors can make your rental property more secure. With indoor lights, make sure all hallways and stairwells are well lit. These lights need to always be on. For outdoor lights, make sure there is lighting in front and back of the property. You can either keep the lights on or make them motion activated, or a mix of both.


  1.     Secure Windows

Because criminals don’t always enter a property through a door, you should make sure all windows are secure as well. All windows should have working locks; it is critical that all the locks work so an intruder can’t enter through the fire escape. You could install window sensors that will sound an alarm if the window is tampered with. You may even want to consider installing security bars to windows on the first floor.


  1.   Keep Blinds and Curtains Down 

In addition to comprising your tenants’ privacy, curtains and blinds that are always open give potential criminals a view of the valuables contained inside. Keep the blinds and curtains down during a non-lease period, and when you have tenants, recommend that they do the same. When burglars can’t see through the windows, they don’t know whether anyone’s home, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., which is when most burglaries occur.

Call Pop-A-Lock for Help Securing Your Rental Home

Following these six tips should significantly increase the security of your rental home. If you’re interested in upgrading your security system or implementing additional features, contact a security specialist at Pop-A-Lock today. Want to identify threats to your guests’ security and safety right away? Download our FREE Home Security Audit packet online here and find out how to evaluate your rental property from a security-focused perspective.

The Dangers of Proximity Keys and Push to Start Cars

The remote proximity key – also known as “keyless entry” – allows you to open your vehicle and start it without touching the electronic key fob, a small device that transmits a code to a computer in the car when in close range. In vehicles with keyless, push-button ignition, the fob is recognized by the vehicle to authorize its operation. The fob can stay in the driver’s pocket or purse, as the ignition switch is a button on the dash. This increasingly common technology has become a part of everyday cars, not just luxury models as it once was. Some car manufacturers even have smartphone apps, whose functions include remote starting.

While keyless entry and push-button ignition technology is convenient, it is not without dangers. In fact, a recent New York Times report found proximity keys could be partially responsible for dozens of fatalities in the United States. The article tells the story of a Florida man who drove his SUV into his home garage and entered his house with the key fob, believing that the car was turned off. About 30 hours later, the man was found dead, having been killed by the carbon monoxide that engulfed his home while he was asleep. According to the Times, the man was among at least 25 people who were killed by carbon monoxide in the  United States since 2006, after a keyless-ignition vehicle was accidentally left running in a garage.


Safety watchdog groups have documented instances of drivers pushing the button to stop the engine before putting the vehicle in park, allowing their vehicle to roll away. Many car systems emit warnings or even shut down after the driver exits the car, and the fob is detected leaving with them. You could leave the fob in the car’s cup holder, for example, then after you exit, the vehicle doesn’t know to turn off.


Hybrid cars pose problems as well. They are very quiet when in electric mode – which they are often in when sitting still after parking. A driver can assume the car is shut down because the engine isn’t running. However, the vehicle may not be truly off. The engine could restart itself, to adjust the climate control, for instance, and therefore send carbon monoxide into the home. Make sure that whenever you enter your home, any car parked in the garage is shut off. Being extra careful about this can prevent a tragedy.

Allow the Experts to Duplicate or Replace Your Fob or Key

If you need a new key or fob for your vehicle, you need a highly skilled and trained professional to ensure it will start your vehicle. At Pop-A-Lock, our key replacement services are affordable and reliable. We can get the job done much quicker – and cheaper – than the dealership. Call Pop-A-Lock today for help with:


  • transponder keys
  • fobs
  • keyless remotes
  • dealer chip keys programmed on-site
  • remotes programmed
  • electronic keys
  • key replacements
  • VATS keys


We are available 24/7 to meet your automobile key needs. Pop-A-Lock technicians can create the key you need on the spot. Our technicians are trained to program transponder, VAT, and smart keys for any vehicle. Our work is of the highest quality – guaranteed!

How Changes In Temperature and Weather Affect Your Locks

Seasonal changes are often exciting. After a long winter, many look forward to the time spent outdoors in warmer weather brought in by spring. As summer comes to a close, cooler temperatures are appreciated as many prepare for the upcoming holiday seasons. However, as homeowners prepare for the change in seasons themselves, they also must be aware of the potential effects of these changes on external locks and entrances to their home.

Many do not realize that the change of seasons can have a major impact on their home. When the temperature dramatically increases or decreases in a short span of time, there is a higher chance that you will experience issues with your doors and locking mechanisms. A lot of the time, seemingly random problems that arise with your locks can be explained by seasonal changes.

Cold Weather Effects

As the fall and winter seasons arrive, the change in temperature affects your doors and locking mechanisms in a variety of ways. Doors that are made of wood are especially prone to problems during seasonal changes, as lower levels of humidity affect the material. Freezing temperatures and the absence of moisture in the air can cause your door frame to contract, leading to a poor fit between the door and the lock itself. This contraction means the door will begin to warp around your locks, and may lead to your deadbolt suddenly not being able to lock or unlock properly.

Aside from contractions with the door and door frame, if there is existing moisture in the lock, you may experience issues with your key not being able to turn. Moisture in the mechanisms of the lock may freeze over, causing your key to become stuck or much harder than usual to put into the lock.

Hot Weather Effects

Just as colder weather causes your door and door frame to contract, warmer weather can cause these mechanisms to expand. Higher levels of moisture in the air cause wooden doors to warp around the lock and press rigidly against the door frame. This expansion can lead to problems with your locks, as they suddenly start to “jam” more often. This means it becomes more difficult for the key to turn in the lock properly, or that the key can become stuck in the lock itself.

Homeowners must also be aware of the effects of warm temperatures on keys themselves. When left in a hot car for too long, or left in direct sunlight for extended periods of time, the keys can begin to distort. Distorted keys can cause problems with the lock, as they do not properly fit in the mechanism anymore.

How Do I Fix My Lock?

If you have noticed that your locking mechanisms have been affected by a recent change in temperature or weather, the best option is to call a reputable locksmith. These technicians will evaluate your circumstances and advise you on the best plan of action. Depending on the degree that your door or door frame has warped, they may decide to simply fix your lock or rekey it. In some cases, the home may benefit from the installation of a new lock entirely if it has become too incompatible with the door’s changes over time.

If you have found that your wooden door continually becomes warped, it may be time to consider installing a door of an alternative material. Weatherproof materials such as fiberglass, steel or aluminum are good choices, and will withstand changes in temperature and humidity without affecting your locks.

Contact Pop-A-Lock Today!

If you have arrived home to find that your door is jammed, or the key will not turn in the lock, do not panic! Your first step should be to contact a reputable locksmith, such as Pop-A-Lock, to help you gain entry to the home, staying away from online “DIY” methods that may lead to more damage on your system. Pop-A-Lock provides a 24/7 emergency lockout service, that will get you back into your home quickly and efficiently, without damage.

Pop-A-Lock was founded in Lafayette, Louisiana, and has quickly become the largest professional locksmithing franchise in the United States. All of our technicians are certified, experienced, and ready to help you find the best solution for your individual needs. You can call (800) POP-A-LOCK or contact us online for a quote today!