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Funny, Unique Locks for Keeping Your Favorite Things Safe

Padlock connecting a chain on a wooden fence.

If you’ve got a roommate, sibling, or someone else who constantly eats your snacks or snoops around your stuff, it might be time to lock up your items! We’ve compiled some of our favorite novelty and puzzle locks that are sure to keep your food, drinks, and treasures safe.

A jar of Nutella with a rubber spatula in it.

Thwart the Snack Thieves

Nutella Lock: Keep your precious chocolate hazelnut spread safe from hungry roommates, siblings, and everyone else with this locking cover that fits over a variety of Nutella jar sizes. 

Ice Cream Pint Lock: Deter ice cream thieves and keep your pint safe with this Ben & Jerry’s combination lock designed to fit perfectly around a pint of ice cream. Pints aren’t for sharing!  

Lunch Fridge Lock: It might not have been relevant while working from home, but now that you’re bringing lunch to work again, you’ll need to protect your lunch from grabby co-workers. This fridge locker cage will keep your sandwich and snacks safe and make sure no one even thinks about swiping some of your food.

A dozen or so bottles of wine.

Secure Your Adult Beverages

Wine Bottle Puzzle Lock: Next time you give someone a bottle of wine but want to make sure they really have to work for it, attach this 3D puzzle lock and watch them try to decipher how the wooden pieces move. 

Bottle Combination Lock: Far more straightforward than the puzzle lock, this combination lock fits perfectly over opened or unopened wine bottles as well as some liquor bottles. Set your own 3 digit combination and keep others from drinking your booze.

A wooden 3D puzzle.

Protect Your Most Treasured Items

Puzzle Padlock: This lock is ideal for securing something very important because even professional lockpickers won’t be able to get past it. There is no key — the only way to unlock it is by figuring out the exact sequence of steps. 

Puzzle Box: Inside this wooden puzzle box is a small chamber perfect for keeping your small, most prized possession unbelievably safe. The cube will only unlock once all of the dials on each side of the box have been turned to the correct symbol. Figuring out which symbol is the correct one for each side will surely keep someone busy for hours or be so frustrating that they’ll just give up.

A person's hands holding an iphone.

Curb Smartphone Distractions

Secret Book Safe: Hide your phone or other items in plain sight with this decoy dictionary that’s actually a metal lockbox. The exterior blends in perfectly with a stack of books or on a bookshelf and keeps your items safe with a programmable 3 digit combination lock. 

Smartphone Jail: Ensure no one is secretly using a phone at the dinner table or take away your biggest distraction with this mobile phone jail. Open the gate, put up to 6 phones inside, lock the door, and give the key to someone trustworthy.

Pop-A-Lock’s Got Your Back

Now that you’ve had your fair share of confusion, laughter, and intrigue from perusing these unique locks, you can rest assured your stuff will stay safe and protected — unless, of course, you forget the combination to your own locks. But don’t worry — if that happens, you can always call Pop-A-Lock to help you out.

Items You Need to Consider Putting a Lock On

Combination lock on a white cabinet.

Doors aren’t the only things that need locks. As a homeowner, a sturdy  lock  is your first line of defense, but in the case of a natural disaster or break-in, a locked door won’t stand between your valuables and destruction. In these cases — and countless others — it’s best to keep valuables and dangerous items under an additional layer of lock-and-key protection.

Put a lock on it

Whether you realize it or not, your home is full of overlooked dangers and valuables that need to be secured against unwanted intruders. Here are the top household items  to consider putting a lock on:

  • Household hazards: Every household is also home to myriad commonplace hazards: the cleaning chemicals we keep under the sink, the nail polish remover in your bathroom cabinet, that drawer filled with small knick knacks. From the perspective of a toddler or dog, these holding spots seem mysterious and fun — but their contents can be lethal. If you live with small children or pets, it’s important to think of their safety first, and secure every door, cabinet, and drawer that contains items that can be dangerous. As a general rule, this includes cleaning supplies, hygiene products, alcohol, batteries, coins, knives and other sharp objects. Really anything that would be hazardous if swallowed.  To secure these spaces, consider adding a simple baby-proof lock or a deadbolt lock that requires a key to those doors leading outside that toddlers or pets can easily open. 
  • Medicine cabinets: Like the above, medicine cabinets store ointments and medications that are incredibly valuable when used properly, but  potentially lethal when not. To keep these items out of the wrong hands, consider adding a child-proof lock or a key-lock to your medicine cabinet door. This will help you monitor family members who use its contents, in addition to providing extra protection in case of a break-in. Since most prescription medications and topical care products are both expensive and difficult to obtain, taking this small step toward further securing your home can be life-saving.
  • Luggage: Airports are infamous for luggage debacles. Whether it was a suitcase spilling open on the baggage claim or a well-meaning passenger accidentally mistaking your luggage for their own, we’ve all seen a thing or two while traveling. To prevent an unfortunate mix-up or add an extra layer of privacy, consider adding a simple lock to your suitcase!
  • File cabinet: If you don’t want to go so far as purchasing a safe for important legal or medical documents, adding a lock to your filing cabinet is the next best step. However, it’s important to note that most filing cabinets are made of thin sheet metal, meaning that only a turn-key lock could be installed. Additionally, these materials cannot withstand significant force, and would likely break open in the case of a fire or natural disaster. That being said, so long as you keep your key in a secure location away from the desk, a simple lock may be all you need to deter potential thieves or household busybodies.
Small plastic organizing drawers; one is open and has nails in it.

Keep it safe

Sometimes, a mere zip-tie or combination lock isn’t enough. For the priceless valuables and paperwork lying around your home, it’s best to seek the help of a locked, destruction-proof safe. Just to clarify, these items include:

  • Important family documents: Original birth certificates, passports, and social security cards are incredibly difficult to replace, and imperative to have on-hand in the event of an emergency. Through storing your family’s personal documents within a safe, you’re protecting these documents from damage or destruction (not to mention keeping them organized in a handy location!) in case you become displaced due to a fire or natural disaster. 
  • Insurance & legal documents: Should your home get damaged in the unlikely event of a fire or natural disaster, it’s important that your insurance policies and titles remain intact. High-security, fire-proof safes can withstand significant outside force and protect the integrity of your documents. Protecting  insurance policy paperwork can be  integral when trying to access funds for an unexpected emergency. In the same vein, securing your home or automobile titles can protect your claims to your property should they ever come under dispute. 
  • Valuables: Whether it’s priceless jewels, a rare first-edition book, or Grandma’s china teapot, anything a household considers irreplaceable should spend most of its time resting within a locked safe. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t show your valuables off from time to time If a burglar enters your home, for instance, valuables left in the open become instant targets since they’re easily pawned.
  • Firearms: Locking your guns away in a secure safe can protect against these deadly weapons falling into the hands of our youngest family members, in addition to further guarding against a potential misfire. Additionally, in the event of a break-in, securing your guns can prevent financial loss and the possibility of burglars using your own weapons against you.
Orange combination lock on an orange surface.

We know locks

It’s in the name. Here at Pop-A-Lock, our technicians know locks like the back of their hands. It’s why you can count on us to tackle all your residential locksmithing and security needs. Call us to get acquainted with one of our experts now, or hop on over to our website to learn more about our services.

The Zodiac Signs as Vintage Locks: Which One are You?

Five vintage padlocks in various colors leaning against a weathered wall. Above the locks, a ring of keys is hanging on a ribbon.

These days, “Zodiac signs as fill-in-the-blank” listicles dominate online journalism. And, hey, we don’t blame these publications: with modern society bringing a series of looming existential questions ever-closer, sometimes it’s comforting to look at everything through the lens of predetermined star traits. We figured it’s high time we joined the fray by making a Zodiac list after what we know best: locks.

Scroll on to see which expressive vintage locks best represent your sign.

An ornate key sticking out of a lock in a dimly lit library with a mysterious air to it.

Aquarius (January 20th - February 18th)

An air sign represented by the Water Bearer, Aquarius seems born to break the mold. These signs are highly intelligent, creative, and progressive, defying categorization at every turn. In doing so, however, they’ve garnered a bit of a reputation as the rebels of the zodiac. These traits all go to make the Aquarius a quirky, eclectic personality who’s more than a little misunderstood by their peers. For these reasons, we’ve chosen this discreet, ornamented side door lock to represent the sign. Though not an industrious lock, the subtle detailing implies creativity and expression, a lock likely used to conceal a library or secret room.

Skeleton key sticking out of an ornate lock on a door.

Pisces (February 19th - March 20th)

One of the more sensitive signs on our list, the Pisces is a deeply feeling, intuitive person who often gets wrapped up in their own emotions. However, this isn’t necessarily a flaw: in friendship, they forge deep, unbreakable bonds with those they connect with, while their emotionality leads them to excel in creative pursuits. In many ways, they’re like this diamond-shaped ornamental lock — expressive, elegant, and imaginative.

Lock with a swirled door handle on a grey door with geometric patterns.

Aries (March 21st - April 19th)

The sharp trimmings and hardy steel on this 19th-century door lock and knob are the perfect matches to the willpower of an Aries. With fire as their ruling element, Aries are known for being self-assured and commanding, taking charge the moment they feel a new want. As with steelwork, this ambition can come across as cold or abrasive, yet one still has to admire the power. They’re incredibly straightforward and candid regarding their feelings, which lends them a certain charm akin to the foliage embellishments on this lock.

A simple brass padlock next to a matching key on a pink background.

Taurus (April 20th - May 20th)

Grounded, stubborn, loyal. These traits could define Taurus, the second astrological sign, or a classic, Victorian brass padlock. Similar to the earth sign, brass padlocks are among the toughest around, able to withstand great pressure for the sake of protecting the thing they hold dear. This obstinate dependability often lends the Taurus a regal air but, like the lock, their willpower often causes them to be close-minded and stuck in their ways. Only a deft, understanding soul (or a key) can lead them to become more open.

A set of teal double doors with iron lion shaped knockers.

Gemini (May 21st - June 20th)

We’ve selected another ornamented lock for Geminis, arguably the most unpredictable sign, this time in a dual set. These iron lion knockers — one with the ring, one without — represent the Gemini’s internal caprice. We’re not saying they’re two-faced or anything, but it’s no doubt this sign is defined by an intrinsic tendency to swing between the rational and irrational, the reserved and expressive. For these reasons, conflicting double-door knockers seem the best vintage lock match.

Simple lock and doorknob on a red door.

Cancer (June 21st - July 22nd)

Cancers feel everything, all of the time. Often, the water sign’s emotions emanate from a deep part of themselves and, once they feel a new mood, they ride the wave until they uncover its source, or get as close as they can. Other times, however, the sign will take on the feelings of others, carrying their grief or sadness. In many ways, this impressionable emotional state resembles the above Victorian townhouse lock, scalded by time and wear. It might seem cold on the surface but after a closer look, you can’t help but smile thinking of all the varied experiences that passed this way before.

An ornate lion lock.

Leo (July 23rd - August 22nd)

Only a lock as majestic as this ornamented iron lion could match the energy of a Leo. Known as the most flamboyant sign of the twelve, Leos are natural people-persons, equipped with enough personality and charisma to fill a room. Just as a lion lock would grab your eye, so too would a true Leo. Similar to their lion namesake, Leos are brash, confident (sometimes to a fault), and always lead with their hearts. Whether someone would choose an ornamental lock or Leo friend is a matter of personal taste, but one thing for certain: once you see them, they’re pretty hard to forget.

A brass padlock with swirl motifs.

Virgo (August 23rd - September 22nd)

For the tender-hearted Virgo, we selected this decorative brass padlock. Like the quaint, drawn-in nature of the lock, Virgo’s are natural introverts with an eye for perfection. Padlocks are the most effective locks in keeping their contents restrained and protected, making them the natural counterpart to the Virgo’s desire to self-actualize and their innate humility. Additionally, to feel truly fulfilled, Virgos need to be useful, and there’s no lock more dependable than the one above (though Virgos themselves make far better friends than a hunk of metal).

Gold plated doorknobs on teal doors with gold accents.

Libra (September 23rd - October 22nd)

At a glance, the trait that best defines Libras — the sign symbolized by balancing scales — is their desire to be seen as good. Like these gold-plated baroque locks, this need results in a charisma teetering on flashy at times, though it’s all to gain the admiration of others. They care about people’s feelings to such an extent they often become their mirrors (read: like these reflective locks), often to the detriment of their own self-understanding. But on the whole, Libra’s inherent compassion guides them to help others, becoming embodiments of responsibility not dissimilar to the regal duo above.

Decorative brass deadbolt on a green door.

Scorpio (October 23rd - November 21st)

We’re shaking things up and going with a decorative brass deadbolt lock for Scorpio, one of the most peculiar signs on our list. The Scorpio is deeply perceptive, analyzing layers of social interaction in an instant, all to spin a situation to their advantage. But doing so is often a defense mechanism, a way for them to feel in control and block others from knowing them further. This brass Art Nouveau deadbolt represents both the Scorpio’s deep insecurity and their greatest gift: their profound understanding of others’ needs.

Decorative brass keyhole on a blue textured background.

Sagittarius (November 22nd - December 21st)

Oh, the Sag, the real type-A-go-getter of the star signs. To an even greater degree than their fire sign counterparts, Sagittarius is grounded in principle and obsessed with self-betterment, making them forces to be reckoned with on any path they choose. In many ways, they’re like this sturdy vintage keylock: industrious and intentional, with a trace of ornamental embellishments hinting at greater aspirations.

White-painted lock on a white door with ornate detailing.

Capricorn (December 22nd - January 19th)

Capricorns are bastions of responsibility. The “mom friend.” Their deep compassion is both their greatest strength and greatest weakness, causing them to either take on duties no one else can or run themselves ragged trying to pick up everyone’s slack. Like these 18th century locks, painted over to blend into the door, a Capricorn’s empathy and pragmatism can sometimes cause them to get overlooked for their flashier friends but, deep down, they know they’re the structure that keeps everything together.

PAL is in Your Horoscope

Though your door lock’s fate may be written in the stars, you shouldn’t sacrifice quality to chance. No matter if you’re looking to rekey your lock, upgrade to a high-security lock, or simply get back inside after being locked out, give us a ring — we’re here for you anytime.

How to Organize All of the Keys on Your Keychain

Wall full of keys hanging on hooks.

Back to Basics

Our keychains do so much for us but after a while, they can easily get out of control. From bulky car keys to store memberships, it can be tricky to identify the right key with so much clutter. Let us help you organize and minimize your keychain to help lighten the load weighing down your purse or pants. Follow our step-by-step guide and be on your way to a sleek and organized keychain!

Three keys on a keyring on a white background.

Sort Your Keys

It might seem like an obvious first step, but it’s obvious for a reason. Organizing your keys is the perfect starting point to understanding what is essential and what isn’t. First, take all of your keys off of your existing keychain and immediate set aside items that are not keys. Including, but not limited to, souvenir keychains, duplicate keys, or keys that you no longer use. Next, sort your keys into piles based on their function such as house keys, car keys, or office keys. Doing this will allow you to have a sense of which keys you have more of and which keys can be grouped together. There will be more on that later. Finally, in each function group, organize your keys by their frequency of use. We recommend categorizing them into daily, weekly, infrequent, and rarely or never groups to establish which keys should be carried around with you or locked away in storage.

A hand with a keyring around the index finger.

Get Crafty!

Your lifestyle is unique, so is your optimal key organization method. Whether you’re a fan of color coding or are a home decor fanatic, we’ve got some ideas for you to perfect the method to your madness.

Color Coding

Starting off with a tried and tested technique – color coding. This simple and visually appealing strategy will help you recall which keys serve which purpose just by looking at them. All it takes is visiting your local hardware store or searching Amazon to find key caps or covers in colors you like.


Our next tip is for label lovers! Labels, like color coding, serve as an excellent way to organize your keys in a more specific way than just using color coding. This step is completely personalizable and guarantees you will never mistake one key for another again.

Home Decor Solutions

Finally, there are several home decor options for organizing your keys such as key hooks and catch-alls. These are perfect additions to any entry way as there are so many styles to choose from and make forgetting your keys a difficult task.

A yellow key, turquoise key, and purple key lying on a white background.

Store Your Keys

To keep your keys sorted and secure while you’re on the go, here are our suggestions for the ideal ways to store your keys. For those keys you use less frequently or only in a specific location, we suggest finding secure storage to keep your keys protected. For example, put them away in the glove compartment of your car, in a safe, or even in a hidden drawer to make sure you control who knows about your keys. As for the essential keys you use everyday, keychains are not your only option. From the nifty, noise-minimizing Keybar to a convenient key wallet, there are infinite options to choose from.

How Your Secrecy Can Be the Best Security Layer

How Your Secrecy Can Be the Best Security Layer

screen privacy

When it comes to protecting your data and your workplace, there are many options for business owners. Your organization can invest countless hours and funds into procuring the best security solutions and systems, but at the end of the day, you may very well be missing one extremely crucial aspect of security. Organizations and businesses run on people. Ensuring that your employees can be trusted to protect your business (the same way that your security system does) can be game-changing, and can help avoid some very sticky situations.

tinted computer screen

Secrecy vs. Privacy

As we progress further and further into the digital age, it becomes increasingly clear that in actuality, privacy is the pinnacle of security, not secrecy. Though it may seem like a matter of semantics, these two words have very different meanings when defined:

  • Secrecy is hiding information that can be otherwise easily obtained through simple observation or analysis, while
  • Privacy is preventing the information from being intercepted when it is being shared between two or more parties, especially online.

When put into the context of security (especially digital), we can see that privacy measures are put into place to ensure secrecy. Therefore, you cannot have one without the other. That being said, let’s look at some of the things you and your employees can do about privacy!

anyone can see your screen

Privacy through Confidentiality

Privacy in and outside of the workplace can have a great impact on the overall security of your business’ information. This is also where educating your employees on how to protect confidential information comes into play. For example, if your organization has added layers of security on the premises (such as electronic access control or keypad locks) it is important that employees and management alike are taught not to give out any information that can be overheard or seen by outside individuals. This includes keypad combinations, the location of the business, and even what kind of security precautions have been taken. Having this information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, can aid an individual with malicious intent to have unchecked access to your organization’s information.

That being said, if one of your employees must give out information of this nature, be sure to educate them on how they can do it safely. This includes things like:

  • Not saying passwords, combinations, or giving insights about security protocols out loud, especially in public settings.
  • If sending private information online, be sure that the Wi-Fi network that is being used is a secure one. If no secure network is available, use a trustworthy VPN.

Why Personal Privacy Matters

Privacy and secrecy must be kept in mind, no matter if you are part of a highly specialized organization, or just want to further ensure the security of your personal information. Oftentimes, access to personal information, especially digital, means a way into your workplace data.

Protecting your personal information can be as easy as keeping passwords and login information organized. To read more about how you can do this, check out From Our Lock Experts: How to Organize Combinations and Passwords.

Things You Need to Consider When Purchasing a Safe

A safe with a keypad and bolt lock.

Safes hold an interesting place in our imagination. When we think “safe” we picture an armored case protected by a turn-lock and tucked away behind a painting, no doubt guarding top secret plans or priceless jewels. But you don’t need to be a 19th century baron to employ these nifty devices in protecting your valuables. As a homeowner, any item you would consider irreplicable is worth securing. A safe might just be what you need to help you sleep a little more soundly, knowing your possessions are guarded in case of the worst.

A safe on a shelf.

It Pays to Have a Safe

Purchasing a safe is an investment toward your financial and personal security in the case of an unexpected crisis, such as a home invasion or natural disaster. Whether it’s a legal document, precious heirloom, expensive jewelry, or an obscure trading card collection, all households have valuables that would be considered nearly impossible to replace if damaged or stolen. Secured safes protect these items in case of an emergency. If a burglar entered your home, for instance, valuables left in the open would become immediate targets, and those left unsecured would likely be sought and found as thieves look for items that can be easily pawned.

Additionally, if you or someone in your household owns firearms, keeping them locked  inside a safe can prevent members of your household from being hurt in the unfortunate case of a misfire. It’s also great way to keep these devices  away from curious little hands and criminals alike.

Open safe on a table.

Top Considerations When Choosing a Safe

After you’re set on purchasing a safe, it’s important you select a model that corresponds to your specific needs — especially because high-end safes can be incredibly expensive. While all homeowners have different reasons for buying a safe, these are specific functions everyone should consider:

  • Fire-proof or fire-resistant: These two terms seem to mean virtually the same thing, but homeowners should be aware of the subtle differences between fire-proof and fire-resistant safes, and what this means for their valuables. Both FP and FR models protect safe contents from high temperatures. However, “fireproof” is usually associated with products that are slightly more durable, being able to withstand high temperatures for longer periods. For these reasons, safe manufacturers and industry marketers prefer this term, and highlight the virtues of fireproof safes to a greater degree than fireproof ones. Generally, fireproof safes are thought to provide a basic shield against fire and nothing more. 
  • Safe thickness: It might seem intuitive, but the thickness of your safe’s walls are of the utmost importance. The complexity of the locking mechanism or durability of the material won’t mean a thing if the safe itself can’t withstand significant force. To start, consumers should look into the safe’s UL rating. UL stands for Underwriter Laboratories, a third-party company that’s been trusted for centuries and tests products to determine if they meet specific, defined requirements. The majority of safes have a UL rating of TL-5 for a Residential Security Container. Quite literally, this means the safe door and walls can withstand approximately five minutes of being beaten by a crowbar and hammer. This is actually an incredibly low level of protection: in general, the minimum level of good protection starts at a Class B rating. These safes have a door of 1/2 inch solid steel, with 1/4-inch solid-steel walls. These bad boys can withstand hours and hours of beating from the most common burglary instruments.
  • Locking mechanism: The locking mechanism on your safe can make all the difference. For over 125 years, consumers have relied on classic combination locks to secure their personal valuables. Combo locks have a proven success rate spanning many decades, and offer the significant advantage of not needing batteries. Newer electronic locks have keypads connecting to the locking mechanism, only opening when the correct code is entered. In contrast to combo and key locks, electronic locks allow for quick access and guard against owners losing keys or forgetting the steps to unlock a combo lock. Electronic lock codes can be changed easily as well, something most combo locks can’t do. Even if your batteries wear out, the current code will be saved to a memory chip and kick back in as soon as new batteries are inserted. All that being said, both combo and electronic locks are UL rated and provide a high level of security. Choosing between the two depends entirely on your personal preferences.
Person turning the knob of a safe.

How Pop-A-Lock can help

If you’re still stuck on the details, one of Pop-A-Lock’s skilled technicians is only a phone call away. We can help guide you through the process of selecting a safe, and choosing the proper locking mechanism so that your valuables receive the utmost degree of protection. And, if you ever happen to get locked out of your safe, we’re here for you as well with our 24/7 residential lockout services. Give us a ring today!

What You Need to Know if You Are Considering a Double Sided Deadbolt

Open door with several deadbolt pins on the side.

If you’ve ever lived in a home or apartment with a deadbolt lock, you’re aware of the extra security that comes with it. Even if you didn’t understand how it worked, it simply felt good to have a door with two locks, like an extra layer of protection. But how safe are deadbolts, exactly? As a homeowner looking to protect family and valuables from intruders, it’s important to understand how different locks work, and which ones can provide you with the greatest security. In some cases, deadbolts aren’t nearly secure enough, and it’s time to consider the deadbolt’s jacked-up cousin: the double-sided deadbolt lock.

What’s a double-sided deadbolt anyway?

Most of us are familiar with deadbolts, the locks that typically rest above  normal home lock and require an extra key to unlock from the outside. Conventional home locks (the first layer of security) typically use  a spring bolt to hold the lock in place, and can be undone merely by turning the locking mechanism. Deadbolts, on the other hand, are locks that cannot be rotated without a key. This means that if a person was able to unlock a spring bolt using a key or other means, they would still be unable to open the door without using the deadbolt key, or having someone unlock the deadbolt from inside the home. 

But are traditional deadbolts the most secure? Put briefly, no.

While deadbolts do require a key in order to turn the lock, this locking mechanism only works on the outside. This means that if an opened window was near the door, or if someone was able to break into the home through the back, the front door deadbolt could simply be opened through turning the lock on the inside. This is how single-cylinder deadbolts work. This is different from double-sided or double-cylinder deadbolts, which have a locking mechanism on both sides of the door, and require keys to turn the locks both inside and outside the door.

A closed blue door.

Pros and Cons

Locks play an important role in ensuring the safety and security of your home. While double-sided deadbolts are decidedly more secure, there are drawbacks to this added protection. When choosing the right lock for your home, it’s important to consider your needs first.

Efficiency: The most obvious difference between traditional deadbolts and double-sided deadbolts is the ease of use. Since double-sided deadbolts require two keys, and someone to operate the lock from the inside, they’re decidedly more time consuming and difficult. Whereas single-cylinder deadbolts need only one key (and one person) to unlock the door. Even if someone was waiting to unlock the door from the inside, they would only need to thumb-turn the lock to open it, rather than using a key. This makes single-cylinder deadbolts more convenient and practical overall, explaining their popularity — but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safer.

Cost: This is another area in which single-cylinder deadbolts prove superior. Since regular deadbolts are incredibly common and easy to install, they’re relatively cheap compared  to double-sided deadbolts, which are more complex, requiring a. 

Protection: Although double-sided deadbolts are a bit of a hassle — and certainly more expensive — than regular deadbolts, that’s not to say they’re without their virtues. For one, double-sided deadbolts are the most secure lock. This is especially important if  your front door is located near a window that can be easily opened or broken, or if the door itself is made of glass. With traditional deadbolts, intruders looking to enter your home would simply need to smash the glass and reach inside to thumb-switch the lock open. But with double-cylinder deadbolts, even if they managed to damage your home, the intruders would still be unable to enter without using the indoor key. This extra layer of security is also helpful in ensuring children don’t accidentally open the lock and wander outside, unsupervised.

But this added step of using an indoor key also makes double-sided deadbolts potentially dangerous. In the case of a fire, for instance, the time it takes to track down a key and turn the lock could be a matter of life and death. This lock also makes it incredibly difficult for emergency personnel to enter your residence, and could even prohibit you from escaping an outside threat.

Keys dangling from a lock on a grey door.

How to choose

There are an equal number of benefits and drawbacks to double-sided deadbolt locks, but whether they’ll work for you will ultimately depend on your needs as a homeowner. If crime is an issue in your area, or if you’re deeply concerned about the safety of your possessions, the double-sided deadbolt may be the way to go. But if you value efficiency and worry about access in the case of emergencies, single-cylinder deadbolts could provide all the protection you need.

An open door with a dog peeking around the doorway.

We’re Here to Help

Whether you’ve settled on getting a double-sided deadbolt or still have some doubts, Pop-A-Lock is here to walk you through the next steps. We specialize in an array of door locks, so check out our website or call your local Pop-A-Lock today to get a quote!

How To Stay Protected When Locked Out of Your Car at Night

A car with the lights on parked in darkness.

Whether you’re out partying with friends or on a frantic last-minute errand run, it’s easy to lose your car keys in the whirl of events — or even lock them inside. This is a stressful situation even in daytime circumstances but, at night, it can be cause for panic. But before you allow fear to cloud your judgment, it’s imperative that you look out for your wellbeing first — then consider employing the help of a locksmith.

Evaluate Your Surroundings

As soon as you notice your keys are missing, take a moment to stifle any feelings of panic, take a deep breath, and focus on your surroundings. Don’t pull out your phone until you’ve taken note of the nearby area — this could leave you vulnerable to unseen threats. If you’re in a safe, well-lit area, and if your keys don’t appear to be locked in your car, it might be worth doing a quick search: check every pocket, your bags, and the immediate area in case the keys were simply dropped nearby. If you can, try to think back to possible locations you may have left your keys, and contact any friends and family in the nearby area to see if they can help you retrieve them.

A city street at night.

Get Somewhere Safe

If it’s clear you won’t be able to access your keys, or if you’re alone in a parking lot or enclosed area, it’s imperative to prioritize your safety. Before taking any further steps, try returning to your previous location. Most businesses stay open at least an hour after closing, and the employees would likely allow you to stay inside until you can find a ride home. Even if the last place you visited is fully closed, it might be worth looking for other nearby businesses that are still open, as long as you’re aware of your surroundings.

However, depending on the location or time of night, you might not find a safe space, or feel secure moving from your car. If this is the case, contact your friends and family immediately, let them know your location, and see if you can find someone trusted to give you a lift home. If no one is available, consider using a ride-share service.

In the case that no one is available to assist you, or if your car is stuck in a location where it’s likely to be removed, you can also call a 24/hr tow service, roadside assistance, or an auto locksmith like Pop-A-Lock. Though people associate towing with car removal, many tow companies offer emergency roadside assistance, providing a great fallback option should all your other contacts fall through.

No matter which option you choose, however, you should still find someone to call while you wait for help. Talking with someone on the phone makes you less of a target, in addition to freeing your eyes to be aware of your surroundings.

A lit bus stop next to the road at night.

The Next Steps

After your car is back in your possession, or once you’ve found a safe location to pass the night, it’s time to consider your next course of action. If you recovered your keys, consider getting a spare ignition key or a duplicate smart key — a great way to avoid any future predicaments. But if your keys are lost for good, it’s probably necessary to have your car rekeyed or your locks replaced so you can be reunited with your ride as soon as possible.

Person standing near an information desk at night.

We’re Here for You

Being locked out of your car at night is incredibly stressful, but we’ll do all we can to help. No matter the hour, if you call Pop-A-Lock’s 24/7 roadside locksmith service, we’ll dispatch a technician to help open your car. And if you need us to rekey your car or create a key duplicate, we’re here for that too. Check out these services and more on our website.

How to Keep Your Belongings Safe in a Shared Space

How to Keep Your Belongings Safe in a Shared Space

safe shared space


Keep your room door locked

Agree with your roommates to always keep the dorm room door and windows locked. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to take thousands of dollars of expensive items like your laptop, iPad, jewelry, and even expensive school books.

Don’t leave valuables out in plain sight

Thieves are opportunists and are looking for items to steal. Hide your cash, purse or wallet, jewelry, laptop, and any other important items when not in use. “I trust my roomie but when she has people over, I put my stuff away. Leaving my wallet and electronics laying around is too much temptation,” says USC student Paige Abbassi.

Keep an inventory of all your valuables

Keep photos and serial numbers of your valuables. In the unfortunate case that you or your roommates become victims of a dorm theft, being able to provide campus police with a list of stolen items and their descriptions may increase the odds that they will be recovered.

Get insurance

Should a loss occur, having insurance can help you quickly replace stolen items without a huge cost to you. Your parents’ homeowners insurance policy may cover your dorm room valuables at no extra cost. College Student Insurance provides dorm room policies to cover your valuables.

Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces are known for being cool, trendy, and flexible places to work. Whether it be freelancers, startup companies, large businesses, part-time hobbyists, or remote workers, coworking offices attract a wide range of people coming from a variety of backgrounds. As such, they need to accommodate each type of worker accordingly, ensuring that the space is not only a nice environment to work in, but is also suitably protected.

Businesses need to protect their company data and trade secrets, after all, so keeping their working environment secure is vital. From cybersecurity threats to physical thieves, there are a number of ways in which coworking spaces can be breached. Make sure yours isn’t by implementing these three methods.

Protect your network

Despite the fact that coworkers can work across a plethora of industries, it only takes one bad member to compromise the data of hundreds of others. Therefore, establishing a strong and secure network is key to preventing this – keeping all your coworker’s digital information safely protected.

Hackers tend to target Wi-Fi networks so, rather than hosting all your co-workers on the same network, allocate each of the credentials and a unique password. Alternatively, take it one step further and set up individualized networks for each of your members. This ensures that even if one network gets hacked, the others won’t be affected.

Also, think about investing in an electric timer to shut off Wi-Fi access overnight when nobody is there to keep an eye out on it.

Lock your doors

A pretty obvious one, but having effective physical security measures is just as important as having online protection. For example, having high-quality locks on your doors, windows, and storage cabinets can go a long way in keeping your coworking space secure.

Likewise, access to the building should only be given to members who actually work there. Whether this access solution is smartphone-based or utilized using access codes/smart cards, granting individual admission to users is probably the most foolproof way of ensuring important data stays safe.

Plus, thanks to cloud-based access control systems, you can now control who has access to certain rooms and areas in your coworking space. You’ll also be able to keep a log of who logged in, meaning you can stay on top of the inner goings-on in your office.

Watch out for theft/damage

Another fairly obvious security system to have in place is CCTV. Even in the most loving communities, belongings can get lost or stolen so, with a surveillance camera in place, it’ll make it that much easier to rectify issues. Not only that, but it takes the pressure off you need to physically be there all the time – smart surveillance systems allow you to monitor office activities via Wi-Fi when you are away.

You should also install an effective fire alarm system and have it checked regularly. The last thing your coworkers need is for their data to be unintentionally destroyed through insufficient fire safety at your office.