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The Best Places in Your Car to Store Valuables

White SUV on a dirt road in front of mountains.

You’ve heard the rule before: don’t leave anything that you value in your car unattended, especially in plain sight. For anyone with nefarious intentions, getting their hands on precious items is as easy as peeking through the window of a car and seeing a laptop, phone, wallet, jewelry, or other valuables lying around. Luckily, if you find yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to leave your items in the car, there are ways to conceal them, keeping them out of sight for burglars and car thieves.

The inside of a car showing the front seat from the back.

Glove Box

The obvious option for hiding things you want to keep out of sight is your car’s glove box. The issue lies in the fact that glove compartments more often simply conceal your belongings, rather than protecting them. If a thief is already rooting around inside your vehicle, the first area they choose to check will more often than not be the glove box.

Unfortunately, locking the glove compartment is also not always a viable option, as it can draw unwanted attention to that area of your car, and burglars will assume that it is locked specifically to protect something of great value.

That being said, glove compartments are a handy option for stowing away documents, phones, and wallets in specific situations. If you are in an area where your parked car is not left for extended periods of time, and where it will be protected in the case of a break-in, glove boxes will do the trick. This can be somewhere like a parking lot or garage, or in the driveway of your home. Your belongings are usually safe in a glove compartment when there are cameras around to watch for criminal activity.

Center Console

Every car has a center console between the driver and passenger seats that can hold anywhere from a few small items to an entire purse or backpack! Stashing away items that are of importance to you (or items that may draw the attention of criminals) at the bottom of this compartment can protect you, your vehicle, and your belongings in the event of a break-in.

The downside to utilizing this compartment is that, just like the glove box, the center console is one of the very first places that are searched by individuals looking to take your things. Because of this, using the center console should also be limited to small amounts of time in well-lit, well-guarded areas.

Small TV screens on the backs of the front seats in a car.

Special Compartments

It is not uncommon for your car to have one or several secret hiding spots, often in places that cannot be seen from outside of the vehicle. Reading your driver’s manual can clue you in to where these spots are located, and help you stash away those priceless items when you’re leaving your car unattended.

Some examples of compartments that most vehicles are likely to have include things like the pockets on the backs of the passenger and driver’s seats, as well as underneath floor mats and inside the center console in the back row.

An open book with sticky note tabs sticking off the pages.

No Secret Hiding Spots? Make Your Own!

If your vehicle does not come equipped with clever places to stash valuables, the good news is that it’s very simple to find your own! These are a few locations that most cars have that make for great undercover safes for when you have to leave a valuable item behind:

  • Empty (or not so empty) containers: Boxes from things like tissues and sanitary products and containers such as first aid kits are typically avoided by burglars as they are not expecting to find your items there.
  • Hollowed-out books or manuals: Cutting a hole in a thick book or driver’s manual allows you to safely stash your phone or wallet in the glove compartment without worrying about anyone snooping around. Just one thing: make sure to avoid cutting a hole in your actual driver’s manual! You never know when you may need it. Use a fake one instead.

Extra Tip: Be Smart When You’re Hiding Your Things

If you know you will need to leave items in your car, it is recommended that you stash them before parking or exiting the vehicle. You never know when someone might be watching you put your smartphone in a book, or your wallet in your first aid kit.

Pop-A-Lock’s top priority is your safety. So when traveling by car and leaving valuables inside, use these tips, and remember: Pop-A-Lock provides car door unlocking services for when you accidentally hide your car keys along with your wallet or phone!

How You Need to Layer Up With Home Security This Winter

A house blanketed in snow.

The arrival of another chilly winter season often means one of two things: staying inside and getting cozy, or traveling (whether it be to see family for the holidays or going on vacation), leaving your home unattended. Regardless of which of these applies to you, it is crucial to take a few extra steps to layer up with home security in the winter time.

Not sure how to do that? Luckily for you, your local Pop-A-Lock experts have some helpful tips on how to stay safe and secure this holiday season.

Three people's sock-clad feet held out to the fireplace.

Your Security System

If you’ve just moved into a new home, or there is a different reason that you don’t yet have a security system, consider investing in one. This is especially crucial if you are planning to leave town for the holiday season, as you will not be able to respond immediately if something were to happen. Installing a security system that fits your home and its needs is the first step to ensuring your peace of mind, whether you are staying in or getting out this winter.

In addition to simply having one, there are extra steps you can take to increase the effectiveness of your alarm system:

  • Glass break sensors: These sensors monitor for the sound of glass breaking. These can be especially helpful if  your home has a lot of windows, or if there are several windows that are prone to break-ins (close to the ground, in a hidden area).
  • Open/close sensors: Not only are these handy to remind you when you’ve left a window open, they can also alert you to unusual openings and closings of windows and doors.
  • Security signs and stickers: Burglars may be deterred by the presence of a security sign or sticker on the windows.
  • Security cameras and doorbells: Many smart doorbells come with a motion-detecting camera. These doorbells and additional outdoor security cameras can be useful to let you know when someone unwanted is poking around outside.
  • Electronic locks: The key benefit of electronic locks is that they can be locked and unlocked from afar, allowing you to check and double check (maybe even triple check) whether a door is locked or not from a greater distance and without having to walk to the door inside the home.

Speaking of outdoor security cameras, there are several other things you can do to protect the outside of your home this winter.

Person taking the cover off of a motion detector showing the circuit board inside.

The Outdoors

The area around your property, such as the back and front yard, side yards, garages, or natural areas (forests and bodies of water) is just as important to keep an eye on as the inside of the home. As previously mentioned, security cameras are the first step to securing the outside of the home. Here are a few more things you can do:

  • Lights, lights, lights: There is almost no use for security camera systems if you cannot see what is happening on the video footage. Lights can also deter burglars, since entering a home that is well-lit is a deterrent.
  • Keep the exterior clean: If a home has snow build-up or an overgrown lawn, it will seem as though the home is not lived in. Intruders are more likely to want to enter a home if it seems as if the owners will not be back for a while.
  • Secure gates and fences:  If there is a gate in your back or front yard, secure it with a lock. Additionally, you can protect your yards or gardens by making it more difficult to climb the fences. This can be done by either making your fences taller, or adding obstacles (such as spikes) to the tops of fence posts.

Don’t forget the garage: The garage is also a vulnerable entrance point for intruders. If you tend to keep the garage open, consider installing a security camera inside the garage or simply closing it when nobody is home.

Two floodlights on a brick wall.

Inside the Home

Though installing a security system and securing the outside of the home seem like good enough precautions for home security, you cannot forget the actual home. All of your belongings, furniture, electronics, and even family heirlooms are at risk when you leave your home for long periods of time. Here are some things to think about when layering up with indoor home security:

  • Lock up small valuables: Valuable items such as jewelry should be hidden away, even locked in an inconspicuous drawer somewhere in the home. This is where it is important to think like a burglar; where is the last place they would think to check?
  • Invest in a safe: Important documents such as birth certificates and passports, as well as firearms and medications, should be kept in a locked safe that is bolted to the floor. If the safe is not bolted down, it still runs the risk of being carried out of the home.

Prepare a bright surprise: Motion sensor lights can be useful inside of the home as well as the outside. Intruders are likely to be startled by a light turning on in a room in a home they thought was empty.


Pop-A-Lock’s main goal is our customers’ security. If that means installing, inspecting, or repairing an alarm system or camera system, give us a call, we’ve got you covered. We want you to have the peace of mind you deserve this winter, no matter where you are.

What Level of Security is Best for Your Business?

Security camera in a modern office building.

Your place of work is your livelihood. The physical structure that your business runs out of contains important documents, information, and business assets that must be protected. That being said, finding the perfect level of security for your organization can be difficult, and having too much or too little can have dire consequences.

A person sitting at a table with a laptop in front of them.

Don’t Just Lock Up Your Documents, Password Protect

Security in a business goes far beyond simply placing crucial documents in a locked drawer or safe. Our world today runs on things like the Internet, the cloud, and other intangible data storage programs. When thinking about protecting your organization, it is important to consider tech security alongside physical security. This includes things such as:

Firewall: Installing a powerful and high quality firewall is the first step to securing your business’ online assets. Firewalls prevent viruses by scanning anything coming into the business network and deeming it safe or unsafe.

Email: Viruses can also enter into an organization’s network through things such as email attachments, fake addresses, and other types of email-based scams. A good way to prevent this is to educate staff and employees about the importance of keeping sensitive information confidential, especially if email is a commonly used form of communication for your business.

Wireless Network: Securing your organization’s wireless network with a Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) or a Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP) and turning off wireless networks during periods of inactivity (such as holidays or weekends) can help protect your company’s digital assets.

Security on the Premises

In addition to the protection of data and networks, securing your business’ premises and physical assets is of utmost importance. This is when you need to decide which level of physical security is best for your business:

Traditional Lock and Key: This measure of security is best for small businesses, especially in the case that you, as the business owner, either take the most valuable assets home with you at the end of the day or lock them in a safe. However, traditional lock and key systems require proper maintenance, such as lock rekeying, in addition to key management.

Visit these pages to find out more about Pop-A-Lock’s lock installation and lock rekeying services.

High Security Locks: This includes things like key control systems or electronic access control systems, and is typically used in medium to large sized businesses with fairly valuable assets. These allow for higher levels of security since there is little to no possibility of someone outside of your organization getting a hold of a key fob or door code.

Visit these pages to learn more about Pop-A-Lock’s key control and electronic access control services.

Biometric Security: Biometric security is the most advanced option, and is recommended for large businesses, often with extremely valuable assets, equipment, or documents. These systems limit accessibility to certain areas and base identification on biological traits (such as iris scans, fingerprint scans, and voice recognition). 

To learn more about Pop-A-Lock’s biometric security services, visit our biometric security service page.

Security Cameras: No matter the types of locks or key control systems you decide to install on the premises, it is important to invest in security camera systems that provide adequate coverage of the business location. Security camera systems can help give you an idea of the activity around the area your business is located in as well as provide insight into what other security measures can be taken to further protect your business.

A security camera on the ceiling.

How Pop-A-Lock Can Help

Your local Pop-A-Lock is here to assist you with any questions you may have with regards to the security of your organization, as well as installation and security audits. Contact your local Pop-A-Lock today and schedule an appointment with one of our expert locksmiths!

Your Ultimate Guide to Biometric Security Systems

Person's finger on a fingerprint lock.

Security systems with biometric capabilities are the pinnacle of security in the modern world. The word ‘biometrics’ has Greek roots, and literally means ‘life measurements’. These systems are top of the line high security options, and are very useful and high-functioning, especially for businesses.

Person's finger on a fingerprint lock.

What is Biometrics?

Biometrics itself is the measurement of physical, behavioral, or biological traits of an individual. These physical attributes can range from hair or eye color, to fingerprints, to tone or accent when speaking (vocal recognition). Therefore, biometric security systems are those that use these physical, biological, and behavioral characteristics to identify an individual and either grant or deny them access to a room or asset within a building.

Person's face being scanned to unlock a door.

Why Are These Systems Useful?

Though biometrics themselves have been around for almost 100 years, modern biometric security systems are highly advanced and very helpful when it comes to protecting buildings and the assets that lie within them, whether they be physical or digital. Since access is granted or denied based on individual features that are very difficult to recreate or change, the likelihood of an unauthorized person to be granted access is much lower than it would be with a less elaborate system.

Person holding their thumb on a keypad to unlock a door.

The Basics

A standard biometric system is comprised of 4 main components: the input interface, the processing unit, the data store, and the output interface:

  • Input interface: These are the sensors that read human data (such as a fingerprint or an iris scanner) and convert it into digital data.
  • Processing Unit: After the data from the sensors is converted into digital information, it is the job of the processing unit to, well, process it! This may include things like image enhancement, extraction of a specific feature, or comparison of the collected data with that which is stored in the database.
  • Data Store: The processing unit pulls information from the data storage which is used to compare the collected sample to the one logged into the system.
  • Output interface: This component communicates the decision, access granted or denied, to the rest of the system.

For example, let’s say you are attempting to enter Room A. You scan your  fingerprint or iris on the input interface. The processing unit receives data from the data storage to help the system determine whether your scan matches one that has been programmed into the database for someone that has access to Room A. If your scan does match, the output interface will grant you access to Room A.

Pros and Cons

As with any security system, there are certain advantages, as well as fallbacks. Biometric security is no different, and like all, is prone to shortcomings:


  • Individual characteristics are just that: individual. This makes it much harder to ‘break into’ a biometric system. It is much more difficult to recreate a biological characteristic than it is to duplicate a key, crack a code, or get your hands on a key fob.
  • Though the process of authentication may sound complicated, the user experience itself is very easy and convenient. There is no need to remember key codes or number combinations, and it is impossible to lose a key or access card since none exist.
  • With biometric systems, it is much easier to control who has access and when they have it. Simply deleting biometric data from data storage will ensure that that individual can no longer enter the facility or specific room, eliminating the risk of floating keys or cards.


  • As can be expected from the most high-tech security system, the cost for implementation is quite high when it comes to biometric systems. However, this is coupled with a high reduction in risk for your business and assets.
  • Additionally, privacy concerns can arise with biometric security. When a user’s individual facial features are scanned, they are converted into data and stored. This can pose a problem with regards to data breaches and surveillance. This data, if hacked or stolen, can be used to track a user rather effectively.
  • Though the biometric system is very powerful, it is still prone to bias, inaccuracy, and false positives. For example, if you were to injure the exact finger that is used in a fingerprint scan, this would create an issue. Additionally, individuals who are handicapped may not be able to provide the necessary data to log them into the system.


With all of this being said, it is ultimately up to the individual business owner to decide whether or not a biometric security system is the most optimal solution for their unique organizational needs. Furthermore, if you have any more questions regarding biometric security, or would like to schedule an appointment for a security audit or system installation, call your local Pop-A-Lock experts today!

The 7 Things You Should Never Leave in Your Car

Person driving a car.

Never Leave These 7 Items In Your Vehicle

Innocent mistakes often turn out to cause the most disastrous accidents. Extreme temperatures can do much more damage than spoil wine or groceries. When items are left in the car at low or high temperatures, they are at a significant risk. Studies have shown that the temperature inside of cars can rise 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes.  Here’s what you should never leave in your car to avoid putting your precious items and loved ones at risk.

A black pug looking out the open window of a red car.

Children and Pets

No matter how long an errand will take, you should never leave young children and pets alone in a car. Even if your car’s windows are cracked, the internal temperature of your car can reach dangerous levels in just 10 minutes. After an hour, temperatures can jump 45 degrees. Every year, an average of 38 unattended children, and hundreds of pets die from heatstroke in locked cars. Avoid a preventable tragedy and never leave your children and pets in a locked vehicle.

Black can of spray paint.

Aerosol Cans

Those labels on aerosol cans are there for good reason. As the temperature rises, the pressure inside an aerosol cans rises too. If stored in temperatures above 120°F, aerosol cans can reach dangerously high internal pressure levels. When left in the heat and/or direct sunlight, aerosol cans explode. This can cause serious injuries or damage to your vehicle.

An open pill bottle.


Did you know that most medications should be stored at room temperature? That’s because many active ingredients in prescription meds actually spoil or lose their effectiveness when exposed to high heat. A parked car never remains at room temperature, so avoid wasting medication and money by taking your medicine with you.

Apple laptop.

Valuable Goods

While extreme heat does not pose a high risk for most valuables, leaving them in your car presents a different kind of risk – thievery.  Leaving goods such as a purse, wallet, or electronics instantly puts a target on your vehicle for thieves. Even if you store these items out of view, be sure to hide charging cords and other less valuable items out as these signal to burglars there are more valuables out of sight.

Plastic water bottle.

Plastic Water Bottles

Many studies have found harmful chemicals such as BPA and phthalates in plastic water bottles. When left at high temperatures, these chemicals are leached into water from their plastic containers. Also, bottled water has a shelf life. If left for too long in a hot environment, bacteria and microorganisms can grow in the water posing a health risk for those who drink it.

Glass of white wine with the bottle next to it.


Picking up a bottle of wine after a long day at work is a treat most of us can appreciate. Just be sure to take your bottle of red, white, or rosé with you after you park your car for the evening. Leaving a bottle of wine in a hot car can alter the flavor and even spoil the wine. And if the liquid is left to heat up, it can expand and seep around the sides of the cork, resulting in spilled wine and a contaminated bottle.

Two full paper bags of groceries.


Keep grocery shopping at the end of your to-do list to keep perishable items from spoiling in your car. Fresh produce, meat, dairy, and other goods should be stored in the refrigerator no later than two hours after leaving the store. In the summer months, however, food should be put away in the refrigerator no more than one hour after being purchased to avoid spoilage. Removing perishable items from your car promptly will also reduce the chance of leaving an unpleasant smell in your car.

Call Pop-A-Lock

If you find yourself locked out of your car, call Pop-A-Lock and we’ll assist you right away. Our locksmithing experts can unlock any vehicle in a flash. We’re here to help!