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Locking Your Car Door | A Simple Step Towards Staying Safe

In today’s world, it’s important to take every precaution possible to stay safe. One simple step you can take towards keeping yourself and your belongings safe is to always lock your car doors. It may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people leave their car doors unlocked, especially in busy or public areas. By taking the time to lock your doors, you’re deterring would-be thieves and criminals from being able to easily access your car.

A person attempting to break into a locked car.

Lock Your Car at All Times

Statistics show that 9 out of every 10 burglarized vehicles were unlocked at the time of the crime. Locking up your car is the simplest and easiest way to keep yourself and your valuables safe. Even when you’re still in your car, or if you’re just running into a store for a quick errand, take the extra few seconds to lock your doors. It could be the difference between coming back to your car safe and sound or being the victim of a break-in.

Never leave your car running while you’re away from the vehicle. Stealing an unlocked, running vehicle is as easy as climbing into the driver’s seat and putting it into gear. Especially if you own a model of car that’s more likely to be stolen, you want to be sure you’re taking every precaution possible. Keep your windows up, your key out of the ignition, and your doors locked, and you’ll be well on your way to total car safety. 

Hide Your Valuables 

If a thief can see your valuables, they’re more likely to break into your car. Even if your car is locked, a thief may be able to break a window and grab your things. Hiding your valuables helps to keep them out of sight and makes it more difficult for a thief to grab them and run. Some ideas for where you can stash them include: 

In the trunk. This is one of the most obvious places to hide your things, but it’s also one of the most effective. A thief is less likely to break into a car if they can’t see what’s inside, and trunks are often more difficult for a thief to get into than the cabs of vehicles.

Under the seats. Especially if you have a sedan or SUV, you can usually tuck things under the seats out of sight. This is a great option if you have smaller items that you don’t want to put in the trunk.

In a bag or purse. If you have a bag or purse that you can put your valuables in, do it! A bag is a much less appealing target than, for example, a laptop or a pair of expensive sunglasses. Bags should still be placed out of sight if possible, such as under a blanket or towel, but even having this layer of protection is often enough.

In the glove box. Small items can easily be tucked away in the glove compartment, but be careful! Surprising items stolen from vehicles include registration papers and even owners manuals, and the glove box will be the first place a thief will look for these documents.

There are a variety of other ways you can hide your valuables, but these are just a few of the most popular options. Get creative! The important thing is to take a few minutes to hide your things before you leave your car.

Several cars parked in a row in a parking garage.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Choosing the right parking spot is another important consideration to keep your vehicle safe. Ideally, your spot will be somewhere visible from a window of your home, your office, or the store you’re stopping in, but of course this isn’t always possible. If it’s not, check for signs denoting security cameras and do your best to park around those. Cameras are an excellent deterrent against those looking to break into a car.

At night, it’s incredibly important to park in well-lit areas around other vehicles. An isolated car in a dark spot is an excellent target. With other vehicles around, the chances for your car to be chosen by a thief are lower and the chances for someone else to happen upon that thief at work are higher. There’s strength in numbers.

Also be sure to check who and what is around you when getting into and out of your vehicle. If you see anything suspicious, or anything that makes you uncomfortable in any way, keep the doors locked and move to a location that feels safe.

A blue car parked in an outdoor parking lot.

Safety doesn’t have to be complicated. By taking these simple steps, your car and your valuables are less likely to be targeted and more likely to be how you left them when you get back. But if your locked car doors are causing an issue for you, be sure to take advantage of the expert automotive locksmithing services from Pop-A-Lock!

Bon Voyage: Keeping Your Home Safe While You’re Away For the Holidays

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and, for many of us, travel. If you’re leaving for an extended period of time, it’s important to take some precautions to ensure your home is safe and secure while you’re away. Be sure to consult the tips below to help you prepare for your trip!

A white house in autumn with pumpkins on the porch.

Install or Arm Your Security System

If your home is equipped with a security system, be sure to arm it before you leave. If you don’t have one, this season of holiday travel may be the perfect opportunity to get one installed. Burglary statistics suggest that homes without security systems are about 300 times more likely to be broken into than those with a system. Few safety measures can claim to be as effective.

But, if you can’t get one installed, consider simply placing a security system sign outside. Even just this visual representation of home security can make a would-be burglar think twice about targeting your home.

Lock All Doors and Windows

The most obvious way to secure your home is to make sure all the doors and windows are locked before you leave. Remember to check your basement or garage doors, as well as any doors that may lead directly outside. 

A flimsy lock is no match for a determined burglar, so be sure your locks are in good working order and invest in high-quality deadbolts for your doors. It may also be worth considering electronic locks, both for their security and to help with the tip below.

Have Someone Check on Your Home

If you have a trusted contact in the area, it can be beneficial for many reasons to have them check on your home every so often while you’re away. This can be as simple as driving by and looking to see if anything appears out of the ordinary, but leaving a spare key behind or sharing the lock code so the friend or family member can enter your home if needed is a worthwhile extra layer of security.

A smart TV on a wooden TV stand.

Give the Impression You’re Inside

One of the most powerful ways to discourage someone from attempting to break in is to make them think there’s someone in the house. Having your home checked on while you’re away is one way to do this, but there are several other tricks to make it appear someone’s home even when they’re not.

Putting lights or TVs on a timer is one surefire way to give outside observers the idea that someone is home. If you have an existing daily schedule for times you already tend to use these appliances, it’s a great idea to set your timers to follow that schedule. 

You should also take steps to avoid mail piling up outside while you’re away. Pausing your newspaper deliveries and arranging mail pickups, possibly by the same person who will be checking on your home, are two potential strategies. If you’ll be gone for an extended amount of time, you may also be able to temporarily forward your mail elsewhere for the duration of your trip.

Hide Your Valuables

If you store any expensive items or keepsakes in spots visible from an outside window, it’s certainly a good idea to hide them away while you’re gone. This can be as simple as shutting your blinds or curtains, but the best choice would be to have a water and fireproof safe to keep things in. If your valuables are small and easy to move, you could also consider giving them to a trusted friend or neighbor while you’re away.

Take Pictures Before You Leave

While this tip won’t prevent someone from breaking in, it can be a lifesaver if the worst-case scenario happens and there is an intruder while you’re gone. This photo proof of items that may have gone missing will save you the headache of attempting to itemize everything that was damaged or taken. 

To go along with this, make sure your property or renter’s insurance policies are up to date before you leave. Again, this won’t keep away any unwanted attention, but it will make a world of difference if you need it.

Two hands holding sparklers at dusk.

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday!

Following these steps can help you fully enjoy your holiday without having to worry about what might be happening back home. We hope this article makes your trip as enjoyable and safe as possible. 

From all of us at Pop-A-Lock, have a wonderful holiday season!