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Upgrade Your Fleet Management with Pop-A-Lock’s Preferred Partnership Program

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Managing a fleet of commercial vehicles comes with its fair share of challenges. From missing keys to unexpected breakdowns, these disruptions can put a significant dent in your business operations. Fortunately, our Preferred Partnership Program is designed to ensure that your fleet runs smoothly without any hiccups.

By partnering with Pop-A-Lock, you can say goodbye to unnecessary interruptions to your operations. Our program offers a comprehensive range of services designed to address all your fleet’s needs promptly and efficiently, minimizing downtime. Whether it’s a locked-out vehicle or a broken key, our team of professional locksmiths is equipped to handle it. 

Our fleet management services include:

1. On-site repairs: Our team of experts is always ready to provide on-site repairs, ensuring that your vehicles are back on the road in no time.

2. Key/key fob duplication: Whether you need spare keys for your entire fleet or replacements for lost or damaged keys, we’ve got you covered.

3. Rekeying services: Ensure the security of your fleet by rekeying locks as needed, preventing unauthorized access to your vehicles. 

4. Security audits: Identify and address potential security vulnerabilities in your shop or office with a security audit, minimizing the risk of break-ins or theft.

5. Electronic key cabinet systems: Keep your keys organized and secure with electronic key cabinet systems, streamlining your key management by eliminating the need for manual key management.

The bottom line: 

Our Preferred Partnership Program was created to meet the needs of your fleet, providing you with the support and assistance you need to keep your operations running smoothly. Our team of professional locksmiths works tirelessly to deliver fast, reliable, and professional service whenever and wherever you need it to keep your fleet operating at 100%. To learn more about our Preferred Partnership Program or to make an appointment with one of our professional locksmiths, visit our website at popalock.com.


Pop-A-Lock was founded in 1991 by local law enforcement officers who recognized the need for a mobile, on-site locksmith in their area. Since then, Pop-A-Lock has grown to become one of the nation’s largest and most trusted local locksmiths, providing peace of mind to over 8,500 communities. In addition to automotive services, Pop-A-Lock also offers at-the-door residential and commercial services. To learn more, visit popalock.com.

Proximity technology: is it worth it? 

One of the benefits of the world that we live in is convenience. We can talk to home operating systems, we have hands-free calling, and we can program our homes and cars from a distance. But does that convenience come at a price?

One of the most common features of cars these days is keyless entry – made possible by proximity technology. Proximity technology allows the user to unlock the car and even start it without actually touching the key fob. As long as the fob is within a certain range of the vehicle, you can hop in and go.  When the coded signal in the fob matches with the coded signal in the car’s internal computer, the vehicle’s systems activate, including the starter. This means that your keys can be buried in a pocket or at the bottom of a purse and you can still get into your car and go. Sounds like a win-win right?

As with anything in life, there are always drawbacks to consider like break-ins and theft, and proximity technology is no different.

The main step you can take to prevent theft is to block your fob’s signal from being duplicated or used by others. Key fobs with proximity technology use RFID or NFC signals to communicate between the fob and car door locks. This same technology is used in credit cards, garage door openers, and ID readers to communicate access through a signal. While it is not common, it is possible that this type of signal can be intercepted and even duplicated by thieves.

If you’ve ever heard of RFID-blocking wallets that protect your credit card chip signal from being duplicated, there are key boxes and pouches on the market with similar signal-blocking technology that prevent the signal from your keys from being emitted. You may want to consider keeping your key fobs in an RFID-blocking box when you’re at home and putting them in an RFID-blocking pouch while you’re out and about.

Certain fobs may also have helpful options to prevent keyless theft, so keep an eye out for these features in your manual. A few helpful features include a motion sensor fob which automatically stops sending out a signal if a key remains idle in one place or a setting to manually power the signal on and off. Having these features makes it easier to be in control of when the key is emitting the signal without the need for an external product to block it.

The bottom line

Overall, being mindful of where your keys are when you are not actively using the car and blocking the signal are the easiest ways to prevent key fob theft, whether at home or on the go. It doesn’t hurt to have a spare stored safely somewhere else in the house, too, in the event the worst happens and someone nicks your fob or fob’s signal. For more information about keyless fobs and preventing fob theft, call your local Pop-A-Lock or visit our website at popalock.com.


Pop-A-Lock was founded in 1991 by local law enforcement officers who recognized the need for a mobile, on-site locksmith in their area. Since then, Pop-A-lock has grown to become one of the nation’s largest and most trusted local locksmiths, providing peace of mind to over 8,500 communities. In addition to automotive services, Pop-A-Lock also offers at-the-door residential and commercial services. To learn more, visit popalock.com.

Which Valuable Items Should You Store in a Safe?

When it comes to protecting your valuables, both at home and at work, a safe is a necessary investment. Not only do safes keep your items secure from potential burglars, but they also protect against fires, floods, and other disasters. But with so many different types of safes on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your needs. In this blog post, we will go over some of the most valuable items you should consider storing in a safe, as well as some tips for choosing the right safe for your needs.

A diamond necklace on a plain gray background.

Valuables Fit for a Safe

One of the most valuable items that you should consider storing in a safe is your important documents. This includes things like your birth certificate, passport, social security card, and other identification documents. These items are not only valuable in their own right, but they are also essential for proving your identity and accessing various services. By storing them in a safe, you can ensure that they are protected and easily accessible in case of an emergency.

Another valuable item that you should consider storing in a safe is your jewelry. Whether you have a collection of priceless heirlooms or just a few sentimental pieces, your jewelry is likely worth a significant amount of money. Storing it in a safe can help protect it from theft, as well as prevent damage from fire, water, and other disasters.

In addition to your important documents and jewelry, you should also consider storing other valuable items in a safe, such as your cash, firearms, and sentimental items. Your cash is an obvious choice, as it is both valuable and easily portable. Storing it in a safe can help protect it from theft and damage. Firearms, on the other hand, require special consideration. Depending on where you live, you may be required to store your firearms in a specific type of safe, such as a gun safe, in order to comply with local laws. Sentimental items, such as family heirlooms, photos, and other keepsakes, can also be worth a great deal to you emotionally and should be protected in a safe.

A small, accidental fire caused by a lit candle.

How to Choose a Safe

When it comes to choosing a safe, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to consider the size of the safe. It should be large enough to accommodate all of your valuable items, but not so large that it’s difficult to find a suitable location for it. You also need to consider the type of lock on the safe. Most safes come with either a combination lock or a keyed lock, and both have their pros and cons. Combination locks are generally more secure, but they can be difficult to open in an emergency. Keyed locks, on the other hand, are easier to open, but they can be picked or bypassed by a skilled burglar.

Another important factor to consider are the fire and water protection ratings of the safe. Fires and floods can destroy not only your valuable items, but also the safe itself. Look for a safe with a high fire protection rating, ideally one that is rated to protect your valuables for at least an hour in the event of a fire.

Finally, you should consider the overall build quality of the safe. A well-made safe will be more secure and more resistant to burglars and disasters. Look for safes that are made from heavy-duty materials, such as thick steel, and have multiple locking mechanisms to provide additional security.

A safe is a necessary investment for protecting your valuable items. Some of the most valuable items you should consider storing in a safe include your important documents, jewelry, cash, firearms, and sentimental items. When choosing a safe, consider the size, type of lock, fire protection rating, and build quality. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be well equipped to protect the things that matter in the safe that best fits your needs. 

If you have a commercial safe that you can’t open, be sure to contact Pop-A-Lock’s commercial safe unlocking professionals to regain your much-needed access to your valuables!

Traditional VS. Push-To-Start: Which Type of Car Key is Better?

There are a few different types of car keys on the market these days. Some are the traditional, physical keys that have been used for decades. Others are the newer, “push-to-start” keys that are becoming more popular every year. So, which type of car key is better?

A smart key fob placed on a table.

Traditional Car Keys


  • Cost. The primary benefit of using traditional car keys is their affordability. Car keys are relatively inexpensive and can be found in most hardware or auto parts stores. Traditional car keys are also reliable and easy to use, having been the standard for decades until recently. Older cars may also be more likely to have problems with their electronic key fobs, making traditional car keys a more reliable option. 
  • Durability. Metal keys last a long, long time. Although they can still get worn down after years of use, they will likely outlast the vehicle itself. Smart keys often require upkeep and maintenance, such as replacing the battery regularly or opening and cleaning the interior chip boards. 
  • Ease of use. Some push-to-start systems involve entering a code into the door or following a series of steps to enter or start the vehicle in the name of security, which you have to do every single time you get into your car. With traditional keys, just insert the key into the door or ignition and be on your way. There’s a reason they’re the longstanding standard.


  • Easily lost. Traditional keys almost never have tracking devices built into them, while many smart keys, especially more recent ones, do. This makes them prone to theft or misplacement, and if that happens and you can’t find the key you may need to pay to have the entire ignition system replaced before your car is usable again. Aftermarket trackers exist to help solve this problem, but it’s hard to beat having this feature built in from the start. 
  • Inconvenient. If you’ve ever been carrying groceries, luggage, kids, or anything else that requires two hands and then have to somehow free up one of them to open your car, you know where we’re coming from with this one. Many new cars equipped with push-to-start systems also have sensors to open your car doors hands-free, and even if they don’t it can be much easier to just have to open the door rather than also get the key out of your pocket to unlock your car. In extreme cases, traditional keys can even get stuck in the ignition and require professional services to remove them.

A set of metal keys on a keyring.

Push-to-Start Car Keys


  • Convenient. No more fumbling around for your keys. Most push-to-start keys can stay in your pocket or bag from before you get in your car till after you finish your trip, and some can even be connected with your smartphone for ultimate convenience.
  • Increased security. While traditional keys can be easily duplicated, push-to-start car keys offer an extra layer of security by requiring a unique code and authentication protocol with your car to start. This makes your car much more secure and less vulnerable to theft. Although you can still duplicate your smart key to get a spare if you want one, it’s much more difficult for a thief to do so than simply making a copy of a metal key.
  • The “cool” factor. This is certainly more of a soft benefit, but it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t look and feel cool to push a button to start your car. 


  • Required maintenance. If the battery in your smart key dies, you’re going to find it difficult to get into or start your vehicle. The circuit boards inside smart keys are also often more delicate than in traditional key fobs, meaning that drops or dings are more likely to damage them.
  • Cost. Push-to-start keys themselves and the ignition systems in their cars are more expensive than their traditional counterparts, both in terms of purchasing the vehicle in the first place and when making repairs. The ignition systems in push-to-start cars are more complicated and have more intricate electronics than in traditional ignition systems, so if there’s ever a problem you might be on the hook for a hefty repair bill.

An interior shot of two people driving in a car at sunset.

Weigh the Benefits

Traditional car keys and push-to-start car keys each have their advantages and disadvantages. Traditional car keys are more durable and reliable, but they are more easily lost or stolen. Push-to-start car keys are more convenient and have added features, but they are more expensive and have a greater chance of malfunctioning. Ultimately, the choice between traditional and push-to-start car keys comes down to personal preference and budget. Luckily, Pop-A-Lock can service and maintain both types of keys, so definitely reach out if you’re having any problems with yours!

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!

How Does Your Home Stand Up to Pop-A-Lock’s Security Audit?

When you leave your home for the day or return for the night, you probably remember to lock the door, but your safety efforts shouldn’t end here. There’s a lot more that goes unnoticed when it comes to your home’s security. With Pop-A-Lock home security audit, you can make sure that you and your home are safe at all times. However, it’s just as important to understand why these safety measures are important. Let’s take a run through of the top items on our security checklist to see how they can keep you safe.

Check All of Your Entrances

One of the most important things you can check when it comes to your home’s level of security is whether your doors, and all of their components, are properly installed. You may think that having proper locks on your external entrances is enough to keep you safe. While this will prevent criminals from simply walking into your home, unfortunately it is not enough to prevent them from breaking in.

In addition to checking the condition of your locks, it is just as important to assess the security of the door frame, the hinges, and the material of the door.

If your door frame doesn’t feel secure, you can install longer screws or a latch guard. Latch guards are metal plates that protect the weakest points of the door – the space between the door frame and the door itself. 

Additionally, if your door opens toward the inside of your home, make sure your door hinges are tamper-proof or peened hinges. Peened hinges are a very secure way of retaining the pin. 

If your door opens toward the outside, adding a security stud can help protect your door hinges. Doors that open outward have their hinge pins on the outside of the building. If a potential intruder removes the hinge pins, the security stud protects the door from being removed by locking the leaves of the hinges together.

A hollow wooden door can be easily kicked in. If possible, opt for a solid wood or metal door as these materials are much stronger. If you have a doggy door or a mail delivery slot, it’s vital to check whether the locking mechanisms can be reached through these spaces. Even if the locks are not accessible from a doggy door or mail slot, it’s still very important to close and lock these openings when they are not in use.

Secure Your Garage and Basement

More often than not, homeowners disregard the security of their garage door. The problem with this is that many people store a lot of their personal belongings in their garage, not to mention that your garage likely has a door with access to the rest of your home.

All entrances from the garage to your living quarters should follow the guidelines discussed above – they should have secure locks, door frames, hinges, and door materials. Additionally, avoid leaving anything outside of your garage that could be easily stolen or give potential thieves a clue as to what other valuables you may have inside your home.

You may also forget to assess how well your basement is protected. After all, without access outside, it may feel like the basement is already secure. However, in extreme cases if you have to hide from a criminal who’s broken into your home, your basement will be the safest space. For this reason, you want to make sure that any doors to your basement have effective locks, including a deadbolt, and that they fit snug within their frame. 

Double Check the Windows

Ensuring that your windows are working properly and have the proper security measures installed is not only beneficial in protecting you from potential thieves or criminals but also from general injury. This is especially true when it comes to windows on the upper floor of your home.

It’s important to check that each window in your home has a securely attached window screen. Whether the window opens up on a higher level, or out to a hazardous area, the window screen will keep the outside out and the inside in. You’ll also want to double check the locks on the windows.

Deter Criminals with Proper Lighting

At the end of the day, if your home is not well lit, all of your other safety measures will be less effective. A highly stable and durable front entrance is important, but if a burglar can easily hide in the shadows while finding a way to gain entry, it defeats the purpose. Ensuring that your front door is well lit is a must. Neighbors and passersby will be able to see your door clearly and so will you – quickly deterring away a potential thief.

This rule shouldn’t end at the front door, however. You’ll want to make sure the entire perimeter of your home has lighting – especially any secluded areas in the back or side of your lawn. Your exterior should be lit in the most logical places with a bulb that is at least 40 watts. It’s even better if you can install motion sensored lights – this is the best way to stay on alert of suspicious activity on your property.

You Can Lean on Pop-A-Lock to Keep You Safe

Auditing your home’s security can feel like an overwhelming task, but with a little guidance from Pop-A-Lock, you’ll be able to reassess your home’s level of security and implement some simple tricks to protect yourself from burglars or other criminals. For any help you may need installing new locks, rekeying existing locks, or walking through the overall safety of your home, your local Pop-A-Lock is always ready to help.

Traits of a Great Locksmith: Why Our Locksmiths Are the Best

Choosing the right locksmith can be scary, especially if you are locked out of your car in an empty parking lot. Some companies do not prioritize timeliness, others may hire individuals who are not suitable for a locksmithing career. At Pop-A-Lock, we take great care in hiring the most qualified candidates for the job. If you want to know what to look for when choosing a locksmith, look out for these top traits of a great locksmith.

A person’s hands pressed against the outside of a car window. No one is inside the car, but the lights are on.

Friendly & Welcoming

If you’re calling a locksmith, odds are you are already feeling on edge. You want a locksmith who is sociable and easygoing. Someone with a contagious smile that makes people feel at ease. Locksmiths work with many different people, and it is not uncommon for customers to be in high emotional states as they deal with the stress of a lockout. Losing access to a home, business, or car causes anxiety in most people so it’s important for a locksmith to approach the situation in a calm and friendly manner.


Not only is it important for a locksmith to be patient when interacting with customers, but also as they gain entry to your locked home, business, or car. Locks have very specific parts and it takes time and patience to properly pick a lock without damaging the internal mechanisms. Some locks even have anti-tampering properties to prevent break-ins which can require even more attention to detail. Choosing a locksmith that has the patienceto do things the right way the first time around will save you a headache in the future.

A large pile of padlocks in different shapes and sizes with names or other markings on some of them.


It goes without saying that when you call a locksmith, you want to be certain they have experience in their field. The longer they’ve been in the business, the more trustworthy they are. As locks are made for the sole purpose of keeping unwanted visitors out, it takes an experienced locksmith to counteract the locking mechanisms. Even if you’re not dealing with a lockout, you want to feel confident that your locksmith can install new locks and duplicate keys with pristine accuracy.

Quick Response Time

A locksmith’s main mission is to keep you safe so you want to choose a company that quickly dispatches technicians to your location. At Pop-A-Lock, we will always send a professional locksmith your way as soon as possible. We even have a program to keep children safe in vehicles. The program, PALSavesKids, provides lockout services free of charge to rescue children who are locked inside a vehicle.

Two apartment buildings that are brick and steel with small porches on an overcast day.

Can Perform a Range of Services

There are two main benefits to choosing a locksmith with a range of services. First, if a locksmith works with residential, commercial, and automotive locks, they will be familiar with a variety of kinds of locks and therefore more experienced at problem solving. Additionally, when you find a professional and trustworthy locksmithing company, you’ll want to keep using that company. Pop-A-Lock provides every locksmithing service you may need – from lock installation and rekeying, to duplicating keys, to ignition repair. We want to form life-long relationships with our customers which is why we do everything we can to give you unbeatable customer service. 

Strong Moral Compass

The most important trait a locksmith should have is trustworthiness. If you are giving someone access to your home, business, or vehicle, you want to be assured that they are honest, ethical, and treat you and your property with respect. At Pop-A-Lock, we only hire individuals with discipline and a strong work ethic.

Why Choose Pop-A-Lock?

When it comes down to it, there is no single trait of a great locksmith. Rather, it is the combination of several important personality traits that makes an individual an excellent locksmith. Becoming a locksmith requires a strong work ethic, patience, and above all, empathy. Having a passion for helping others is at the very core of being a locksmith, and at the core of our company values. Your safety is our number one priority which is why we only hire highly qualified, friendly, and caring professionals. Whether you need help getting into your home, need to duplicate a car key, or want to install new locks for your office space, your local Pop-A-Lock is here to help!

Road Safety: 6 Car Security Tips for a Road Trip

Summertime is here and you’re packing up the car to head out on a road trip. Maybe it’s the beach or the mountains, or simply to see some friends and family – regardless, you want to consider your car’s security.  You can spend time creating the perfect itinerary, even curating the best playlist for your ride to guarantee a fun-filled road trip, but none of that will matter if you neglect ensuring your belongings and car are safe on the journey.

1. Keep Items Stored Securely.

The general rule of thumb about not leaving valuables visible in your car still applies to road trips – it is even more important to follow that rule while traveling. There are absolutely going to be moments along the journey where you will have to leave something of value in your car, but luckily we have created a guide showing you the best places to hide belongings in your car while away.  

2. Make a Plan – For Fun and For Security.

You’ll enjoy traveling more if you have a solid plan in place. It’s fun to plan your adventures and create a list of things to do along the way or for whenever you reach your destination, but creating a travel plan is equally important. Knowing where gas stations are along your route or the best town for sleeping along the way are all things you can do to maintain safe travels.

If you take the extra time beforehand to prepare your route, you’ll guarantee that you stay overnight in safe towns, which further protects you and your belongings. The same goes for planning ways to prevent a vehicle break-in. We recommend reading through one of our recent blogs to give you great advice on how to minimize your chances at having your car broken into.

3. Have an Emergency Kit Ready.

It can be a few key items or a whole entire emergency kit, but regardless you will be glad you had some supplies whenever you find yourself needing it. Here are a list of things you’ll want to include in your emergency kit:

  • Spare tire (bonus if it is properly inflated)
  • Jumper cables
  • Multipurpose utility tool
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Nonperishable foods 

4. Stay Alert At All Times.

Staying alert on the road looks like constantly scanning for road hazards, making sure you are staying well rested, and not getting distracted. The best way to maintain your car’s safety is to be a safe driver and practice being aware and alert anytime you are behind the wheel. Do not hesitate to pull over to take a call or ask someone in the car with you to drive for a while so that you can have a break.

5. Check the Weather Before You Leave.

Making sure you’re prepared for all types of weather before a road trip is essential for many reasons. If you are planning a trip in the winter or to a mountainous destination, certain precautions must be considered. Your car may need tire chains or new tires, or you may find that you have never driven in these conditions and feel unconfident. Also, if your journey takes you through unfavorable weather it would be wisest to check your windshield wipers and the tread level on your tires to ensure they can handle those conditions.

6. Ensure Your Car’s Parts Can Handle the Journey. 

This point ties into the weather related tip, but it includes much more. It’s best practice to look over the date your car last received an oil change. If it is due soon, it would be best to take care of that before your trip. The same rule applies for tires and batteries. You will thank yourself for checking these things before your trip versus if they became issues while you were on your road trip.

Extra Tip: Know That Pop-A-Lock is Always Here to Help.

Our top priority is always your safety and security. With locations all across the country, we are one call away from helping you unlock your car, prepare extra sets of keys before a trip, and even provide roadside assistance. Visit our website to find a location nearby and to browse the services we offer.

Unlock Your Car Smarter, Not Harder: The 5 Benefits of Smart Keys

Smart keys use radio-frequency identification, or RFID, to communicate with your car. The key contains a chip with an encrypted code that only your car is programmed to recognize. The antenna on your car reads the signal from this chip when it is within range, allowing you to unlock your car and start your engine.

Smart keys are becoming increasingly common as they are much more convenient, have added security and safety benefits, and can save you money in the long run. Smart keys are a luxury when compared with traditional car keys. After reading over these benefits, it’s a safe bet that you’ll never want to use traditional car keys again.

The Most Convenient Kind of Key

Smart keys offer several features that are far more convenient than a traditional key. This includes automatic setting adjustments, easy unlocking, and the ability to drive as long as your key is within range. 

With most push-to-start cars, all you have to do in order to unlock your car is touch your hand to the door handle. Some cars even unlock automatically when the key is detected within a certain range.

Many smart keys can automatically adjust to your settings based on which key is in range. This is very convenient when there are multiple drivers for the same vehicle. The vehicle will adjust the seat and mirror positions to match the detected key. It can also pre-set the climate control and radio settings.

Some cars even allow speed restrictions to be set when used with a specific key, which is ideal for teenagers who are just learning to drive.

Also, if a smart key gets lost during a ride, you can still drive your vehicle as long as the key is within range. If the car starts, you won’t have to worry that the key is lost. You’ll know for certain it has been misplaced somewhere inside the vehicle.

If this happens to you, just be sure to search for the key once you arrive at your destination so you can lock the car. The last thing you want is to leave the key inside where a carjacker could easily enter your vehicle and drive away.

Smart Key Security

Your smart key can also protect your belongings – the system automates the car locking process and greatly reduces the likelihood of your car getting stolen.

Most smart keys will automatically lock your doors once you exit the vehicle. If you’re often forgetting to lock your doors, your smart key will do the hard work for you. 

Since the RFID signal sent between your vehicle and your key fob is unique to your car’s sensor, it’s incredibly difficult to steal a car equipped with a smart key. Even if a thief manages to break into your car and attempts to hotwire it, the engine will not start without the encrypted code from your key.

Safety with Smart Keys

In addition to keeping your car secure, smart keys can also keep you safe by preventing your encounters with criminals.

If you’re in an unfamiliar area, or a place with a high crime rate, you don’t want to spend time stuck outside of your car. If a criminal sees you fumbling with your keys, they may take it as an opportunity to steal your purse, backpack, or wallet. With a smart key, you can quickly get into your car as long as your keys are within range. 

Because the smart key operates by sending a signal to your antenna, it is impossible to lock yourself out. This saves you the risk of getting stranded in an unsafe area, or on a busy street outside of your car.

Save the Hassle that Comes with the Ignition

Traditional keys can be heavy, especially if you keep your keychain full. Over time, this weighs down on the ignition. Ignition wiring is also typically heavier, whereas push-to-start wiring is thinner and lighter.

With traditional car keys, you run the risk of your keys getting sticky and even breaking off in your ignition. Even if your keys don’t get stuck, the ignition could simply not work over time as the unique etching on your keys wears down.

A smart key operates by battery and will warn you well in advance when the battery is low. If the smart key battery is low but not dead, the car will still operate. When the time comes to replace the battery, it is a very simple process. You can open most smart keys without any tools and quickly pop in a new battery which only costs a few bucks.

While we can’t speak for all locksmiths, Pop-A-Lock can duplicate and program virtually any smart key. This saves you a ton of money from the expensive key replacements of a car dealership. A smart key will also save you the risk of needing to replace your whole ignition. Coupled with the fact that you cannot lock your smart key inside your car, you’ll be saving money.

Smart Keys are a Luxury

Arguably the best benefit of smart keys is the luxury aspect. Though some cars still come with traditional keys, smart keys are becoming the norm and the average car owner prefers a smart key. They are far more convenient than a traditional car key, and the ability to start your car with the click of a button is too cool to miss out on.

Overall, smart keys have many benefits that outweigh traditional car keys. They’re convenient, help keep you and your belongings safe, and require little maintenance. They’re a luxury item that any car owner would be lucky to have.

Looking to duplicate your car’s smart key? Your local Pop-A-Lock is here to help!

Will a Deadbolt Keep You Safe? What You Need to Know About Break-Ins

The doors to your home are the first line of defense when it comes to burglaries and break-ins. If you don’t have effective locks on your door, you’re skipping on a big part of your home’s security checklist. A deadbolt is the best way to keep your home secure and prevent thieves from knocking down your door.

Burglaries of residential properties account for 62.8 percent of all burglary offenses. It might sound silly to mention locking your door as a critical safety tip, but 34 percent of those burglars enter homes through the front door. If the door is unlocked, they can just turn the handle and walk right in! By keeping your door locked, you’re already one step ahead. Having a deadbolt on the entrance to your home will take a standard door knob lock to the next level. Forced entry is involved in 55.7 percent of burglaries, and a deadbolt will make breaking down a door remarkably more challenging.

What is a Deadbolt and How Does it Work?

A deadbolt is a lock used in addition to your regular door knob that is moved by turning a key or thumb without the use of a spring. They’re heavier and more secure than spring bolts, which work by compressing when the key is in the cylinder to unlock the door. Once the door is closed, the spring automatically jumps back. A deadbolt is manually locked when you are inside your home, unless it is a double-cylinder lock.

Deadbolts are made of three main parts: the cylinder, the throw or bolt, and the thumb. The throw is the part that slides in and out of the door jam and can be locked from the inside by turning the thumb.

Most residential deadbolt locks are single cylinders. This means the door can only be locked from within the house. A double cylinder deadbolt has key access on the outside, making it available to lock from either side of the door. Though the double-cylinder deadbolt is technically more secure, single-cylinder deadbolts are the better option for most homeowners. This is because when the double-cylinder deadbolt is locked, a key would be required to exit, which becomes a safety hazard in the event of a fire.

Where Should You Have Deadbolts?

Ideally, you should have a deadbolt on every entrance to your home –  the front door, the back door, and the door to the garage. Unfortunately, having a deadbolt on the door that leads to your garage is often neglected. The garage door is a vulnerable part of your home security system. They can be easily kicked in, and sometimes even lifted manually. If your car is parked in the driveway, avoid keeping your garage clicker in plain sight. However, if a burglar does get a hold of your garage door key, having a deadbolt on the door from the garage to your house will prevent any further danger.

Will a Deadbolt Keep You Safe?

Locksmiths say a quality deadbolt is the best resistance to a home burglary. But is this enough to keep you safe? Research says that when forceable entry is used, burglars prefer kicking down a door over breaking a window. The noise of glass breaking draws more attention and poses a threat to the burglar. This is a good thing – it means you can focus more on the security of your doors than windows, which means a deadbolt will be significantly helpful.

However, since the possibility of breaking down a front door still exists, some additional safety measures that work well in tandem with a deadbolt are having a strong door and secure door frame. Solid wood and steel-clad doors are much better at resisting a break-in. If your door is made from hollow wood, it may not stand a chance against threats.

Though having a strong door is important, it’s typically the door frame that caves in, not the door itself. Strike plates should be reinforced by 3-inch sturdy screws, and secured to the frame of the house. Also, be sure that your door fits snug within the door frame and consider installing weatherstrips if there are any gaps.

By pairing a quality deadbolt with a strong door and secure door frame, you’ll be in good shape for resisting break-ins. A deadbolt makes residential break-ins much more difficult, and will deter away burglars. A single-cylinder deadbolt is best for homeowners and can help you feel safer in your home. And be sure to give your local Pop-A-Lock a call for any and all deadbolt and locksmithing needs!