(571) 888-3230

I Locked My Child In My Car, What Do I Do Now?

I Locked My Child In the Car, What Do I Do Now?

In case of emergency:

  1. Call 911
  2. Block any sunlight you can from getting in the car 
  3. Keep track of time so you know how long the child has been in the car
  4. Look out for signs of heatstroke – bright red or flushed cheeks, confusion or lethargy, and sometimes vomiting
  5. Contact an emergency locksmith

As a parent, you do your best to keep your child safe. You anticipate dangers, securing your home and vehicle. Despite these efforts, accidents do happen, even with the most responsible of parents. If you accidentally lock your child in the car, take comfort knowing that Pop-a-Lock offers a free service to rescue your child. Even if the temperature outside is a pleasant 70 degrees, the temperature inside a closed vehicle can rise to 89 degrees in a matter of minutes. To save your child, don’t panic but act quickly and take the following steps: 

Call 911: 

A child left in a hot car is an emergency. Especially in the summer, you need to take action right away. Call 911 immediately and calmly explain your situation to the dispatcher. Emergency services will send police and firefighters to help get your child out of the vehicle.

Block Sunlight: 

To keep the car as cool as possible, do anything you can to block sunlight from entering your vehicle. Use nearby resources such as blankets or towels to create some shade for your child as you wait for emergency services.

 Keep Track of Time: 

Depending on the temperature outdoors, vehicles can reach temperatures upward of 100 degrees within ten minutes. Time is of the essence, so if emergency services fail to show up promptly, then you may need to break your window to save your child. 

 Know the Signs of Heatstroke:

According to the nonprofit organization, Kids And Cars, about 900 children locked in cars have died of heatstroke since 1990. A child with heatstroke typically has bright red or flushed cheeks, displays confusion or lethargy, and even begins vomiting. Heatstroke also limits the body’s ability to sweat and can either cause the pulse to weaken or speed up abnormally. 

Go Easy on Yourself:

Many parents and caregivers feel distraught and guilty for accidentally locking their child in the car. As long as you are able to take action to get them out immediately, the next step is to make a plan for the future. The following tips can help you avoid the same accidents moving forward: 

  •     Keep a reminder of your child (toy, blanket, etc.) in the front seat next to you.
  •     Keep your briefcase or purse in the backseat near your child. 
  •     Limit distractions and stay off of your phone while driving.

If you notice any other child unattended in a vehicle, call 9-1-1 and an emergency locksmith immediately.

Contact an Emergency Locksmith:

The Pop-a-Lock emergency locksmiths are here to help parents  rescue children who’ve been accidentally locked in cars as quickly as possible. Through the PAL Saves Kids program, Pop-a-Lock offers these vital rescue services 100% free of charge, and  has rescued thousands of children across the United States. The PAL Saves Kids program helps families and provides educational resources to parents and is always available if the unthinkable happens and your child becomes locked in your car. Don’t despair, and don’t wait to take action. Call Pop-A-Lock for help right away!  

 

Do I Need Lock Repair Or A Whole New Lock?

Do I Need Lock Repair, or a Whole New Lock?

As a homeowner, you should always be aware of the condition of your home’s locks. During daily use, be sure to look for signs of wear and tear, along with  potential issues that could lead to malfunction or easy break-ins. As a general rule, it is also a good idea to have a professional check your locks once a year,  making sure that everything is in working order and suggesting repairs and replacements when necessary. 

 

There is a significant difference between repairing and replacing a door lock. While repairs typically involve fixing or replacing pins and springs within the lock cylinder, replacing a lock entirely will require the removal of the old hardware and installation of entirely new hardware. 

What are the signs that a lock needs to be repaired?

As you enter and exit your home each day, pay attention to how your lock functions. There are some telltale signs that a lock should be repaired, including: 

  • Difficulty turning the key – If turning your key in the lock requires more force than it used to, your lock could be getting old and might be in need of repair. 
  • The key gets stuck frequently – Has your key ever become stuck in the lock? Even if you’re able to remove it successfully, this is a common sign that you need to repair the lock before the key gets stuck and you can’t remove it. 
  • Frozen parts – Over time, it is possible for parts of the locking mechanism to become frozen and not move, even when the key is in the lock. 

 

There are other signs that you need to have your locks repaired, such as if they’ve become damaged by inclement weather,  if you’ve lost your key or had it stolen. In some cases, it is more cost-effective to have a professional rekey the lock (which entails replacing the pins and springs with new ones that work with a new key) instead of replacing your locks entirely.

What are the signs that a lock should be replaced?

While it is a good idea to replace your locks every few years to protect yourself, your family, and your belongings, there are certain circumstances in which it is essential to replace your locks right away. Signs that you need a new lock include:

  • You’ve been a victim of a break-in – This is one of the clearest signs that you need to install new locks on your doors. You may want to upgrade your lock system or simply replace the locks out of an abundance of caution.
  • Your locks have been damaged beyond repair – Sometimes it’s impossible or unwise to repair a lock. Burglars will often damage locks when breaking in, or sometimes a lock will be damaged on accident. 
  • Your lock has become rusted and weathered– For locks that are exposed to the elements, rust and other damage is a notable concern. Rust inside a lock could prevent the teeth of the key from sliding under the tumblers and pushing them up. If your lock shows signs of rust or other weather damage, consider scheduling a replacement.
  • Your lock is old – Over time, particularly for locks that experience frequent use, your lock could become worn and less effective at letting you in and keeping others out. There also may be multiple sets of keys floating around (friends, neighbors, former roommates, and other residents), and you might wish to take control of your home back by replacing your locks entirely rather than having them rekeyed. 

 

Contact Pop-A-Lock for Help Rekeying and Replacing Your Locks

While you might be tempted to “do-it-yourself” and repair or replace your locks on your own, many people find that the task is very challenging and mistakes can be costly. Far too many homeowners have attempted to work on their own locks, only to damage the lock or the door itself, and have been forced to spend more money than they would have if they had hired a professional from the start. 

 

Fortunately, hiring the professionals at Pop-A-Lock is both easy and reasonably-priced. Our highly-trained and knowledgeable locksmiths are ready to help repair, rekey, or install a new lock any time you need us. We provide 24/7 lockout service for those who’ve experienced broken or damaged locks, so call us or reach out to us online to find a professional locksmith near you. 

List of Common Lock Types

Common Lock Types

Whether your needs are residential, commercial, or automotive, having the proper type of lock is  necessary for maintaining the security of yourself, your family, and your belongings. One factor that people often struggle with is determining which lock is right for their specific needs.

Many different types of locks are available for a wide assortment of purposes.  We know trying to choose the right lock can be overwhelming. However, don’t stress. You can get answers to all your lock questions when you work with the professional locksmiths at Pop-A-Lock.

Types of Locks

Some of the most common kinds of locks used include:

  • Padlocks — A padlock is a detachable type of lock installed on your door. It is usually composed of three components: a body, a shackle, and some kind of locking mechanism to keep the door securely shut.  The locking mechanism of padlocks may be integrated or modular. These locks commonly are used to lock things together, but they can act as a security device on certain types of containers or doors.
  • Deadbolt locks — Generally installed on external doors, a deadbolt lock can only be opened through the rotation of a key. This kind of lock is more complex, providing more security as the single cylinder deadlock allows a key on only one side.   The other side, normally interior-facing, is solely operated by a twist knob. , These locks can also feature a double cylinder. The double cylinder lock allows keys on both sides without a twist knob
  • Doorknob — It’s important to note that not all doorknobs  have a locking function, but many do have locking mechanisms built in. The lock on a doorknob is often seen in the form of a small button or lever on the handle of the doorknob.
  • Lever handle locks — Lever handle locks are seen on the handles of doors. There are three different grades of security. Typically, Grades 1 and 2 are used for commercial applications  and Grade 3 is for residential use.
  • Electronic door locks/Smart locks — A smart lock is a newer type of lock. These locks are electronic, and use either Bluetooth, WiFi or Z-Wave communication to interact with other electronic devices in your home. You may use an app on your phone or a fob, but  some electronic door locks feature touchscreens or keypads for access.
  • Passage Sets — A passage set is a hardware set which allows the functioning of a bolt into a door strike but not that ability to lock the mechanism. For this reason, passage sets are more common in areas not requiring security or privacy.
  • Mortise locks — Commonly used in commercial construction, a mortise lock consists of a lock chassis, two levers, and a mortise cylinder. These locks are more expensive but can also last much longer than other kinds of locks.

Need Help Finding the Right Lock? Call Pop-A-Lock Today

When you are  facing any kind of lock issue at your home or business, it’s important to always get  the professional opinion of a trusted locksmith. When you contact your local Pop-A-Lock , you know you will always be provided with the help of one of the most trusted locksmith companies in the nation.

Pop-A-Lock uses its Home Site Security Audit to give customers a more thorough look at the current security measures at home and consider additional options for a safe environment. We can also rekey commercial locks for businesses, and offer a Commercial Site Security Audit.

Pop-A-Lock was founded in Lafayette, Louisiana, but has quickly become the largest professional locksmithing franchise in the United States. Our Pal Saves Kids Program is a free community service dedicated to saving children who are inadvertently locked in vehicles.

You can call (800) POP-A-LOCK or contact us online to discuss your lock questions. We provide emergency unlocking services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I Think Someone May Have Tampered With My Locks, What Do I Do Now?

If you have noticed that your home lock has been tampered with, or if it appears that someone tried to break in, you are probably experiencing feelings of anxiety, fear, and stress.

This blog will explain exactly what to look for if you believe your lock was tampered with, as well as detailing what actions to take with the help of an experienced locksmith.

Signs Your Lock Was Tampered With

If you suspect your lock has been tampered with, start with looking for these common signs:

Brute force. Signs of brute force include bent deadbolts or latches, warped doors or door frames, and the presence of small paint circles caused by moving the locking fixture. Criminals will often try to drill through a deadbolt, bash in a lock, or kick in a door. These actions often leave a trail of splintered wood and twisted metal.

Lock does not function. If there are no visible signs of damage, you may notice that the key does not turn properly. This could be an indicator the lock has been tampered with.

Bumping: By using a “bump key” – a dummy key of sorts – and hammering on the lock, a criminal can open the lock and gain access. When bumping is done correctly, it leaves little to no evidence. However, sometimes inexperienced burglars can leave identifiable marks. Signs of bumping include new nicks around the keyhole and shiny metal edges that look like they have recently been hit.

Picking: This occurs when a burglar employs small tools such as a pin or screwdriver to turn the lock and rake the pin tumblers. Once the tumblers catch the lock, the doorknob will turn. While picking requires much skill and patience, the method is gentler than bumping and may not leave a trace. A common sign of picking is tiny scratch marks and some exposed metal around the keyhole. It’s not likely to show dents or warped bolts.

How to Take Action

If you believe your lock has been tampered with, you will want to contact a locksmith as soon as possible. Take inventory of all your valuables and let your neighbors know about the attempted break-in. You may want to have a deadbolt lock installed, rekey, or install a new lock.

Contact Pop-A-Lock for Lock Rekeying and Repair

A trained and highly skilled Pop-A-Lock technician can repair your locks quickly and at an affordable price. We can repair or install all lock brands, models, and types. Our technicians will come to you, always arriving in a marked vehicle and uniform. They are fast, reliable, and have all the tools and equipment needed to get the job done quickly and correctly.

You can always count on the lock and key professionals at Pop-A-Lock for all your lock repair and installation needs. Don’t put your safety at risk by not having your locks installed by a professional. Call 1-800-POP-A-LOCK today if you need immediate service. We are available 24/7 to serve you.

How To Avoid Scammers and Choose the Right Locksmith

There were an estimated 263.6 million registered vehicles in the United States in 2015, and that number is continually growing. There were also an estimated 127.59 million households in the United States in 2018.

That means there are over 400 million locks – if you add business and commercial locks – and over 1 billion keys in the US that can be stolen or broken. The odds are that you or someone you’re with will need to call a Pop-A-Lock locksmith at some point in time.

But how do you know you can trust someone you find on the internet?

Unfortunately, locksmith scamming happens regularly. However, there are signs to look for and tips to know that will help you avoid being scammed. If you know what to look for – and what to avoid – when you get in trouble, you won’t be taken advantage of, or put yourself in harms way by locksmith scammers.

Be Proactive

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is don’t wait until you’re rushed or panicked to find a trusted locksmith. If you take the time to do research before you need a locksmith, when the time comes you’ll know who to call and feel confident in your choice.

Things to research ahead of time:

  • Should be well-reviewed – If you Google search for “locksmiths near me,” there will likely be a lot of results that come up. One of the first things you should look for is if a locksmith is well-reviewed. They should have a significant number of reviews, and those reviews should be majority positive.

Example of Pop-A-Lock Houston's Google Maps listing

  • Check for licensure and locksmith ID when applicable – A trustworthy locksmith will have a locksmith ID, and will be licensed if in a state that requires licensure. These should be indicated on the locksmith’s website. You can also find out more about state licensing requirements here.
  • Look around on the website – A trustworthy locksmith should have branding, which will be obvious on their website. They will also note things like a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, potentially case studies from past work, a blog providing knowledge and expertise, and more.

When You Call the Locksmith

So, you find yourself locked out of your car at your daughter’s soccer game, or after meeting some friends at the mall. You’ve done some research before on local locksmiths and you feel pretty confident on the one you’ve chosen to call. Once you get on the phone with the locksmith, there are a few things you can look out for, to verify whether or not they’re trustworthy.

Once you get on the phone with the locksmith:

  • Ask for a cost estimate. It’s best to call and talk directly to a technician, so they can get all the details and information they need to give a quote. If possible, it’s a good idea to ask the technician to send the quote in writing as well, after talking to them verbally. Ask up front about any potential additional charges that may come up.
  • Make sure they answer the phone with the company name. Don’t trust a generic answer like “Hello, locksmithing services.” This is a big red flag.
  • Ask about payment methods. Requiring you to pay in cash is another possible red flag, and likely means you should avoid that locksmith.

When the Locksmith Arrives

You found a locksmith that you’ve read about in your research and seemed trustworthy over the phone. That’s great!

Odds are, by this point in the process you would have figured out if a locksmith seems shady or not. But don’t totally let your guard down just yet.

When the locksmith arrives on the scene, some things to look for include:

  • They should be in a clearly marked vehicle and/or uniform. A trustworthy locksmith will show up in a branded company car,  not a personal car, and possibly a uniform as well. At Pop-A-Lock, we guarantee our technicians will arrive in both a clearly-marked car and a uniform to ensure easy identification!

  • Drilling a lock should always be a last resort. Professional locksmiths go through extensive training to ensure they can fix a lock or key with the absolute minimum amount of damage to any car or home. If they say immediately that they’ll need to drill the lock, they are not a professional and not trustworthy. There are some cases where drilling may be necessary, but it will always be a last resort, and the locksmith should make clear that other tactics will not work.
  • The cost should not vary significantly from the quote they gave you. Once the locksmith arrives and sees the situation in person, there may be a small fluctuation in cost due to certain variables. However, the cost change should never be significant, and no work should be done without the approval of the new cost.
  • They should have an ID on them.  As with everyone, this helps confirm they are who they say they are.

Don’t Be the Next Locksmith Scam Victim

Having to choose and meet someone from the internet is always scary. Especially if you’re in an emotional state – like being locked out of your car or home – and might not have time to think clearly or think every detail through.

And, unfortunately, there are people out there willing to take advantage of other people. Particularly of naive people. This doesn’t have to be you, though!

When it comes time for you to pick a locksmith, there are a lot of indicators you can look out for that will quickly let you know whether or not they’re trustworthy. Do your research ahead of time, listen to your gut, don’t trust someone who can’t give you a straightforward answer or seems inexperienced.

Pop-A-Lock is located nation-wide and provides 24/7 mobile, emergency unlocking services! If you find yourself in need of a locksmith, we’ve got you covered! Anywhere, any time. CALL US today!