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7 Steps to Secure Your Home Before Going on Vacation

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Planning for a vacation is exciting, but ensuring your home’s security before you leave is crucial. Here are seven essential steps to prep your home before you leave for your well-deserved getaway.

1. Secure every entry point. Securing your home goes beyond locking the front door. Before leaving, thoroughly check and secure every entry point, including windows, exterior doors, garages, and sheds. Ensure all windows are locked, and any valuables in vehicles are out of sight and stashed away securely.

2. Sort out your spare keys. It’s important to know where any spare keys are and who has access to them, no matter what. If you aren’t 100% certain you know where every key is, you should consider rekeying your home for extra security. We recommend rekeying your locks every time you move, so if you haven’t done that already, now may be the time.

3. Stay in touch. Consider installing smart security devices like doorbell cameras, smart locks, and remote-controlled lights to stay in touch while you’re away. Doorbell cameras allow you to keep an eye on your home and receive alerts if movement is detected. Smart locks allow you to ensure that all doors are locked when they need to be. Additionally, remotely controlling lights can create the illusion of activity, deterring potential intruders.

4. Choose a trusted house sitter to check on your home. If you’re considering using a house sitter, make sure to choose somebody you trust. If you have smart locks installed, we recommend setting a separate passcode for your house sitter to use and then deleting it once you return. Otherwise, make sure there is a spare key available and that you receive it back when you return.

5. Enjoy the moment – your followers can wait. In today’s world that allows us to share anything in an instant, it can be challenging to remember to wait – but it’s important that you post about your trip after you return home. It can be exciting to post about your upcoming travels, but it’s better to wait – that way you can post pictures, too.

6. Notify trusted neighbors. Inform trusted neighbors about your vacation plans, asking them to keep an eye on your property. Request their assistance in collecting mail, newspapers, or packages to prevent signs of an unattended home.

7. Contact Pop-A-Lock for peace of mind. Before leaving for your vacation, reach out to Pop-A-Lock for any locksmith needs at home or on the road. Our expert services ensure your home’s security, allowing you to enjoy your vacation worry-free.

The bottom line: 

Taking these proactive measures before you leave ensures your home remains safe and secure while you’re away. Remember that Pop-A-Lock is here to help with any of your locksmithing needs at home or on the road. For more information, or to get in touch with a local Pop-A-Lock locksmith in your area, 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.

Highrise security: five ways to secure your home while living in a multi-dwelling property

Everyone deserves to feel safe inside their homes, regardless if it is a single-family unit or part of a multi-dwelling complex. Security for these types of properties may look a little different, but the bottom line remains the same – keeping what matters most to you safe, accessible, and secure. For those who live in multi-dwelling properties, here are five tips to help upgrade your home’s security.

1. Rekey your unit. 

It’s important to make sure that your unit is rekeyed upon move-in. Most landlords will do this automatically, but it doesn’t hurt to check – and if you happen to lose a key or feel the need to rekey again, working with your landlord can make this an easier process. 

2. Install a front door camera. 

With front door cameras evolving at a steady pace, companies are now making renter-friendly door cameras that don’t require drilling and are less invasive to the building itself. Again, it’s a good idea to consult your landlord about this. These cameras are a great way to keep an eye on your doorstep when you’re away and can alert you of any activity near your front door. 

3. Keep your windows locked. 

While this is especially true if you live on the ground floor of a building, it’s still important on any floor to keep windows closed and locked every time you leave the house or go to sleep. While many go the extra mile to secure their front door, it’s easy to open a window to let some air in only to forget about it later on. You may not install burglar bars on windows or doors, and your landlord isn’t required to in most cases either, so your window locks are your main protection. Inspect window locks regularly, and if windows aren’t locking properly, immediately contact your landlord. It’s also a good idea to leave curtains closed when you’re not at home to prevent any snooping through your windows. 

4. There’s power in numbers. 

One of the advantages of multi-dwelling living is that many people share a common space, meaning there is a general awareness of your surroundings. Knowing your neighbors allows you to keep an eye out for each other. Whether you’re dealing with a porch pirate or a more serious threat, having extra eyes on your floor can deter break-ins and keep you in the know about any suspicious activity in your building.

5. Invest in renter’s insurance. 

While preventative tips like these help lessen the chance of an intruder, there is unfortunately no foolproof guarantee that an accident won’t ever happen. You may want to consider renter’s insurance, so in the unfortunate event of a break-in, you may be able to recover some of what is lost.

The bottom line

These strategies are just a few ways to proactively approach your home’s security and navigate the intricacies of multi-dwelling living with confidence. By implementing these practices, you not only safeguard your physical space but also cultivate a feeling of security inside the four walls of your home. For more information about how to secure your home while living in a multi-dwelling complex, 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.

Fail-Safe vs Fail-Secure Locks

“Fail-safe” and “fail-secure” sound like high-tech jargon from a movie or video game. So how do these terms relate to securing your property? To put it in layman’s terms, these electronic locks differ in how they operate during a power outage. Understanding the difference between fail-safe and fail-secure locks will help to ensure that your property is secure and that personnel have a means of exit in case of an emergency.

How do fail-safe and fail-secure locks work?

Whether a lock is fail-safe or fail-secure is dependent on its default position. When power is received by an electronic lock, the lock uses this power to move the mechanisms in the lock from its default position to its secondary position. If the power is interrupted for any reason, the lock returns to its default position. Think of it like this: when there’s no power with a fail-safe lock, you’re safe to exit; when there’s no power with a fail-secure lock, you’re secure inside.

Fail-safe locks

When fail-safe locks lose power, the lock returns to its default position of being unlocked, allowing safe passage through the door and preventing lock-outs. Fail-safe locks are ideal in situations when access to a property or parts of it are needed during emergencies.

Fail-secure locks

Fail-secure locks are more commonly used, as these locks will stay in their default position of locked if the power is interrupted. This type of electronic lock is used in many businesses so that in the case of a power outage, the door still keeps the building secure from intruders.

What to do if you’re locked out of a fail-secure lock

Fail-secure locks, while more secure than fail-safe locks, can be troubling in situations when there is no power and you’re locked out. This is why having a manual override, most commonly in the form of a traditional key, is usually mandatory (and always recommended).

How to choose which lock is right for you

When selecting a lock, you should consider the purpose that the lock will serve. A fail-safe lock is often used in situations where personal safety is a concern because it allows for easy exiting, while a fail-secure lock is typically used when property or assets need protection.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that, regardless of which kind of lock you choose, it must not hinder the ability of personnel to exit. If it is an exterior door, you will be required to have a manual override system for the lock that may be subject to regulations that permit emergency services access to your property.

The Bottom Line

Both fail-safe and fail-secure locks have their place in maintaining security and safety. You may want to consider using them in conjunction with one another to make sure that the different areas of your property have the most efficient security. To learn more about fail-safe and fail-secure locks, 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.

Home Security Audits – Addressing Potential Targets to Increase Your Home Security

Home is where the heart is, and home is where you deserve to feel the most safe and secure. Unfortunately, break-ins still happen,  which is why it’s so important to take the steps needed to increase the security of your home – and decrease your risk of burglary or theft. A home security audit is a great first step to ensuring your home is not vulnerable to these threats.  


Target 1: doors

Doors are your first line of defense, so it’s important to check the integrity and soundness of them. Are they breaking, brittle, or made out of weak material? If so, you may want to consider switching to doors made of solid wood or metal. Next, examine your door frames for any cracking or other signs of damage. An easy way to add an extra layer of security to your doors is by changing the screws in your hinges to longer, more durable screws to prevent the hinges from being pried or forcefully removed. 

Target 2: windows

Intruders may skip attempting to break in through doors, favoring windows because they are often less secure. Windows should have protective screens or even be storm-proof so they are more difficult to break into. Obstructions and hazards should be clear from both the inside and the outside of the windows to prevent any unwanted projectiles. Depending on where you live, you may want to clear tree limbs or similar structures to prevent unauthorized access to upstairs windows.  

Target 3: garages

Garages are another target that intruders may favor because of their exterior access and distance from the rest of your house. Garages should be cleared of obstacles and obstructions that limit identification and maneuverability and any tools, ladders, or other equipment should be secured. Lastly, garage doors should be kept closed and locked at all times.

Target 4: locks

All points of entry need adequate locks. As permitted by code, doors should have a double-sided deadbolt and window locks should not be accessible from the outside. You may even consider installing a smart lock system with video capabilities, giving you unlimited control of your security and the ability to identify any unwelcome guests. 

The bottom line

While no one can guarantee that these steps will 100% protect your home from intruders, following these steps is a way to help ensure your home is the safest it can be. As one of the nation’s largest and most trusted local locksmiths, Pop-A-Lock specializes in at-the-door security solutions, and we would love the opportunity to help better protect your home and business.

You can view our full Home Security Inspection Checklist on our website here. For immediate assistance, to make an appointment with one of our professional locksmiths, or to learn more about how to keep what matters most to you safe and accessible, visit us 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.

Smart Locks: How to Better Secure Your Home in the New Year

“Phone, wallet, keys.” We’re all familiar with this catchphrase – you know, what you say to yourself as you’re walking out the door for the day. As long as you’ve got those three vital items, you can pretty much get wherever you need to go. But wouldn’t it be easier to condense the list even more? What if you could do without one of those things or, better yet, combine them into one? That’s where smart locks come in. With smart locks for your home, you can enjoy the traditional security of a deadbolt with the convenience and added security of smart technology, making your home security accessible right from your smart device. 

What is a smart lock? 

Smart locks are battery-operated locks that open with an access code instead of a key, allowing for a more convenient exit from your home without compromising your safety. Smart locks lock and unlock through mechanisms that only you have access to, like a security code or app on your cell phone. Some smart locks are even biometric, meaning they need personal data like a fingerprint to permit access.

Benefits of smart locks

Have you ever wondered if someone, somewhere may still have a key to your home? Well, smart locks can help put that worry to rest. With smart locks, you’re in control and can grant or revoke access at literally the touch of a button. Do you have kids or teenagers who spend the afternoons at home alone? Well, with smart locks, you can say goodbye to the days of forgotten keys, ensuring your kids always have access inside. (Plus, you can always go lock up behind them).

Other benefits of smart locks include:

  • Avoid hiding keys outside of your home,
  • Provide access (at your discretion) when no one is home (for family, friends, or home deliveries),
  • Get notified when someone enters/locks the house,
  • And create multiple access codes for individual needs.

The bottom line

Overall, smart locks are a secure and convenient way to ensure you are always in control of your home security. Gone are the days of scouring the house for your keys or having to turn the car around to double-check that the front door is locked. By upgrading your home’s traditional locks to smart locks, you’re taking a proactive step to ensure that what matters most to you is kept accessible, safe, and secure. And that alone is priceless. For immediate assistance, or to learn more about smart locks for your home, 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.

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!

Why Your Garage Door Needs to Be Included in Your Security Audit

A outdoor photo of a home with a garage door.

Why is Securing the Garage Important?

Focusing on garage door safety is important because it is one further step in keeping your home and family safe from intruders. Did you know that a thief can break into a garage door in as little as six seconds? In addition, nine percent of burglars gain access to homes through poorly secure garage doors. 

The mere fact that garage doors provide easy access for burglars to enter your home is enough reason to take extra precautions securing them. Luckily, there are many ways to ensure your home stays secure – keep reading to find out more!

Check Out These Tips for Securing Your Garage

  1. Cover all exterior windows with frosted glass, adhesives, or privacy blockers. Thieves will often scope out their target areas before committing the crime. Covering your windows will help hide your valuables and reduce their motives.
  2. Install motion-detecting lights near your garage doors to increase visibility and deter thieves from breaking in. You’ve heard the saying that the thief will come in the dead of night – that’s because they can sleuth better in the dark. These lights will do well at exposing their actions and hopefully scare them away.
  3. Lock the house access door located inside the garage. Even if a robber gains access to your garage, it’s better to guarantee they can’t get into your home. Locking your house door in your garage is one extra step of security that will pay off if you ever need it.
  4. Invest in a garage door lock – door locks are a very affordable way to go the extra step with securing your garage door. The device attaches to the garage door, disabling someone from opening the door from the outside.
  5. A great way to improve the overall security of your home and not just your garage area is to install security cameras. Cameras reduce break-ins by 300% and are the most effective way to protect your home and family. 

Can Pop-A-Lock Help?

Pop-A-Lock has a free security audit checklist that you can do today – it will guide you through different areas of your home and help you guarantee it’s secure. The audit mentions the following ways to secure your garage area:

  • The audit further supports the use of motion sensor cameras outside the home.
  • It encourages homeowners to lock up valuables like tools with lock cables.
  • Joining a neighborhood watch group is highly recommended.
  • It reinforces the installation of special locks on the garage and home doors.
  • Get a new and more secure garage door if possible.

Our team focuses on these four safety points: to deter thieves, delay their access to your valuables, document their identity, and disclose break-in attempts to the police. Creating unappealing targets or making your home more challenging to enter are great ways to keep robbers away. If there are any break-in attempts, having the ability to document those attempts and submit evidence to the police will be crucial to help stop them in the future.

An outdoor photo of homes with garage doors.

Don’t Hesitate to Secure Your Home!

Our expert technicians are very passionate about keeping your home and family safe. Pop-A-Lock offers a variety of services geared toward improving your home’s safety. We offer lock installation and can even install electronic locks that are the most secure option for your home’s doors. Rekeying your locks is recommended after purchasing the house or after events that leave your safety feeling unstable – our team can help with that, too. 

Whether you need specific garage door services or need to focus on improving the overall security of your home, Pop-A-Lock is always there to help. Give our team a call to set up an appointment! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about our security audit – we’re happy to help!

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.

Security Systems for Beginners: Why Your Security System Needs Maintenance

Your security system can keep you protected from break-ins, burglary, and even fires, but only if you use it properly. This means activating your security system daily but also performing frequent maintenance checks. After all, if you’ve turned your system on but it fails to communicate with your monitoring provider, it completely defeats the purpose. Follow these tips to keep your security system in good shape and make sure you are protected at all times.

Check The Cameras

If your security system has cameras included, be sure to inspect them frequently. Be sure the cameras themselves are working and that the images or videos are being recorded in the security system.

Also be sure that no trees, bushes, or other objects are obstructing the camera’s view. Trees and bushes can also make an easy place for burglars to hide. Make sure your lawn is well maintained and that your address is not obstructed for emergency services to locate your home.

If your cameras are battery operated, make sure the batteries are fully charged.

Test the Control Panel

Every sensor’s signal passes through your security systems control panel. From here, it interprets each signal to determine whether to activate the alarm. 

Every panel should have a test mode that runs a self-diagnostic test to make sure everything is working properly. Some security systems may require you to notify your monitoring service before running a diagnostic test. If your monitoring service requires this and you fail to do so, emergency services will be sent to your home.

Check Your Sensors Frequently

Walk your premises once a week to check your doors and windows. Be sure the sensors are in place. Most of them use an adhesive that needs to be adjusted or replaced over time. Also, check the frame of the door and make sure there is no rotting, warping, or wearing of insulation that could make the door easier to break down.

As you check that your sensors are in place, make sure they are clear of dust and debris. Keeping your alarm sensors clean will ensure your system is working properly and improve its longevity. This is especially important if your security system has a motion detector sensor. A dusty, clouded motion sensor is more likely to falsely activate than a clear motion sensor.

Lastly, check that all the locks are working on your doors and windows. If you have electronic locks, check the batteries and replace them as needed.

Test Communication with Your Monitoring Service

It’s important to make sure that your sensors and cameras are connected to your security system but even more vital to check that your equipment is communicating with your monitoring service provider’s central station. Otherwise, nobody will know when to contact emergency services.

You’ll need to contact your monitoring services provider before beginning this process and ask them to put your security system in testing mode. If you don’t contact them first, they will think it’s a real emergency.

Press the panic button to make sure the alarm sounds. You can also open any doors or windows that have sensors to make sure they are working properly. Then, contact your monitoring provider to make sure your system is communicating with their central station.

Overall Safety Checks

Check the lighting outside your home. You should have lighting around the whole perimeter of the house. Replace any missing light bulbs and make sure any motion detector lights are functioning properly.

Test your fire alarm to make sure it’s working properly and replace any batteries that are running low. Your fire alarm probably has a carbon monoxide detector built in, but if you have a separate device for this, check that it is also working properly.

Keep fire extinguishers on every level of the home, being sure to keep one in the kitchen. Inspect these extinguishers every month and get them serviced if the pressure gauge reads low.

Lastly, Explain safety procedures to any children in the house, such as fire escape plans. Review house rules with any children in the house. This may include never letting strangers into the house or never giving strangers personal information. 

Keeping your security system up to date is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe in your home. If your system isn’t communicating with the sensors and cameras throughout your house, it serves more as decoration than protection. Even more importantly, if your system isn’t communicating with your monitoring provider, no one will know to contact emergency services.

At Pop-A-Lock, your safety is our number one priority. Click here to learn our top tips on smart security systems.