Security Checks for Sheds and Outbuildings

We tend to spend more time outside in these summer months. As a result, we tend to spend more money, as well. After winter, we’re outside tending to our gardens and lawns, cultivating their beauty with our expensive garden and landscaping tools. Garden equipment may seem like frivolous items, but like many of your possessions, they are worth protecting. Therefore, it is important to make sure that any sheds, garages or outbuildings are properly protected against theft. The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) recommends ways to keep your tools safe.

Security Checks for Sheds and Outbuildings
Security Checks for Sheds and Outbuildings


Tip #1
This may seem obvious, but it is important to put your tools away after you’re finished using them. Not only does this keep things in its proper place, but it also prevents any thieves from the temptation of taking any equipment that is not properly stored.

Tip #2
Always check doors and windows on any outbuildings. Check for:
broken windows, and
any other sign of weakness.

It is also important to check all of your padlocks, to make sure they are in good shape.
Many consumers purchase simple locks and install them themselves. However, with your expensive garden equipment, consider hiring a professional locksmith for the task.

Tip #3
Make sure to install lighting around any outbuildings. Another option could be an alarm.

Expensive tools are worth protecting; however, be aware that they are often used as a means to break into other buildings, as well. This is even further incentive to make sure they are securely stored. These small investments in security can prevent you both loss and damage.

Need help with your shed? Reach out to us at 904-246-4590 for a top quality, professional and honest locksmith in Jacksonville.

How to Choose the Best Door Lock for Your Home

Door Locks: A Burglar’s Perspective

A door provides a quick and easy way for a burglar to break into your home. However, a good high-quality lock is a great and effective deterrent. After being interviewed, many intruders said that when they saw quality deadbolt locks, they selected another target and moved onto another house.


A study conducted by the California Crime Technological Research Foundation shows that the most common techniques used by burglars to break into single-family homes are (listed from most-often used to least-often used):

32.00% Through unlocked window or door
26.64% Forced entry by impacts
24.02% Prying or jimmying
6.79% Use of pass key or picking the lock
5.10% Entry attempted, but failed
5.45% Other or unknown

A burglar has many methods to break into a home. Burglars like doors that:
• Are left unlocked
• Can be kicked in
• Have locks that can be picked
• Have locks that can be hammered until they fall off
• Can be pried open
• Have frames can be spread apart with a spreader bar
• Have locks can be “drilled out” using a power drill
• Have locks can be pried off with pipe wrenches or pliers
• Have glass panes in, or beside doors, that can be can be broken so the intruder can reach in and unlock the locked door

And sometimes thieves can obtain a copy of the house key from an acquaintance.

The intruder will find and select a door that looks the easiest to break into, offering the smallest chance of being seen and caught. Many times intruders get the opportunity to hide from view in the midst of breaking and entering through doors going into the garage or from an attached garage into the house. Extra caution and more planning should go into the security of these areas.

Here are a few tips on how to protect your home from dangerous intruders and burglars:

Install locks with deadbolts
In residential construction, there are essentially two types of bolts used on exterior doors: latch bolts and deadbolts. Deadbolts are superior to latch bolts. However, some locks combine the two bolts into one, which offer even greater protection.

Install locks with an ANSI Grade 1 classification
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a grading system that measures the security and durability of door locks. The ANSI has standards, developed and maintained by The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association Inc. (BHMA), that compares and measures the security and durability performance of door locks.

But not all Grade 1 locks are equal. Various different types of door locks are tested differently under ANSI standards. However, the grade designation system is the same.

Install locks with key control
Key control is not as complicated as it sounds. It is simply controlling who has copies of the keys to your home. Many door keys can be copied at a local hardware or retail store – even here at Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville. However, many manufacturers now offer locks using keys that cannot be copied except by particular locksmiths or only by the manufacturer themselves.

Key control can help protect your from:
• In-home help who have been fired or quit, but they made their own copy of your house key.
• In-home help may have acquaintances who burglarize homes, and who might try to acquire a key through them.
• Mechanics who may try to make duplicates of your house key while working on your car.

Key control may require extra effort, such as a letter to the lock manufacturer or a trip to the locksmith to get a key made. However, the safety of your loved ones and belongings far outweigh the factor of inconvenience.

Call Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville at 904-246-4590 or visit us on the web at to see how can be help you today.

Jacksonville Residential Locksmith: Home Locks 101

Spring-Bolt-Lock-Jacksonsville Locksmith
A Key-In-The-Knob Spring Bolt Lock

A burglary takes place in the U.S. every 14 seconds, and the average loss per burglary is almost $2,000. Did you know that most burglars still get in through your front or back doors? Upgrading your home locks is a small investment with major payoffs. If you’re not sure what kind of locks are currently protecting your home in Jacksonville, take a look at the major types of locks to see what’s on your door — and how well it works.

Spring bolt locks

If your usual routine involves sticking a key in a door knob and turning the knob, you most likely have a spring bolt lock. Also known as key-in-the-knob locks, spring bolt locks are extremely common. The bolt is spring loaded and can be manually pushed in. Another giveaway that you have a spring bolt lock is if you can lock the door and then pull it shut behind you. The spring lets the bolt retract when it hits the door jamb. Unfortunately, spring bolt locks, while convenient, are not very secure. If there’s any gap between the door and the door frame, a burglar can simply push the bolt to retract it and then open the door. Spring bolt locks also make it easier to lock yourself out.

Schlage-Deadbolt-Jacksonville Locksmith
A Schlage Deadbolt



Deadbolts are more secure than spring bolt locks because the lock cylinder must be rotated in order to retract the bolt, most commonly with a key on the outside and a thumb-turn on the inside. A half deadbolt is invisible from the outside (and therefore has no key way to be picked or bumped) and locks with a thumb-turn on the inside, making it a good way to stay secure while at home and overnight. A double deadbolt requires a key on either side to lock or unlock the door. If you currently only have a spring lock on your door, adding a deadbolt will deter thieves and increase your security.


Schlage-Keypad-Lock-JacksonvilleElectronic access / keypad locks

Once reserved for commercial buildings, electronic access locks are now available for homes. These locks use an electric current to lock and unlock. Although you’ve probably seen electric locks at hotels that operate with cards, residential locks usually have number pads. Enter the right code, and you’re in. One major advantage: if you ever need to keep out someone who has the code, you won’t need to hire a locksmith to rekey your locks. You can just change the code. Pop-A-Lock of Jacksonville offers electronic, biometric, and many other digital locks.

Bump resistant / bump proof locks

About 90% of American residential locks can be ‘bumped’ open with a modified key blank and very little effort. If you haven’t upgraded your locks within the last 5 years or so, your lock is most likely vulnerable to bumping. Fortunately, lock makers have gotten with the program and now offer locks that are sturdier and more resistant to bumping and picking. Bump proof locks come in all sizes, shapes, and finishes. Some can be retrofitted into your existing lockset. Burglars go for easy targets; don’t let your house stay one!

Do you have questions about your home locks? Call Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville today for a home security audit. We are a full-service automotive, residential, and commercial locksmith in Jacksonville!