Avoid Burglary: Reinforce Your Doors

Avoid Burglary: Reinforce Your Doors

Sometimes, TV talk shows have a panel of guests made up of reformed burglars and thieves who are tasked with informing viewers about how they can prevent burglaries. Guests talk about their crooked pasts and how they entered the homes they burglarized.

Most say they entered through an open window or unlocked door. Some may claim they picked locks. However, picking a lock is not as easy as reformed burglars may make it seem. Instead, the majority of homes are entered by force. Burglars will break, pry, jimmy, kick, or cut open doors and windows to gain access to a home.

Since the majority of illegal entries are by force rather than finesse, homeowners should examine the construction of doors, windows, and their frames of their homes. A sturdy, solid door jamb or window frame can help prevent a forced break-in.

Choose Sturdy Materials

Solid wooden doors without decorative panels or steel and steel-clad doors offer the best protection against forced break-ins. Likewise, door frames constructed of steel or solid wood should be installed securely to the walls or wall studs. Lastly, the door and door frame should fit together snugly. If a homeowner is able to insert a screwdriver between a door and its frame and wiggle the screwdriver more than a quarter-inch, the door needs to be reinforced.

If reinforcing a door’s frame is impractical, use a latch guard to reinforce the area around the latch of the lock. The latch guard will make it nearly impossible for a thief to spread the door and frame apart enough to “pop the lock”.

Additionally, a door’s hinges should be protected to make it difficult to pry the door open from its hinges. Homeowners can use hinge guards or hinges that do not have a removable pin to protect the hinged sides of their doors. Hinges should be on the interior of the building and not on the exterior where thieves can access them.

Don’t Forget the Windows

Windows are more vulnerable to attack than doors. Secure all windows with security screens or decorative grills, especially if the windows are not visible from the street or are not well-lit.

Once you have determined that your doors, windows, and their frames are as secure as possible, choose the best locks you can afford for your doors. Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville can install the lock that best fits your needs and help you upgrade the security of your doors and windows. To get started, give us a call at 904-246-4590.

Duplicate Your High Security Keys is a Good Idea

Duplicate Your High Security Keys is a Good Idea

Many Jacksonville home and vehicle owners can remember a time when a key for a mortise lock could be duplicated for under a quarter. With the high-security keys used in many home and vehicle locks today, that price seems to be long gone. Duplicating high-security keys can cost tens to hundreds of dollars. While high-security keys may look like ordinary keys, the technology within them makes them difficult to duplicate and requires advanced locksmithing tools and expertise.

Why Do Duplicate High-Security Keys Cost So Much?

High-security keys are designed to be difficult to copy without the proper equipment. That is why it costs so much to duplicate the key. Take, for example, automobile keys equipped with VATS (Vehicle Anti-Theft System), a system developed in the 1980s to stem the theft of Chevrolet Corvettes.

VATS-equipped keys have pellets in their blades that have a particular electric resistance value. If an improper key is inserted into a car’s ignition and the onboard computer reads the wrong code in the key, the computer shuts the ignition system down for four minutes.

On the locksmith’s end, the expense incurred for generating a key for one of these vehicles is partially due to the cost of the pellet equipped blanks, the electronic equipment needed for the key to communicate with the on-board computer.

The difficulty of originating a key comes not from obtaining the correct pellet blank, but from the interrogation of the computer. Even with the proper blank and equipment, a locksmith can spend two hours trying to determine the proper resistance of the key. Even when a locksmith has the right “decoder,” every time he “asks the wrong question,” the computer shuts the system down.

Why Making Duplicate Keys Is Worth the Money

Despite the frustrations inherent in duplicating keys, they offer good, difficult-to-compromise security for Jacksonville, FL home and vehicle owners. That’s why the extra costs associated with duplicating the keys are justifiable. For example, insurers often offer discounts for vehicles that are VATS-equipped, since the systems decrease the chance vehicles will be stolen.

It is also wise to keep a properly coded and cut duplicate VATS key as an alternative to having a locksmith make new keys from scratch, which can cost upwards of three hundred dollars.

Though security can be expensive, having a backup system, including duplicate high-security keys, is a money saver. Let us know how we can help you by contacting Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville at 904-246-4590.

Does your car key have a twin?

Many of us wouldn’t think of leaving our car unlocked on a city street or a parking lot or even in our own driveway. But that lock may not be as secure as we think. Have you wondered if maybe someone else could have the exact same key as you?

In this informative video from Fox4 TV, you will learn about different people discovering this situation for themselves.

Have you ever wondered if someone has the exact same key to your car?

Does Your Car Key Have a Twin?

One takeway: ..”[J]ust because the key will open the door doesn’t mean it will necessarily start the engine.”

And remember, if you need Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville to rekey your locks or provide your home with deadbolts or high security keys, call us at 904-246-4590 and we will be happy to assist you.

“Deadbolt Danger: Who has the keys to your house?”

This is a very insightful vlog from a news station. It introduces the idea that mass-produced locks may be a very dangerous item:


“Mass-produced locks could result in keys being duplicated and used to enter your home. Here’s how to keep your family safe.”

The article says to bring your coded key to a locksmith like us to be rekeyed. Another option is to get high security locks for your home or office. Whatever service you need, Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville has you covered!

A Commercial Locksmith is Essential

You may know Pop-A-Lock for our PAL Saves Kids emergency door unlocking (EDU) program or our other auto locksmith services that help with ignition key replacement, lost car keys, car key duplication, or high-security car keys and laser keys. However, you may not always need a locksmith for your car.


Each individual situation will require a specific set of services. For example, if you’re dealing with a home break-in, then you probably won’t need an auto locksmith. The same goes for businesses and other commercial properties. These will need a specific set of skills that a commercial locksmith will have. Luckily, Pop-A-Lock locksmith services include not only auto, residential, but also commercial.

A commercial locksmith specializes in the security and safety of a commercial business or property, and this can mean a wide variety of things. One common need for a commercial business is keyless entries and electronic keypads. This is often used in companies that need a medium-level of security. For instance, a large office park often includes a wide variety of businesses. Therefore, in order to prevent just anyone from walking in, a keyless entry, such as those requiring a specific photo badge and electronic key card are necessary.

Another example of a commercial locksmith service is basic locksmithing needs within the office. This can include installing new locks for safes, fixing file cabinets, and creating new keys. If a company deals with a lot of money or has a lot of sensitive information, these services are considered indispensable.

Installing alarm systems and monitoring are also included in commercial locksmith services. Commercial locksmiths can help install closed-circuit televisions (CCTV), which are used to monitor all areas of the office while away. Burglars could attempt a break-in during the weekends and evenings, so a CCTV system could help catch the culprit.

If you’re looking for a commercial locksmith, contact Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville today!