“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!

It’s Spring! Time to Update Your Home Security

Every spring, we clean our homes as part of “out with the old, in with the new.” And you may be planning to invest in some home improvements and decorating, as well. However, don’t forget to protect your home and all of your hard work with the correct security measures. The higher the investment, the higher the risk of crime.

It’s easy to check and maintain your property’s security with a few simple steps. Firstly, it’s important to give your house and garden a thorough audit from the outside in. Ensure trees and bushes are kept to a reasonable size to reduce the possibility of burglars using them as “cover”. Also check the condition of your fences and gates, which can be prone to neglect, as any weak points can make it easier for would-be thieves to gain entry to your property.

Outer buildings are often target. External storage such as sheds and garages should be secured with high-quality padlocks, with hasps and staples.

In addition, don’t be tempted to leave your free-standing garden furniture out overnight, and keep ladders, bins and gardening tools stored out of sight as these can be used in opportunist crime to gain access.

In terms of windows, check that all on the ground floor and any that are accessible on higher levels have secure window locks. It is important to check the quality and integrity of the locks as well as the structural condition of the doors and windows themselves. Locks can be prone to rust, while rotten and cracked frames can make doors and windows easier to break through. If you have any doubts, a local qualified locksmith, such as Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville, will be able to advise on which locks will be the most suitable, and ensure that they’ll meet insurance requirements.

Sensor lights or dusk-to-dawn lighting are additional deterrents and also help you gain access to your home late at night. Opportunist thieves often approach houses that look like nobody is at home, so by installing a number of light timers around the house it appears that the house is occupied and therefore minimises the risk of a break in. A “fake TV” is also a good idea – this device emits light that mimics that of a TV and can give the impression somebody is watching something in an upstairs room for example.

It almost goes without saying, but be sure to lock up your house and set the alarm every time you leave. Don’t leave keys on show, particularly near doors, and never leave valuables such as laptops or jewellery on show which can tempt potential burglars. If necessary, get a safe professionally specified and installed.

By taking some simple security measures, you can ensure your property isn’t vulnerable to thieves and your possessions are protected from the threat of crime.

If you’re confused and need help with updating your home security locks, we’re only a phone call away at 904-246-4590.

Seven Tips to Prevent a Burglary at Your Home

As the fall weather sets in and Jacksonville homeowners start to bring in their lawn furniture, the professional locksmiths at Pop-A-Lock encourage all homeowners to take some simple steps to improve the safety of their homes. Here are seven simple tips to prevent burglaries at your home.

1. Make the Home Look Occupied 

Burglars avoid homes that they believe are occupied. That is why it is important to always make a home look occupied even when its owners are away, whether out to dinner or on vacation. Installing outdoor motion-sensor lights is a good first step, as is putting an indoor light on a timer so it goes on and off at regular intervals.

If homeowners are leaving a home unoccupied for a longer period of time, law enforcement officials recommend that they arrange for someone to mow their lawns or clear their sidewalks and driveways of snow so the home looks occupied. Likewise, homeowners leaving for an extended period of time should also get their mail held so there is no back-up at the mailbox, which is a sign to burglars that no one is home.

2. Close and Lock Doors and Windows 

Whenever homeowners leave their houses, even if for a short time, they should close and lock or otherwise secure all windows, exterior doors and garage doors. Garage doors are often overlooked and can be an easy way for burglars to gain access to a home. A professional locksmith can help homeowners install appropriate window, door and garage door locks.

3. Upgrade Flimsy Door and Window Locks 

Burglars are able to breach flimsy, worn-out locks on both doors and windows. Homeowners should upgrade exterior doors with flimsy push-button or switch locks to deadbolt locks that securely bolt doors to their frames. Both double and single-cylinder models are available for doors with and without glass panes, respectively. Professional locksmiths can also upgrade window locks and the locks on sliding glass doors, which are common points of entry for burglars.

4. Invest in an Alarm System 

Another great way to deter burglars is to install a security alarm. These systems include door, window and motion sensors that sound an alarm when triggered and notify the police that a breach has been made. Posting signage about the presence of a security alarm may deter burglars.

5. Block the View into the Home without Providing an Easy Escape Route 

One way to prevent burglaries is to make sure the burglars cannot window shop before breaking in. Use curtains on windows, including garage and basement windows, so burglars cannot case the house and plan their entries.

However, do not use landscaping to block the view of potential burglars, since heavy shrubbery or hedges can be great cover for a thief making his or her escape from a home. Instead, keep dense landscaping away from the house.

6. Avoid Stashing Valuables in the Master Bedroom 

Most families keep their most prized possessions in the master bedroom, including jewelry and cash. Burglars know this and often make the master bedroom their first stop after breaking into a home. One easy way to avoid theft is to keep one’s valuables in a safe in an inconspicuous part of the home or outside the home in a safe deposit box.

7. Hire a Professional Locksmith to Upgrade and Install Locks 

One of the best ways to prevent a break-in is to upgrade the locks on one’s home and change the locks after purchasing a home or after being burgled. We can recommend the best locks for your home and install them while you wait.

To improve security at your home, call Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville today at 904-246-4590 to schedule an appointment or visit us online.

Types of Keys

As owners of houses, cars and businesses, it’s important to be knowledgeable on the different types of keys that exist. Since there are so many keys for so many different types of locks, it can get a little overwhelming. Car keys and house keys are common and easy to recognize. But then there are a multitude of different keys that aren’t common enough to be instantly recognizable.

Here is a list of some of those more uncommon types of keys:

Double/Four-Sided Key


Typically used on home locks, double-sided and four-sided keys differ from normal keys in that they have either two or four sets of teeth on them. The set of four teeth results in a more durable key. The extra sets of teeth also makes the lock more difficult to pick, employing a simple way to increase security in your home and deter burglars.


Transponder Key

A transponder is also known as a chip key. The transponder is an electronic key used in modern cars, which is activated by a radio signal sent from the car when placed in the ignition. Basically, transponder keys have a chip inside them that typically connects to the ignition of the car. These types of keys are designed to prevent theft, and they are very difficult to duplicate. Because of this, it decreases the chance of someone making a copy and attempting to steal your car. In some situations where the wrong key is used, some car models will shut down completely.


Skeleton Key

Also known as a passkey, a skeleton key is a simple key with a cylindrical shaft and a single toothed end, which is used to open warded locks. However, warded locks are no longer in use, so the term “skeleton key” has become somewhat of a catch-all term for keys that can open any lock of a certain type. The well-known “keyhole” icon comes from the design of warded locks.


Abloy Key

The Abloy key is used on disc tumbler locks. These types of locks use a special key that rotates disc like a tumbler and aligns them into place to unlock. It is springless, and recognized for being impossible to pick. Nearly every house in Finland utilizes an Abloy lock and key system.


Dimple Key

A dimple key is a simple type of key that uses matching cone-shaped dimples on the key to match up with two sets of pins in the lock. The dimples are aligned on each side the same way, which means the key doesn’t need to be oriented a particular way to work properly.


Paracentric Key

A paracentric key is a key used to open a paracentric lock. This key has small teeth at the end of the key and is recognized by its contorted blade shape. The paracentric key is frequently used in prisons and is used to deter lock picking.


Tubular Key

A tubular key – also known as a barrel key – is a small key with a cylindrical shaft used to open tubular pin tumbler locks. These keys are often found in items like vending machines and bike locks. These keys are typically more difficult to replicate than standard tumbler keys.



These days, most hotels use keycards; and chances are, if you’ve ever stayed in a hotel you’ve used a keycard. Keycards are small and flat, and are inserted into a mechanism on the door to unlock it. The mechanism reads the signature, commonly found on a magnetic strip on the card, to unlock the door.

Whether you need new keys, key duplication or to rekey your locks, you can count on Pop-A-Lock Jackonsville!