Important Home Security Tips

If your home is your castle, you need to keep it fortified and secure at all times. No need for a drawbridge, moats or crocodiles, however. You simply need to abide by these important home security tips, and your home will keep you and your valuables safe and sound.

Know Who has Keys to Your Home

When you first move into your home, you need to be aware that anyone who has ever had a key to your front door could still have access to your home. This can mean that quite a few people could simply enter your home without you even being aware, so you need to update your security pronto.

Have your locks rekeyed or replaced entirely, so you know that you’re the only one who has access to your home.

Get Sturdy Doors

A sturdy exterior door and sturdy door frame can mean the difference between being a target for thieves and actually being robbed. Sturdy doors that can’t be force easily make it more difficult for thieves to get in and out quickly, making your home a less attractive target. Make sure the door hinges are located on the inside, because this makes it harder for thieves to pry them loose and gain entry.

Install a Deadbolt

A properly installed deadbolt is one of the most effective locks available for homes. It’s much harder for thieves to break in when the deadbolt is set; firmly connecting the door to the frame every time you lock it.

Keep Entrances Well Lit

This makes any intruder highly visible from the street, and makes your house less attractive because of it. Also, leave lights on inside your house when you go out. Put them on a timer to give the illusion that someone is home at all times.

Get an Alarm

An alarm can be an effective deterrent, and the louder, the better. Thieves don’t want any attention drawn to them, and an alarm does just that.

Keep a Good Rapport with Your Neighbors

It’s always good to have your neighbors around to watch out for your home when you’re not there. Just be sure to return the favor, and you’ll make your street a safer place to live.

“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!

10 Inexpensive Ways to Secure Your Home

With more and more technological systems for home security coming out, especially those with reliance on smartphone use, it seems as though those who prefer not to have a smartphone are completely left out of this boom. However, there are many ways that you can secure your home without relying upon Wi-Fi or a monitored security system.

The concept is to make burglars think twice before attempting to enter your place – to make it  look occupied. You’ve probably already heard of the usual tricks: When out of town, put a hold on your newspaper and mail delivery; have someone mow your grass; have someone park their car in your driveway, etc.

But let’s refine these tactics so that they don’t look staged. Getting a home security system is your best bet. But if you don’t have the money, then try these following tips:

  1. You’ve heard the one about leaving a large dog bowl by the front door. But come on, what actual dog owner does this? It’s still a good thing to do. (Make it look used, not spanking clean. Keep a few morsels of food in it.)
  2. Use automatic light timers.
  3. Plant thorny shrubs around windows.
  4. If you have horizontally-sliding windows, put Charlie bars or other blocking devices on the tracks to prevent them from being slid open.
  5. Hang a portable alarm on your front door’s inner doorknob; an alarm will sound if the knob turns (the battery-operated alarm can be turned off with a switch).
  6. Invest in a top-notch deadbolt system.
  7. Keep all windows locked! Yes, sex offenders and thieves really do slip in through windows.
  8. Install a fake surveillance camera above your front door and in the back.
  9. Invest in motion detection sensors that flip on lights and alarms.
  10. Learn self-defense and have the pepper spray strategically located in the house.

Always keep your doors locked! Even when you’re home! There’s no such thing as a burglar who never works during the day, and rapists aren’t stopped by daylight.

The History of Home Security

During the holidays, we’re reminded of the historical first Thanksgiving. Just as almost everything that exists today has a history, the same can be said for home security and the locksmith industry. We’ll be talking briefly about this history and give you some ideas on how better to secure your own home in the process.

At some point in time, people began to believe their possessions had value. From then on, home security became important to ancient humans. Although prehistoric humans, most likely, slept in caves or trees to protect themselves from nighttime predators, it soon became necessary to protect their possessions as well. However, the threat to home security did not come from just animals, but from other humans.

Early Locks in Walled Cities

Later, as time went by, prehistoric humans moved out of caves and into walled cities. And around 2,000 BC, the Egyptians invented what become known as the first “lock”. These early locks used a pin system based on the same principles as modern pin tumbler locks.

However, these early locks needed a large key to operate. The average key size during these times was 13 to 14 inches long, while keys to important public buildings or city gates could be two feet or longer. These early keys were signs of authority. Those who possessed them carried the keys on their shoulders.

The Barron is Introduced

By the 15th century, France had become the epicenter of lock making. But, the French chateau locks and chest locks were susceptible to burglars because their designs were similar to ancient Egyptian locks and were, therefore, becoming easier to pick.

Lock security got an update with an English lock known as the Barron. The Barron was patented in 1778. It was quickly replaced by the Bramah lock and the Chubb lock. These locks were considered unpickable, but eventually succumbed to lock pickers.

In the late 19th century, Linus Yale, Jr. developed the modern pin-tumbler type locking mechanism, which is still in use today. It has undergone many changes to enhance security, though nearly every improvement has been overcome by lock pickers. Because of these, lock companies continue to make changes to prevent burglars.

Protect Your Home and Business This Holiday Season

Today, the average thief rarely picks a lock. Instead, they force their way in using crowbars, screwdrivers, hammers and rocks. Although these techniques are not very sophisticated, they are quite effective.

Personal and physical security should be a top priority for every homeowner and business owner. Good quality locks and strong doors are excellent burglar deterrents. Security lighting, grills, and screens and fencing are also extremely effective in thwarting burglars.

So, take a cue from our ancestors and take steps to secure your home and business. To learn more, contact Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville today 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.