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.

Don’t Make These Home Security Mistakes

It’s easy to make a little slip when it comes to home security measures. We’re busy people with busy lives. But to a criminal – especially smart criminals – loves a lax homeowner. But even a dumb burglar can score big when we’re lazy with our home security.

Here are some easy fixes for your making sure your home is secure for yourself and your loved ones:

1. Don’t nickel-and-dime your door locks. It’s all about high quality locks. A cheap lock is just that – cheap.

2. Don’t hide keys. We’ve all seen it in the movies, so anyone will know to check on top of the ledge above the door frame.

3. Make sure your valuables aren’t visible through windows. That goes for your home and car.

4. Flatten boxes that valuables came in like flat screen TVs. Then, put them in large garbage bags and out for trash pickup. Keeping those big boxes out of sight will help keep the bad guys at bay and not showcase what you have in your house.

5. Lock your doors! It might seem simple, but plenty of us use excuses like “I keep forgetting,” “It’s a hassle,” “I’m going in and out.” Your mistake, or lazy excuse, is a burglar’s reward.

6. Don’t leave any ladders in the yard.

7. Used timed lighters inside and out so that your place is never dark.

8. Keep your garage door locked at all times except during the seconds it’s in use.

9. Keep your house alarm on. Some intruders will try to break through a locked door or get in through a window. The second he does, the alarm will emit a piercing sound that will instantly drive him away. It’s also important to keep the alarm on even when you’re home. Burglaries happen during the day too.

10. Don’t post anything on social media that indicates you’re away from home.


* When you’re on vacation, arrange for a vacation hold of your mail and newspaper deliveries.

* To make your home look occupied while you’re out of town, have a trusted person park his car in your driveway and mow your lawn. Overgrowth leaves clues that you’re traveling.

10 Must-Do Things to Protect Your House Over the Holidays

Must-Do-Things-Pop-A-Lock-JacksonvilleThe real Grinch who steals Christmas isn’t a sneering, green book character: it’s the burglar who targets your home around the holidays. According to the FBI, every year there are over 400,000 burglaries in November and December alone. Why are thieves so active over the holidays? Two reasons: 1) many people travel during these months, leaving behind empty houses, and 2) the high value gifts you bought for your friends and family can be stolen and resold.

If you’re away from home for the holidays, here are 10 must-do things to keep your celebrations Grinch-free and your home safe from burglars. And if you’re staying put this winter, keep in mind that all of these tips are great any time you leave your house for more than a day or two.

  1. Keep valuables out of sight. Be careful where you put your collectibles, gadgets and wrapped presents. If they can easily be seen from a window, move them out of sight. Not only are they targets, but they also tell burglars that your house contains more valuables. On the same note, be careful disposing of boxes from expensive items like plasma TVs and other gadgets. Don’t just leave them out on the curb for anyone to see. Break them down and turn them inside out.
  2. Fix your outdoor lighting and trim your hedges before leaving. Both increase visibility, which burglars hate. Replace any burned out lightbulbs and tidy hedges and low tree limbs to reduce access and cover.
  3. Activate your burglar alarm. Monitored alarms that are alert authorities — not just make noise — are effective deterrents and a good investment.
  4. Beef up your window security. Your windows are one of the most vulnerable parts of your house. Unlike doors, windows typically do not have strong locks. A residential locksmith can give you an idea of what options are available for securing your windows.
  5. Stop your mail and newspaper delivery. Nothing screams ‘empty house’ like a bunch of newspapers piled up on the driveway.
  6. Arrange for your driveway to be plowed regularly if you live in a snowy area. Here in Florida, snow doesn’t tend to be an issue. But if you’re in a colder climate, a snowy driveway is a dead giveaway that no one’s home.
  7. Keep quiet on Facebook or Twitter. It’s tempting to post about your upcoming trip, but unless your security settings are high, your posts are visible to the public. Don’t make assumptions about who might or might not be reading. A burglar who knows that your whole family will be in another state for Christmas is much more likely to target your house.
  8. Put your appliances on timers to make it appear like someone is at home — or better yet, ask a housesitter or friend to stay over part or all of the time. At minimum, get a neighbor to put out your garbage cans on garbage day (and take them back in). The more occupied your house looks, the less attractive it is to a burglar.
  9. Remove your spare key if you keep one outside. It’s really not a good idea to have a spare key under the door mat or a conspicuously fake rock by the front door. Burglars know where to look. However, if you do have a spare key lying around outside, put it away before you leave. And find a better place for it when you come back! Leaving your spare with a trusted neighbor or friend is a much better bet than the door mat.
  10. Lock all your windows and doors before leaving. Obvious, but worth mentioning. Check everything — side doors, sliding doors, garage doors. And leave your phone number with your neighbors if they see anything suspicious in your absence.

Does your home security need a boost for the holidays? Call Pop-A-Lock today at 904-246-4590 for reliable, honest 
residential locksmith services in Jacksonville. Here’s to a happy and safe holiday season!