Never Lose Your Keys Again

More and more new cars have smart keys and remotes that let you unlock the door and start the engine without a key. The devices are a marvel of technology and convenience … until you lose one and have to pay up to $500 to replace it at your dealership. Instead, try these tips for hanging on to your high-tech car keys and ways to make replacing them less painful:

Hard to Lose

First things first: Train yourself to treat keys differently. Attach your keyless-entry remote or fob to a larger item like a wallet or handbag makes it harder to lose. Or carry a compartmentalized bag where you hold you items like your laptop, wallet and key.


The Backup Plan

Don’t wait until keys are missing to make duplicates. Price out what they would cost, then look into alternatives. Seek out where your particular brand of replacements are available and order them ahead of time. This way, you won’t end up stranded for days without keys.

Tag Your Stuff

As auto-key technologies improve, so do the means of tracking lost goods. For example, Austrian-based company Locca offers miniature GPS-powered trackers that attach to small items. Should your stuff go missing, you can track it on the Locca app in real time. An alternative to GPS locators, Okoban tracker tags let you register items with the company’s global lost-and-found service. Attach a tag to your keys; whoever finds them can follow the goodness of their heart and tell you where the keys are by entering an identification code online.

The Replacements

If your keys are lost for good, replacements from your dealership can be expensive. But sites like eBay, KeylessRide and others offer after-market and factory keys that are often considerably cheaper. You may need to visit your dealer to have your new keys programmed (for a fee) and you still may need to pay a locksmith if your smart system includes a good old-fashioned metal key. The total cost should still be lower, and the relief, as they say, priceless.

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!

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.