What is Lock Bumping?

Have you ever wanted to know about lock bumping? Here is a little more information on this industry term.

What is Lock Bumping?
For many years, locksmith pros like Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville have utilized several methods and tools to bypass pin and tumbler locks for legal purposes. One such technique is called “bumping.” Lock bumping, also referred to as key bumping, is an attack technique using specially cut keys, known as bump keys, that can defeat conventional pin and tumbler locks.

Here is Wikipedia’s definition:
Lock bumping is a lock picking technique for opening a pin tumbler lock using a specially crafted bump key. A bump key must correspond with the target lock in order to function correctly

How is Lock Bumping Done?
Lock bumping uses the basic principles of physics by inserting a specially cut “bump-key” (also referred to as a 999 key) into the lock, then by using any type of object the key is then struck or “bumped”. The energy transferred from the impact forces the pins within the lock up above the shear line for a fraction of a second enabling the lock to be opened.

How Common is Lock Bumping?
According to statistics provided by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and the Department of Justice, nearly 2/3 of all break-ins occur with no sign of forced entry. Since there is no way to determine the actual method, it would be impossible to know for sure how many break-ins were a result of lock bumping. However, there are steps you can follow to help protect yourself, family and property. Door locks are just one form of security for your home. Consumers can also protect their homes by lighting the entry and perimeter areas, using alarm systems, motion detectors and even the family pet as deterrents to those that would attempt to enter your home.

What is Being Done to Prevent Lock Bumping?
State and federal laws prohibit the distribution of “locksmithing devices” to anyone other than lock manufacturers or others with a recognized legal purpose. Many organzation, such as the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association, are working with other organizations to minimize the risk that such devices can be obtained by individuals for improper purposes.

Do you need help with your locks? The best way to reach us is by phone at 904-246-4590.

The Better Business Bureau Recommends This Before Hiring a Locksmith

With the rise of locksmith scams, the Better Business Bureau suggests a few tips in order to find a reputable locksmith in your area.

Here are some things the BBB recommends you can do before hiring a locksmith:

Call the business. If the business answers the phone using a generic name like “locksmith services,” be leery. Ask for the legal name. If the person cannot give it, move on. Go with a company with a specific business name.

Get an estimate that includes all labor and the replacement parts for the lock. Reputable locksmiths will be able to give you an estimate over the phone. Ask about additional fees such as charges for overnight service calls or charges for mileage. If the locksmith gets there and price increases, don’t let them work on your car and don’t sign a blank document authorizing work.

Check credentials to make sure the locksmith is insured so you will be covered in case the repair leads to damages. Ask the locksmith for ID, a business card and a locksmith license. Check if the business name and logo on their business cards match the name and logo on the invoice and vehicle. A reputable locksmith also will request to see your identification to make sure it’s actually your property they are doing work on.

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right locksmith for you. In any case, we at Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! You can reach us by phone at 904-246-4590 any time you need us.

Using a House or Pet Sitter When Away on Vacation

It’s that time of year when the weather’s great and you got time off of work. You’ve piled the luggage and kids into the car, and you’re headed out on the road, or maybe you’re on the plane. Regardless of how you’re getting to your summer destination, there’s one thing that needs some attention while you’re away: Your house.

Using a House sitter or Pet sitter for Summer Vacation?
Using a House sitter or Pet sitter for Summer Vacation?

When you’re away on vacation – whether it’s for a few days or a few weeks – you’ll probably want someone checking up on things. Perhaps you’ll even hire a house sitter. House sitters are a great way to get peace of mind when you’re out of town. They water your plants, keep your pets company, and most importantly, they keep your home occupied – which deters burglars and their tendencies to target empty houses.

But what if your house sitter gets locked out? With you thousands of miles away, he or she will need a locksmith to get back in. This is where the situation gets a little tricky. Although a locksmith has means to open a lock and get that door open, locksmiths can’t just “break-in” when told, especially when someone says he’s house sitting.

Locksmiths have to think about liability – not just for ourselves, but for the homeowner as well.
But we also don’t want to leave your home empty – because your pets need food and water! More importantly, however, a solution to this problem is to have the information of the person who is house sitting readily available. Information, such as a Driver’s License and ID will do.

Photocopy their information onto a blank piece of paper side by side. Then, write down the name and address of whomever is going to be house sitting for you. You should also write down that he or she has been given permission and access to your home should your keys be stolen, lost or accidentally locked inside. Another important thing to include on a piece of paper are the dates you will be away.

With careful planning, your vacation should be smooth sailing.

Happy summer!

Here at Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville, we are committed to all of your residential locksmith needs. Give us a call at 904-246-4590 for reliable, honest residential locksmith services in Jacksonville.

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 www.pallandersstag.wpengine.com to see how can be help you today.

Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville Provides Emergency Roadside Assistance


Although we are known as primarily locksmiths, we are always here to help you with emergency services, such as flat tire assistance, jump starts, gasoline delivery and, of course, lockouts. During the summer, it is a well-known fact that many cars break down. The summer heat can wreak havoc on many cars, new and old, which can sometimes leave you stranded and helpless on the side of the road.

Pop-A-Lock Emergency Roadside Assistance

Just as with all of our locksmithing services, you can still expect  the same level of exceptional professionalism and efficiency with our emergency roadside services. You can guarantee our focus is on your safety and satisfaction. You can be assured that Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville – as well as all other Pop-A-Lock locations across the nation – is considered a leading service provider in every major road club in America.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe on the roadside.

If you’re broken down in traffic*:

  • Get your car as far away from traffic as possible or onto the shoulder lane, if on a highway/freeway.
  • Don’t push the car if you’re alone – it may become uncontrollable.
  • Put on your hazard and headlights to increase your car’s visibility.
  • Get out of the car – wait away from it, off the road and behind guard rails, if possible.
  • If it’s hot out, wait under some shade.
  • If in heavy traffic or a dark area, be careful moving around outside the car.
  • Make yourself visible in the dark or wait in a well-lit area.

If you’re broken down in an isolated area at night*

  • Lock all doors.
  • Put hazard and headlights on to increase your car’s visibility.
  • Keep your mobile phone handy and switched on.
  • Stay in your car until you’re sure roadside assistance has arrived.
  • If approached by an unknown person, stay in your vehicle with the doors locked. Keep your window down slightly, but not far enough for anyone to reach in.
  • If you’re concerned or frightened by their presence, activate your horn while switching your headlights on and off. Call the police by dialing 9-1-1.

* These tips are intended as a guide only. Other precautions not mentioned may also assist in personal safety. This list may not include every possible precaution required.

Nevertheless, you may be alone with the towing service driver for some time. Ask questions, give names and numbers to a friend and be sure to keep a cell phone on hand, if you are worried about your safety. If possible, keep a friend with you throughout the process. And if you have any questions, please give us a call at 904-246-4590.