Lock bumping is the new fad in the streets with thieves and burglars. You see it all over the news – crimes committed with the use of this lock picking method. If you’re not privy to the details, it’s about time you get informed. That way, you can prevent an unfortunate lock bumping scenario from happening to you. Although it has had a spike of popularity recently, lock bumping isn’t a new concept – it has actually been around for a long time.

History Of Bump Key

Locksmiths in the 1970’s invented a new technique for getting through a lock. It involves tapping on a lock cylinder while putting pressure on the lock from another area. The pins would move because of the bumping, and the plug of the lock could be pulled out. From there, the lock could be taken apart completely. At the time, this was a fast and efficient solution many locksmiths used. It was often used in the workshop rather than out in the field.

In the early 2000’s criminals picked up on this technique and began to use it to commit theft and burglary. It’s fairly easy to find lock bumping tools and bump keys on the internet. This poses an even greater danger to the integrity of traditional pin and tumbler locks. It can be difficult to tell whether or not a lock was bumped from first glance. An expert can take a crack at investigating, but even these results may not convince an insurance company in the event of lost property.

Facts About Of Key Bumping

  • Most door locks in the U.S. are vulnerable to lock bumping
  • Lock bumping is easily done, even by a child
  • After examination, one can discern a bumped lock

Prevention Of Key Bumping

Clear Visibility

Keeping things clean around your office space and home is a great prevention method. Many thieves use the cover of exterior landscape to hide themselves when they plan on gaining illegal access. Good lighting and visible spaces prevent this from happening.

Neighborhood Watch

If you and your community are concerned about theft and false entry, why not organize a Neighborhood Watch? This has become a more popular solution as of late, and there are even applications like Next Door which streamline the process. You and your neighbors can post and keep up to date on the neighborhood happenings. This really helps to keep everyone aware and informed.

Security Camera

It’s difficult to see visible signs of damage after lock bumping. Insurance companies are hesitant to respond to claims like these, as some people make fraudulent ones in this manner. The tape from a video won’t lie however, and this evidence can really support your case.

Anti-Lock Bumping Devices

An anti-lock bumping device is an inexpensive way for you to add another layer of security to your locks. Thumb turn guards keep the thumb of a deadbolt from turning. If the deadbolt is stationary, the key won’t work. This method is good for deterring forced entry, but it can be a bit inconvenient. While the criminal’s lock bumping is prevented, so is your use of the door. Imagine needing to remove this anytime you wanted to enter the door! It’s better to use this addition on doors that don’t get much use.

Install Security Pins

Have your locksmith reinforce your locks by installing security pins. These pins make your lock harder to compromise through bumping. Hence the name, security pins – they reinforce your lock’s security! These pins don’t make the lock un-bumpable, but it will take longer to bump than another lock without security pins. The extra time alone can discourage criminals who want an easy-in easy-out scenario.

High-Security Locks

There’s always the option of investing in a completely un-bumpable or un-pickable lock. One lock that shines in this category is the Mul-T-Lock Hercular. This lock is known for being tamper-resistant and strong. It incorporates a lot of different security defenses against methods beyond picking and bumping, even drilling and illegal key duplication. Did you know that thefts against small businesses are most often committed by their own employees? Concerning, I know. Having a high security lock keeps the criminal-minded from making unauthorized key duplicates for your lock. The keyways for these locks are patented. Only one manufacturer makes one key that opens them. These beefed up locks are also made of very strong, solid metal. Complex and high-security locks are a good defense against unauthorized entry.

Light Commercial Grade Locks

Consider replacing your current home locks with light commercial grade locks. These locks are tested by certified third parties to withstand a variety of lock picking tests. The best locks get a rating of ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Grade 1. When tested by the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) these locks are graded based how they do in many different lock picking tests. These commercial grade locks can be easily outfitted onto exterior residential doors.

You can find the cheapest ANSI Grade 1 manufactured by the companies Kwikset and Weiser. Be warned that the ‘bump-resistant’ Kwikset SmartKey has been heavily criticized for failing to perform as claimed. Despite the bad news, these locks do come with a lifetime mechanical warranty. Other companies like Schlage have attempted to make bump-resistant locks (in this case, the Schlage SecureKey) but results have been fairly disappointing thus far. It can be tricky to find a truly bump-resistant lock for what is considered a cheap price.

Key-less Deadbolt Locks

People were installing keyless locks before the criminal bumping craze spread in the early 2000’s. It’s important that a keyless lock is really bump proof. Some older models of keyless locks still have lock cylinders that can be bumped. Incorporating bio metric technology into these locks is a serious beef up on security, with a serious cost to match. It is, however, a very secure solution.

Remember that going lock-crazy won’t ensure a theft-proof home. Good home security relies on many different factors, including the strength of your door, strike plate and door jamb. Reinforcing all of these components is the key to a bump-resistant entry.