Bumping locks is a phenomenon that has received a lot of attention. Most homes still use regular cylinder locks, but these locks are very easy to breach with a little knowledge and basic tools.
To bumping a lock, the thief inserts a specially designed key into the lock and then gently taps it. In this way, the lock pins are forced to reach the shear line as the key turns and the door opens. The “bump key” needed to accomplish this is easy to acquire and can even be ordered over the Internet.
The technique of bumping locks requires no special skill and is effective most of the time, allowing burglars to enter your home without any sign of forced entry. The potential of bumping locks is a real threat that should be taken seriously when assessing home security.
The bumping Key
For the bumping system to be effective, a special key is required. The key must be the right size for the lock, but the only requirement is that each ridge of the key be cut to the maximum depth. People often call bump keys “999 keys” because each ridge is cut to a depth of 9 on a key making machine.
Because of this, these keys are easy to produce and purchase, and take less than five minutes to make. Older, cheaper locks are actually more resistant to bumping because they are not as precisely cut; they are rougher and the internal pins do not move as smoothly as in higher-end locks.
While bumping is a genuine concern, your first priority should be to make sure all your doors and windows are locked at night and when you’re not home, as those entry points still represent the greatest security risk.
Once you know that your home is secured in this very basic way, consider ways to strengthen those exterior defenses. Talk to a locksmith to upgrade or replace existing cylinder locks and to find out what potential solutions fit within your budget