Monday, November 16, 2015

Tips from Locksmiths: How Homeowners Can Easily Prevent Lock Bumping

If you've turned on the news and are a homeowner you may have heard the term lock-bumping. This term has been around for a while but most homeowners are still not clear on what it is, how dangerous it is or how it can be prevented.

If you own what your locksmith would call a pin tumbler lock you are quite susceptible to lock-bumping. This is a process that professional lock-pickers use to get inside a house to rob it. There are several techniques they can use but a bump-key which corresponds to the lock in question is what's used.
How Lock Bumping Works

A rapping or bump-key is used to exert slight pressure in the back of the lock. The intruder then taps or bumps the cylinder and quickly gains entry to the home. By the time you hear anything, if you do at all, they're already in. This is why the technique is so popular and the crime is so wide-spread.

What can help keep you safe?

The only bump-proof locks are the ones with programmable side bars. They must not have side pins. Another countermeasure to take if the completely bump-proof lock is not available for your door is shallow drilling. A lock company can shallow-drill one of the pins to make it shorter than the other. This process keeps the bump key from applying the pressure properly and makes things more difficult.

A couple things you should know though. Modern locks are far less bumpable so an upgrade may do you much better than just an expensive lock. Some of the most expensive locks can actually be more bumpable than not. Price does not equal cure in this case. Another option that may help are high-security keys.

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