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Lock Bumping: Dangers and Prevention

Lock bumping or key bumping is a technique used by skilled burglars to break into homes that became a real worry for homeowners as this method gained widespread attention. 

Lock bumping involves using a specially cut key known as a bump key that can fit into most door locks and can manipulate the pins of almost any common pin tumbler lock which is a type of lock widely used in residential properties. 

When the bump key is inserted into the lock and then tapped or “bumped” with an object such as a screwdriver or hammer it creates a momentary gap between the pin stacks allowing the lock to be turned and opened without the correct key.

How do you prevent lock bumping?

To prevent lock bumping consider installing bump proof or high security lock such as those with electronic or biometric features, also adding security pins or upgrading to locks that use non standard keyways can deter lock bumping. 

Reinforcing door frames and using a secondary deadbolts can also deter lock bumping as the process is very noisy and by having more than one lock means it will take longer and someone will surely notice.

What locks Cannot be bumped?

Locks with advanced security features were designed to resist lock bumping techniques.

High Security Locks

Brands like Medeco, Mul-T-Lock and ASSA offer high security locks with unique keyways and complected pin configurations also Kwikset SmartKey locks are resistant to bumping.

Electronic Locks

Keyless electronic locks which operate using a keypad, card reader, or a FOB do not have the traditional pin tumbler mechanism that bump keys exploit.

Biometric Locks

These locks use unique personal identifiers like fingerprints or an eye scanner which cannot be replicated by bump keys.

Disc Tumbler Locks

Unlike pin tumbler locks disc tumbler locks used in some padlocks and cam locks use rotating discs making them bump resistant.

Magnetic Locks

These locks are not so common and use magnetic keys and magnetic pins which also make them bump resistant.

Smart Locks

Some smart locks which are operated via smartphones or codes do not have the traditional keyholes that are vulnerable to bump keys.

It’s important to note that while these locks provide better resistance against bumping no lock is entirely resistant to all forms of bypass or picking techniques therefore a multi layered approach to home security is always recommended.

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