You have no doubt heard of bump keys. Lock bumping or the use of bump keys which are so easily available online on sites such as eBay, is considered to be the single biggest reason for the increase in home burglaries in the United States in recent years. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about lock bumping.
Lock bumping is a method that most locksmiths are familiar with. Residential locksmiths have been using this technique for over 50 years to unlock a door when called for help by customers who lost their house key and got themselves locked out of their own house. This is a much easier way to unlock a door compared to lock picking.
What is lock bumping?
Lock bumping is the quickest way for a residential locksmith to unlock a door, it is non-invasive and simple. It leaves no sign whatsoever that the lock has been bumped. There is no damage of any sort to the lock. While other methods such as lock picking are messy and noisy, lock bumping is smooth and quiet – there is no noise of any sort and there is absolutely no evidence of the lock being compromised.
Lock bumping requires the use of a bump key, which is a special type of key which fits the size of the lock and is cut to the highest depth possible. Bump keys are also called as “999” keys. That’s because the ridge cuts on them are set to a depth of 9 on key cutting machines.
This makes it very easy to replicate these keys. Most of the new locks are susceptible to these keys. Old locks are less vulnerable as their internal pins are not as fluid as those of the new locks.
Lock bumping was not known to the criminal community until a decade and a half ago. Till then, it was a secret only known to legitimate residential locksmiths. But because of the internet, knowledge of lock bumping has spread far and wide. Anyone who wants to know how this works can find out with such a few minutes on Google. Bump keys are sold online by many online sellers, especially on sites such as eBay.
Burglars like lock bumping because of the reasons stated above – it is a smooth and efficient method which doesn’t leave behind any sign of a break-in or forced entry.
The lock is not damaged at all and it is only much later when the homeowners notice that many of their valuables are missing, that they realize they have been targeted by burglars. So the law enforcement comes to know about the burglary days after the event, which makes it very difficult to catch the criminals involved.
So how does one prevent lock bumping?
You can prevent lock bumping by installing stronger locks with additional security features. Hire a residential or commercial locksmith for this purpose. The locksmith will add more pins to the locks. While this does not make the lock completely bump proof, it does make it more difficult for the burglar.
The residential locksmith installs other security measures and extra barriers such as chain latches to the entrance doors. They replace the existing locks with high-security bump proof locks – which are expensive, but are very much worth the money.