Lock Bumping!

Lock Bumping A Security Threat To Homes & Families Everywhere!

Over 90 percent of homes across North America can be broken into very quickly & easily due to a lock-picking method known as lock bumping. Although this lock picking technique has been used for almost fifty years, it is only over the past five years or so that it has aggressively grown into a major security threat for homes & families everywhere.

Burglar Picking Lock

Outlined below you will discover the type of preventive steps that can be taken to ensure your home & family does not become victimized by this growing security problem.

In addressing this security threat it is important for you to have a full understanding of what precisely lock bumping is & why in recent years it has turned into the biggest breach of home security that anyone has ever seen.

Lock bumping is an extremely easy lock-picking technique that compromises conventional pin tumbler locks by using a specially cut key known as a “bump key”.

With the bump key inserted into the lock, the back of the key is lightly taped which bumps the pins in the lock slightly above the locks shear line.

These pins are only above the shear line for a split second, but by continuously applying a light rotational force to the key when this happens, it allows the lock cylinder to turn unlocking the door.

Most people view lock picking as a technique that requires a lot of training & skill & for the most part they would be right, as generally it is performed with special tools like stainless steel lock picks & various tension tools.

With the amount of training & skill required for this type of lock picking, it is normally performed by just locksmiths & professional thieves.

This of course is what makes lock bumping so incredibly different from other lock picking techniques, as using a bump key to unlock the doors in someone’s home does not require any type of training or skill.

This is also why lock bumping is such a huge security problem, as these bump keys make it extremely easy for criminals to enter our homes.

Without protecting your residence from this security threat, a child could easily unlock the deadbolt locks securing the entrance doors in your home using a bump key.

I honestly believe the only way for criminals to have it any easier then entering our homes with a bump key, is if we all decided to stop locking our doors.

In viewing some of these lock bumping how to videos online, it appears with a little practice many criminals should have little problem opening a deadbolt lock on one's home almost as fast as most people can using the locks key.

How Lock Bumping Has Quickly Become Such A Serious Security Threat For Homes & Families Everywhere!

For many years the only people who used lock bumping were locksmiths & a small number of criminals who were able to acquire bump keys.

Over the past five years or so the number of criminals that have obtained these bump keys has grown substantially & unfortunately it continues to increase with many more keys being acquired with each passing day.

This is due to several unscrupulous web site owners who have chosen to sell these bump keys over the internet, along with instructions on how to use them.

Criminal Picking Lock On Door

With so many of these keys sold over the internet in recent years, instructions on using them hardly seem necessary anymore, as you now have hundreds of how to lock bumping videos on YouTube.com alone.

With over 90% of all deadbolt locks across North America that are highly susceptible to lock bumping, you now basically have tens of thousands of criminals walking around with master keys to nine out of every ten homes.

The majority of entrance doors in homes will normally have a keyed knob or a leaver style lock that helps secure the door in conjunction with a deadbolt lock. Unfortunately both of these types of locks can be opened with a bump key as they are also pin tumbler locks.

You will find the large majority of keyed padlocks are also of the pin tumbler design & can easily be opened with a bump key as well. If you are using any of these locks to secure any structures on your property like garden or tool sheds, you may want to consider changing over to combination padlocks.

Over the past few years in both the United States & Canada there have been many different television news updates that have been warning the public about the seriousness of this growing security problem.

In a few different news segments it was stated how some viewers are expressing concern that these news reports would inform certain criminals about this easy lock picking technique.

I would think there is little doubt that some criminals have become aware of lock bumping for the first time in this way.

Having certain criminals discover an easy way to break-in to someone’s home through these media reports is certainly unfortunate, but it is also unavoidable.

As regrettable as it is for some criminals finding out this way, the alternative of not informing the public would be much worse. It would be devastating for numerous individuals & families that would be blindsided & victimized by this growing security problem, because they were simply unaware that this security threat exists.

The television media, social online media & web sites like this one where people search for information on home security, needs to inform as many people as possible about this growing security threat.

You will always have those in society with a complacent attitude when it comes to home security, but most people will act responsibly & implement what security measures are needed to safeguard & protect their homes & families.

If you have not had an opportunity to view any of the television news stories warning the public about lock bumping, you can replay a news update below from CBS Channel 5 News in San Francisco. You can also replay another news update on my bump proof locks web page from Action News 5 in Memphis.

Due To Lock Bumping Some Individuals & Families May Find Themselves Being Victimized Twice!

Lock bumping is not only a simple & relatively quiet way for criminals to break-in to your home; it also leaves no evidence on how the intruder was able to gain entry. After all a key is being used to open the door & tapping the back of the key does not damage the lock in any way, nor does it leave any scratches around the keyhole like you may find with other lock picking techniques.

With no evidence or indication that a home was forcibly broken in to, many insurance companies may look at this as a fraudulent claim & will likely be hesitant about paying.

Drawing of Police Report Being Taken After Home Was Ransacked & Burglarized

If there was damage done during a break-in & they did not view the claim as fraudulent, they certainly could suggest no one had locked the doors to the home & still hold back on paying for any damages & loses.

This is certainly not the type of problem one needs after been victimized by a burglary. People may want to check with legal counsel in their area, but I do not see how they can actually deny such a claim, but unfortunately they would likely get away with not paying the claim in a timely manner.

It doesn’t seem possible that a claim could be denied when it is widely known by both the authorities & insurance companies that lock bumping does not leave any evidence of a break-in.

I would think the onus should be on the insurance company to provide evidence the claim is fraudulent or that the doors to the home were never locked.

This should not be viewed as legal advice, as an attorney should be consulted for anyone needing to know what their specific rights in such a matter would be.

The only way to know if lock bumping was used is if the criminal was seen or was caught on video using a bump key to enter the home.

I guess if an intruder was caught inside the home with the bump key in his/her possession, this should certainly convince the authorities of how the home was entered.

Although the best solution to this lock picking threat is to implement one or more of the security measures outlined below, as this will ensure the entrance doors in your home will become totally secure against lock bumping.

Preventive Steps That Can Help You Ensure Lock Bumping Does Not Allow Criminals To Enter Your Home!

You have three options available to you when it comes to safeguarding & protecting your home & family from criminals using bump keys.

First Option:

The most popular security measure to implement is to replace the deadbolt lock cylinders on your exterior doors with ones that have been certified as being bump proof.

In both news updates, CBS Channel 5 News above & from Action News 5 on my bump proof locks web page, it is basically stated that it will cost you $80 to $150 & more for each bump proof lock you will need.

While most bump proof locks are being retailed in this price range, there are other ones that are more affordably priced.

In purchasing a deadbolt lock for your home that cannot be opened with a bump key, you will also want to ensure you’re obtaining a good quality lock.

Below you will discover where to find high quality bump proof locks at very affordable prices.

When it comes to knowing what type of quality a lock really has, you should never use the locks advertising or any sales hype in determining this.

The only way to truly know what type of quality a deadbolt lock really has, is for it to be put through a series of test by independent organizations that are well known & widely accepted for carrying out such tests.

The two top organizations that are widely recognized around the world for analyzing, testing & grading deadbolt locks are ANSI (American National Standards Institute) & UL (Underwriters Laboratories).

ANSI puts deadbolt locks through rigorous testing for quality & durability & their highest quality locks are given an ANSI Grade 1 certification which is commercial grade.

While ANSI Grade 1 deadbolt locks are rated for commercial use, they are also widely used to secure residential exterior doors.

UL grades deadbolt locks on how they perform being put through a series of lock picking test.

They provide their highest rating to deadbolt locks that have passed their entire series of tests including lock bumping. (UL 437, Paragraph 11.6)

Weiser & Kwikset lock manufactures are both owned by the Black & Decker Corporation & they produce the lowest priced ANSI Grade 1 bump proof locks being retailed today.

These deadbolt locks are also produced with what these companies call “smart key technology” & this provides them with a very unique security feature that no other lock provides. They can easily be rekeyed by the end user in less than 15 seconds without having to remove the lock cylinder from the door.

This unique feature can prevent the security of your home from being compromised by someone making an authorized copy of your house key.

We may lend our house key to someone who we consider to be very trustworthy, but we unfortunately have no idea who may have access to the key when it is in someone else’s possession. When it comes to the safety & security of your home & family, it is always best to err on the side of caution.

Prior to lending your house key to a caretaker, house sitter or a service person, you can easily rekey the lock before doing so & then rekey it back to the original when they no longer need it.

You will find many of these smart key bump proof locks are being retailed for around $30 on Amazon.com. I have placed a link below where you can view all of the smart key locks that Amazon.com has to offer.

If you choose to buy any smart key deadbolt locks from Amazon’s web site, I would appreciate if you would consider doing so through the link below.

Anything you buy through the following link will help support the continuous growth of this website as we earn a small commission on any purchases that are made.

If you are not an internet shopper, the larger building supply or home improvement stores in your area, should have the biggest selection of smart key locks available for you to choose from.

Smart Key Bump Proof Locks Available On Amazon.com

Not only are all smart key locks bump proof & ANSI Grade 1 certified, they also come with a lifetime finish & a lifetime mechanical warranty.

Second Option:

Another security measure you can take to prevent lock bumping is to install keyless deadbolt locks on your exterior doors. Keyless locks start growing in popularity a few years before the news media started informing the public about how big of a security threat lock bumping had become.

Several years ago when I first started seeing these bump keys being sold on the internet, keyless locks were just starting to become popular around the same time. The reason I remember this is because I started thinking at that time how so many people were wasting good money buying these keyless locks.

I figured they were completely unaware of this growing lock bumping threat as almost all keyless locks being sold at that time & for the next 2 to 3 years later, all had key cylinders in them that could be opened with a bump key.

I suspect they were designed this way in case something was to go wrong with the keyless function & if so you could still open the lock with a key.

Although you still have many keyless locks being retailed today with key cylinders in them, you also have many that do not. If you choose to obtain any combination or biometric (fingerprint) locks for your home, you will discover there are many more by far without key cylinders then there are with them that are also bump proof.

Third Option:

You have several different devices being retailed in today’s market that were specifically designed to prevent lock bumping on doors with single cylinder deadbolts.

Each of these devices were designed to prevent the thumb-turn part of the deadbolt from turning.

If the thumb-turn cannot rotate it will simply prevent the key from turning & therefor the deadbolt cannot retract back inside the lock.

Some people may purchase one of these devices to be used on an exterior door that would not be used as an entry door into their home as these thumb-turn devices will also prevent the locks key from unlocking the door.

These devices could certainly help anyone on a limited budget as they retail between $15 & $20 each. Many people who purchased these anti-lock bumping devices may also not be aware that there are ANSI Grade 1 bump proof locks available for only $10 to $15 more.

WD-40 Dose Not Make Your Locks Bump Proof!

I have recently seen a few of these media stories that are informing the public that the cheapest solution for protecting one's home & family against lock bumping is to spray WD-40 into the lock. They claim the lubrication makes the lock’s pins more slippery & this makes it harder for a bump key to work.

This is actually not true as anyone who knows anything at all about lock bumping will tell you, the more freely the lock’s pins can move, the easier the bumping process will be.

I certainly would not recommend spraying WD-40 in any of your locks, but I can see how it would make the bumping process more difficult over time. Although it definitely would not make the lock bump proof & the problem it would cause could be fixed very quickly.

First of all, WD-40 should never be used to free up or lubricate any keyed lock as it does not dry on contact like all good lock lubricants should & therefor it actually acts like a magnet as it attracts a lot of dust into the lock.

Having a buildup of dust & dirt enter the lock over time could certainly cause the pins in the lock to stick making it very difficult for a bump key to open the lock.

Any criminal with a little bit of experience in lock bumping knows the problems a buildup of dirt in a lock & sticky pins can have on the bumping process. They also know most problems of this nature can be cleared up very easily by spraying a lubricant inside the lock.

Prior to this lock bumping threat, lubricants like WD-40 were never good choices for pin tumbler locks because the dust & dirt they attract will eventually make the lock stiff to use & the key cylinder hard to turn.

The best type of lubricant you can use for maintaining the entrance locks in your home is powdered graphite.

It can be purchased in a tube with a thin nozzle for squirting the powder into the key cylinder & it is also available in an aerosol spray with a thin tube so it could also be sprayed into the locks key-way.

Powdered graphite has been widely used on pin tumbler locks for years & if you have any locks that are a bit stiff to use this lubricant does an excellent job in freeing them up.

Although if you do find the powdered graphite does not work for you & the key is still hard to turn, this would be a good sign that the pins in the lock are worn & should be replaced.

The Security Of Your Exterior Doors Is Only As Strong As Its Weakest Link!

Protecting your home against lock bumping by installing good quality bump proof locks on your exterior doors is only one of several equally important elements that needs to be addressed for securing the entrance doors in your home against unlawful intrusion.

Other elements that need to be addressed are:

  • Insuring the door itself is solid core hardwood or it’s of metal clad construction.

  • You will need to ensure the door frame for each exterior door is structurally sound.

  • You will want to make sure you have good quality hinges. It is also important to ensure that two of the four screws required for attaching each hinge to the door & two of the four screws attaching each hinge to the doors frame are “3 inch or 7.62 centimeter” wood screws.

  • You will need to replace any cosmetic type strike plate that normally comes with a lock with a heaver gauge security strike plate. You will also want to secure the security strike plate to the doors frame & to the wall stud behind it using 3 inch or 7.62 centimeter wood screws.

The reason I stated that each of these elements are all equally important is because the best door locks money can buy will not help if other elements cannot stand up to the type of force a criminal will level against them.

A good way for understanding how important each of these elements are to the security of your home, is just remember that the security of your exterior doors is only as strong as its weakest link.

Many people felt a sense of accomplishment & a better feeling of security after installing a good quality lock on an entrance door in their home.

Unfortunately by not addressing any of the other elements that contributes to the security of the door, that better feeling of security they receive is undoubtedly a false sense of security.

I sincerely hope the information outlined on this lock bumping web page was in some way helpful & beneficial for you. You may want to consider bookmarking this site as new & updated content is uploaded weekly.

Lock Bumping

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