You may be aware that forced entry techniques, such as drilling and lock picking, can cause locks to become damaged. This could signal a burglary attack. What about lock bumping? Does it also damage locks? Let’s head right into it!
For the most part, lock bumping doesn’t damage locks, unless a bump key breaks off in the lock’s keyhole. Most lock bumping attacks go unnoticed because the lock continues to function normally afterward.
This article will explain the basics of lock bumping, including signs and how to avoid it. Let’s begin!
What is Lock Bumping, and How Does it Work?
Lock bumping is a technique used in bypassing a typical pin-and-tumbler lock when the key is not readily available—lost or stolen. Lock bumping is not like lock picking. It does not require any special skills to open locks.
It works by inserting a special key known as a bump key into the lock and then hit with a screwdriver or a similar tool to open the lock—which is the bumping.
It’s called bumping because the bump key (also known as a 999 key) literally bumps the lock by altering the pins forcefully.
Professional locksmiths used lock bumping to open locks until recently when the original keys weren’t available. But as you know, it’s now one of the major forced entry techniques used by burglars. The method is quiet, quick, and leaves no indications that a burglar is trying to enter your home. This is why homeowners must protect their homes against lock bumping attacks.
What is a Bump Key and how do you use it?
A bump key is the most important instrument in lock bumping, as we have already mentioned. It’s a special key design to open all pin-and-tumbler locks it fits into. The keys come with ridges—cut to the depth of 999, this is why they’re also called 999 keys.
Bump keys can easily be purchased online, as well as anywhere else for a small amount. And you don’t need any license to own a bump key, perhaps the reason housebreaking attacks are on the increase.
How to tell if your locks have been bumped
As previously mentioned, lock bumping typically leaves no indications that there has been an attack. The most obvious sign of lock bumping is the bump key breaking in the lock.
You may also notice strange marks on the keyhole or the like. But then, this could be a sign of other forced entry attacks, so it’s not a sure telltale sign of lock bumping.
Protect against lock bumping is the best way.
How to Prevent Lock Bumping
1. Bump-proof Locks to Replace Old Locks
Bump-proof locks can resist bump keys. However, bump keys can bypass most locks they fit into. You should replace old locks that aren’t bump-resistant.
While it might be difficult to find bumpproof locks, locks with SmartKey Security feature can resist bumping. You may consider them as bump-proof locks as they’re able to withstand lock bumping attacks because of the SmartKey Technology.
Door locks rated BHMA/ANSI grade 1 and 2 are high security locks. They can resist lock bumping as well as other forced entry techniques like drilling and lock picking.
2. Add chain latches to your front doors
Adding chain latches to your front doors and other exterior doors may not directly protect against lock bumping, but it adds another layer of security to your door, meaning a thief will have to struggle with that too—irrespective of the forced entry method.
3. Add more pins to your lock
This may not be necessary if your locks are bump-resistant. To increase security, a locksmith can add more pins on your lock.
This doesn’t make your lock bump-proof, but it makes the lock difficult to bump. More pins make locks more difficult to pick and bump.
Besides, you won’t spend more money compared to lock replacement.
4. Install Home Security Systems
Home security systems include SimpliSafe And Ring Alarm Provide real-time monitoring that will notify you if anyone attempts to tamper with your door. So it’s a good way to prevent lock bumping, as the system will alert you once someone is at your door.
5. Get keyless locks
Keyless locks are a great way to keep your home safe from lock bumping attacks. Lock bumping works only on locks with keyholes. Keyless locks, however, have no relationship to lock bumping.
Best Bump Proof Locks (Brands).
There are no bump-proof locks that are completely impervious to the elements, other than keyless locks. Because of their advanced security features, locks with keyholes may be bump-proof. If you’re looking to get a bump-proof lock, below are the top brands notable for producing locks with bump-proof features.
Kwikset sells a lot of smart key locks. Kwikset98001-098 Ashfield, and Kwikset98001107 Shelburne single-cylinder locks are two examples.
As you all know, smart key locks SmartKey Security protects against lock bumping, drilling, and other forced entry techniques.
Baldwin is also a leader in smart key locks. Baldwin Nautica Single Cylinder Locks, Bighorn Single Cylinder Locks, Pistoria Single Cylinder Handlesets are just a few of the many.
Not only do these locks resist lock bumping, but they’re somewhat immune to lock picking, drilling, and other break-in methods. Learn more Baldwin bump-proof locks.
Although Schlage locks aren’t known for their SmartKey Security, they do have other security features like an anti-pick shield which protects against lock picking or bumping. Plus, most Schlage locks are Grade 1 and 2 BHMA/ANSI certified, meaning they’ve been tested to withstand forced entry methods, including lock bumping.
One of the Schlage’s bump-proof models you can trust is the Schlage Connect Deadbolt. It’s quite sturdy and has the ANSI BHMA Grade 1 certification.
The Medeco brand is notable for sturdy locks—that can resist various forms of forced entry.
Medeco locks are extremely secure and can withstand bump keys. One such lock is the Medeco 11TR50319FM Single Cylinder Mortise.
Most Medeco locks users attest to their high-security features, and you may well be one of the satisfied users—if you try them out.
FAQs about Bump Proof Locks
Do all locks accept bump keys?
Bump keys work with all locks that have keyholes, except bump proof-locks. That means there’s a limit to which bump keys work.
How can I tell if my lock has bump-proofing?
It might resist bumping if your lock has the SmartKey security and/or is certified by BHMA/ANSI Grade 1 or 2. The best way to find out if your lock is bumpproof is to test it using a bumpkey.
Do you have a bump key that can lock a door?
Yes, a bump key can unlock doors and lock them.
Most burglars will use the bump key to unlock doors and then lock them afterward, leaving no trace/signs that they were forced in.
Are Medeco locks bump-proof?
Yes, some Medeco locks have advanced security features that protect against lock bumping or similar forced entry attacks.
Lock bumping doesn’t break or destroy a lock completely. It’s even the forced entry method that leaves absolutely no signs.
You can protect your home from lock bumping attacks by installing bump resistant locks on old locks, and other security measures discussed above.