The Threat of Lock Bumping and How to Prevent It

Over the last few years there has been a lot in the news about lock bumping. Some of it true and some of it, lets just say exaggerated. To help shed some light on this subject, from a Sacramento locksmith perspective, in the following, we will discuss what lock bumping is, how much at risk your business or home may be and some ways by which you can increase your security to overcome this threat.

What is Lock Bumping? Lock Bumping is a technique of picking a lock cylinder through the use of a specially cut key and a hammer or other striking device. The would be burglar inserts the key into the lock cylinder and then by using a significant amount of dexterity and skill he hits the bow of the key until it essentially picks all of the tumblers and he gains access.

How Vulnerable are you? So the question becomes just how vulnerable is your home or place of business to such an entry technique? First off, let it be said, there are easier ways to gain entry into a building then by bumping the lock. Lock bumping creates a significant amount of noise for the perpetrator must repeatedly hit the bow of the key which is inserted into the lock mounted to the door. Thus, every time that the key is struck the sound reverberates through out the house or building. Let’s face it, if the burglar is not concerned about making a raucous then it would be both faster and easier just to pick up a rock and break a window.

Second, lock bumping is a lock picking technique thus it does take some amount of skill and practice in order to do it efficiently. If someone is motivated to pick locks by the use of a bump key they may as well just learn traditional picking techniques. In fact do to the amount of noise that bumping produces it would be more prudent for a burglar to pick the lock, not bump it. (Note, it is illegal in California to have bump keys or lock picks on your person without the proper permits to do so.)

Ways to stop Lock Bumping and Picking. Take it from me, a security professional working as a Sacramento Locksmith for ten years; lock bumping is no more of a threat then lock picking. That being said lets briefly cover some of the security upgrades that can Divine Locks be done to decrease the chances of a burglar either picking or bumping into your home or business. The least expensive option would be to have a locksmith replace all of the driver pins in your existing locks with a spooled or mushroom variety. These specially designed pins make your lock have essentially two different sheer lines that must be aligned before the lock will open. The net result is a lock that is extremely difficult to either bump or pick.

The second and more expensive option would be to replace all of your lock cylinders with a high security lock cylinders. These locks are designed to use a key that incorporates a side bar. If the sidebar information does not match the original key then the lock cylinder will not turn. These locks are available from multiple manufactures and can also be ordered with restricted keyways, I.E. one that only your locksmith has access to. This can greatly increase your key control; no one will be able to copy the key but you. These lock cylinders are considered both pick and bump proof.

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