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Everything You Need to Know About Lock Bumping

Pin_tumbler_with_key.svgEach year there are over 3.5 million homes invaded by burglars in the US. This should be a wake-up call to homeowners that extra precaution should be taken. There are a number of ways burglars managed to get into a home, one of which is lock bumping, the simple act of using a bump key to pick a lock.

In recent months, the act of lock bumping has become more common due to increased publicity and how-to videos. The burglar inserts the bump key and then taps it with a hammer. The tap bumps the pins inside the lock above the shear line and once the pins have been pushed into position, a light touch will pop open the lock.

Although there is little you can do to prevent the use of a bump key on your lock, here are a few changes you can make to increase your home’s protection:

  • Buy the right key. Various lock smiths and law enforcements officials revealed that bump keys can unlock up to 90% of the locks in America. Some of the major lock manufacturers sell bump-proof locks.
  • Reinforce your current lock. Replace the strike plate, the metal plate that is mounted on the doorjamb and into which the lock bolt slides.
  • Use-patent-protected keys. Purchasing keys that are patent-protected helps reduce the chance of your key being duplicated.
  • Always lock your door. Even if you feel comfortable leaving your door unlocked, it is best practice to lock it every time arrive and leave your home.