The Threat of Bump Keys: Ways to Prevent Lock Bumping

Fatima Buzdar

November 24, 2022

A person wearing black leather gloves, resembling a skilled locksmith, is inserting a key into a silver lock. The close-up image highlights the gloved hand and the lock, set against a dark, blurred background.

With the persistent danger of burglary, it is crucial to ensure that your home security is capable of protecting you against the cunning house break-in techniques on the rise. Your exterior door locks are the prime targets of the burglars’ attempts to break into your house, and the techniques behind these attempts include bumping the lock. If your locks are not capable of withstanding the threat of lock bumping, a burglar can utilize a bump key designed to compromise pin tumbler locks and barge into your house with no time even with an amateur skillset.

Thanks to how easy it is to purchase these bump keys with sharp teeth that manipulate the pins in the lock, it is a break-in method commonly loved by burglars and your house can become their target. As frightening as it may sound, the good news is that there are various effective security measures that you can take to prevent lock bumping from compromising your house security! Seeking an expert locksmith’s services concerning this worry is the best approach.

What is Lock Bumping?

Lock bumping is a technique that aims to exploit the pin tumbler cylinder lock. It is a procedure that requires utilizing two tools: a bump key (also known as 999 key) and a hammer. The functionality to help breach the lock derives from the sharp bump key bitting. The teeth of bump keys are filed to form sharp teeth, which bear the semblance of a saw.

The procedure begins with inserting the bump key wholly into the lock. Then a hammer is used to bump the key forward through the keyway, which would push and align the pins. This will allow the bump key to successfully turn and unlock the door.

The scary part about this technique is that if your lock is not well-protected, then even a novice burglar can easily bump your lock and forcibly enter your home. Bump keys can be easily found online to purchase at surprisingly low rates. On top of it, the procedure does not consume much time either and can be done as fast as within a minute.

What Are the Signs of Lock Bumping?

It is always good to be on the lookout for signs of forced entry attempts. It is possible that someone tried to tamper with the lock only to have to leave it in the middle of the process to come back to later. Even if that would not be the case, the attempt could have caused damage upon the lock which needs to be resolved. Hence, it is recommendable to watch out for the signs of lock bumping.

Due to the nature of the technique, a failed lock bumping attempt might not leave behind much of the signs. However, in the case it does, you may be able to catch dents and scratches left on the keyhole and the pins as the result of a key bumping attempt. Such signs can also arise from other types of lock tampering, so be sure to not neglect this.

How to Prevent Lock Bumping?

Protecting your house from the lock bumping threats ultimately comes down to ensuring to keep a robust locking system. Read on to find out the best ways to approach that.

Upgrade to Bump-Proof High-Security Locks

Often found with an UL 437 rating, these high-security bump proof locks provide an extra layer of resistance against the attempts of bumping, as well as against any other lock tampering attempts like lock picking, drilling, etc.

As they do not make use of pin tumbler mechanism, it is impossible to bump them. Additionally, they tend to be patented locks, adding the extra perk of more security. By choosing such a secure lock, you can massively upgrade the security of your home.

Install Smart Locks

When discussing the locks that do not utilize the pin tumbler structure, we certainly can not forget the electronic locking system of smart locks. In addition to the myriad of conveniences they have to offer, they also eliminate the risk of bumping. They are operated through the means of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. and hence lack the pin tumbler structure for their mechanisms.

Implement Security Pins

Security pins are designed to be more resistant to the attempts of manipulation than the typical pins. Upon the detection of an object that is not the typical key, the pins will be triggered to block the rotation of the cylinder. While this does not completely eliminate the danger of bumping, it still holds robust prevention against it and other methods of breaching the lock through pin manipulation.

Mount a Thumb Turn Guard

A thumb turn guard can make it impossible to bump your lock. It is installed on the interior side of the door, mounted into the thumb turn component of the deadbolt. As a result, it prevents the deadbolt from turning through any key from the exterior side, even if the correct key is used.

Hence, it would naturally disallow a bump key from turning the deadbolt as well. Being unable to open the lock from exterior can be a big downside. However, it can still be appropriate to be used during night when nobody needs to come in.

Ensure a Good Condition of Lock

Take a good care of your locks and they will thank you. By upholding a regular maintenance of your locks, as well as repairing the lock upon noticing the signs that it requires repair or replacement, you can ensure that your locking system is working robustly for protecting your house.

The dangers of using a lock in a poor condition makes it prone to be compromised. If it has weakened or damaged components, then it can open the path to it being leveraged by a burglar for bumping the lock.

Protect Your Home Against Lock Bumping Before It Is Too Late

The ease of lock bumping makes your pin tumbler locks mounted on the exterior doors a serious safety concern. The technique can be mastered with little effort, and on top of it, the required tools are definitely not a pain to gain access to. Without the proper steps taken to strengthen your locks, you can not be sure that your house is protecting you against this danger.

This is what we can assist with! Our Georgina locksmiths can inspect your locks for any weaknesses and resolve them with the right solutions that protect your house from the intruders’ tactics. We can deliver and install secure locks, as well as implement any other security measures like security pins to upgrade the security of your house. Additionally, we can assist with maintaining the lock and keeping it in the optimal condition.

Safeguard your property with our expert locksmith solutions. Get in touch with our approachable, knowledgeable team.