Lock bumping is a technique used by criminals to open cylinder and deadbolt locks by using a bump key. It allows a large variety of locks to be opened quickly. This technique is nondestructive, so there isn’t a sign of forced entry. Because of this, some insurance companies will refuse to pay legitimate claims where a lock was opened this way.

A bump key is a standard key that take advantage of the mechanics of pin and tumbler locks. Several state and federal laws prohibit the distribution of locksmithing devices to anyone other than lock manufacturers or others with a recognized legal purpose, but lock bumping still happens because it’s impossible to control or prevent the manufacturing and sale of these tools.

Locks from local hardware stores or large retailers are the most likely vulnerable. Mass produced locks are keyed alike. In many cases, these locks don’t have a pick guard either, which makes them an easy lock picking target.

Professional lock manufacturers have created their own version of bump-resistant or bump-proof locks. These are high security cylinders that are harder to pick. Some manufacturers have implemented patented anti-bumping pins with their standard cylinders. Another anti-bumping technique is shallow drilling, where one or more pin stacks is drilled slightly shallower than the others. If an attempt is made on a lock like this, the bump key will not be able to engage the drilled pins.

There are a number of techniques you can use to prevent lock bumping and make your home and business more secure. Chain latches, for example, provides an additional layer for a criminal to bypass to gain entry. Modifying existing locks and deadbolts is a cost effective way to make your locks more secure. A certified locksmith is able to make modifications to increase resistance to bump keys. You can install new high security locks.

Another option is a non-tumbler lock, such as rotating disk locks, or electronic locks. The electronic lock uses electric current to drive its locking mechanism. They employ magnets, solenoids, or motors to activate the lock by either supplying or removing power. They can also be connected to an access control system to strengthen security. Your locksmith can advise you on the best lock for your situation based on budget and desired level of security.

Lock bumping forms a serious threat, don’t give burglars the opportunity to break into your house. Keep your doors and windows locked, install motion lights in your garden, and be careful about issuing spare keys. A security system and a good quality safe don’t hurt. The best thing you can do is call your local locksmith. A certified professional can help keep your home and loved ones safe. A certified locksmith has experience in finding weak entry spots and can give you advice that fits your budget and meets your specific needs.

Contact Bedford Lock & Key at 781-275-1597 in Bedford, MA or 978-433-5262 in Pepperell, MA to get more information and lock options.