Key Bumping and How it Affects Home Security

By: Gavyn Smith
Key bumping may be one of the major threats to your home security that you may not know about. It is now a method quickly being made popular as videos are passed around the internet and indirect publicity is created from public news reports. The question that comes to mind with key bumping is the following: Is your home safe anymore with just a deadbolt on your front door? What can you do to prevent yourself from being burglarized using this simple method?

The technique of key bumping originally goes back to at least the 1970s, as locksmiths shared a new way to get into a locked home taking only a matter of seconds and only using a 'bump key' to do the job. It quickly became more popular as the media grabbed wind of the method, with burglars and thieves then implementing the idea in their 'work.' In short, the idea has gained such popularity and publicity that it is a well-known technique among any common thief. Just search on youtube for example, and you will get a whole host of videos showing the technique. In order to help put a stop to that spread, I will list the basics of how the process works, so that you can get educated.

The locks we generally use on our doors have not changed much since they were first invented years ago. Each basic lock contains a series of pins arranged in stacks, which when misaligned, cause the lock cylinder to not turn. When the proper key is inserted, it makes the pins align, which then allows the cylinder to turn. The basic idea of a bump key is to force a 'blank key' to become the key that turns the cylinder. How that happens is by inserting a key that has been filed properly to fit into the lock. Upon applying a small amount of force and 'bumping' they key, the pins are aligned for a moment, and the key can enter in, keeping the pins aligned properly. The process takes a matter of seconds once a proper-fitting key is made.

The main threat of key bumping comes from the fact that it is an inexpensive method that works well for most standard deadbolts. So, what can you do to prevent the thief from breaking in? The main thing nowadays that an individual can do is get a high-end lock. While these may be more expensive, you pay for quality here, and the protection that most high-end locks provide is without price. Several brands such as KABA, Schlage, and Kwikset offer 'bump-proof' locks, which work by various different ways, but the main idea being to not allow 'bumping.' If you are shopping for a new deadbolt, make sure to find one that is advertised and reviewed as 'bump-proof.' In addition, there are several products that you can get, such as gels, which act to prevent 'bumping' as well.

It is important also to realize that despite having a good deadbolt, most thieves would rather just break a window or door to get in a home since it takes even less time and there are no complications. However, there is also a way to protect against this, and that is employing door or window contacts which can detect the opening of their respective placements. The final idea is to combine all of these different elements in order to cover as many aspects of your home's security as possible.

Source:

Home Security
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