How to Prevent Lock Bumping
Your home may be able to be broken into by the lock bumping method. Before we can go over how best to make your home resistant to this technique, we first need to understand a little bit about how it works.
What Is Lock Bumping?
Also called the 999 method, lock bumping involves a little bit of tapping on the lock cylinder to disassemble it. Originally used by locksmiths, it quickly passed into more unsavory circles and is now used by burglars to break into homes.
According to Locksmith of San Mateo, a locksmith in San Mateo, a lock can be opened by tapping the cylinder in the right way and putting a key into it to relieve some pressure. The only things needed are a small hammer or tapping tool and a bump key.
Can My Home Be Broken into Via Lock Bumping?
The short answer is yes. Approximately 90% of all U.S. homes have a lock that is vulnerable to this technique. The skill is so easy to learn that even a child could pick it up. Making matters worse is that despite it being a form of forced entry, it is very difficult to see any signs of it.
To determine if your home is susceptible to this technique, you should know where you bought your locks, If it was at a big box store or other large outlet, you most likely have such a lock. Newer locks especially are more prone to it, along with anything that is a cylinder or pin tumbler.
How Can I Prevent Lock Bumping?
There are several different techniques you can use to make your home bump proof. The most common low-cost method is to install a chain latch onto your front door. While spending just a bit more, you can invest in UL 437 rated locks, which are known for being bump proof.
Schlage has a nice set of commercial grade locks that are actually fairly inexpensive and are bump resistant. These aren’t the toughest locks, but are definitely a step up on what’s traditionally found in typical residential entry doors.
Aside from a chain, there is the thumb turn guard that can go over your deadbolt to reinforce your home. You can also invest in a digital lock, which use a completely different mechanism than pins to keep your front door safe.
How Are Digital Locks Different?
Also called just electronic locks, these locks come in a wide variety of different styles. Earlier versions used a keypad, while current ones are Bluetooth-enabled and use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and biometric entry.
Using something called a fob, RFID locks work by opening when touched with the fob. This works differently from a key, as it only has to be in the general area of the lock, letting you avoid fumbling for your keys in the dark or if your hands are full.
Similar to the RFID version, with the biggest difference with Bluetooth locks is that these use the compatibility with your smartphone. Many of these type of locks use RFID as a backup in case your smartphone’s battery dies.
Biometric locks are probably the most advanced of the electronic locks, as they use fingerprint identification to open. These devices can be used with multiple people; all you have to do is set it up properly so they can have access to your home.
Is There Anything I Can Do to My Current Lock?
If you don’t want to invest into a new lock, you can try taking your current home lock to a locksmith. What they can then do is install an extra set of pins to make bumping your lock much more difficult to do. The locksmith can often come to your home to do it as well.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
It’s not just a random cliche; thieves hate dogs, as their barking can alert you and the neighbor that there is an intruder afoot. This can be another way to protect your home. In addition, an advanced security system that involves alarms, cameras, and signals can also do wonders in preventing your home from being broken into.
Most likely, if you have a cheaper pin lock, your home is susceptible to lock bumping. With just a little bit of light investment you can make your home less likely to be broken into via this method, There are also higher end locks too that are safer, but cost noticeably more.