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New Vocabulary … Bump Proof Locks

August 12th, 2013 by Darci Rosenblum / Link to This

Within any industry, there are specific vocabulary terms that go along with it.  For example, in the plumbing industry you might hear “blow bag” which is a device used for drain cleaning.  In locksmithing, I’ve come across the term “bump proof” many times and have decided that it was time to learn more about this frequently used term.

Upon first investigation, I learned that lock bumping is a recent trend in burglaries, which can make it easy and fast to break into homes without needing too much special equipment, and leaving any trace of forced entry (they say even a child can bump a lock). It works almost as well as actually having a key, so the technique can very quickly open about 90% of American household locks.

Looking back in time, Locksmiths have long used the “lock bumping” technique to gain access to locks when a key is not present. The term “bumping” comes from the fact that a specially cut key is inserted into a keyhole and then tapped or “bumped” by a screwdriver or other object. This “bumping” forces the pins in the lock to jump to their shear line, and with a little torque applied to the key, the lock will open. With the advent of the Internet, this technique was made generally available and sadly, companies are selling the specially cut keys online. Anyone with an Internet connection now has access to the technology and tools needed to gain entry to your home.

The good news is that it is preventable.  The industry responded to the surge in bumping devices and created bump proof locks.  Our locksmiths can come out and replace your lock with a secure system that involves a normal pin tumbler lock plus an additional secondary locking system (sidebar) on the side of the key that involves lifting and rotating of additional pins that can’t be opened with a bump key.

So to sum up my investigation, it seems like anyone with $3 and an Internet connection can get into your home.  In my opinion, go that extra mile and install bump proof locks today.

Example of what a bumping key looks like.

Screen shot 2013-08-12 at 4.08.53 PM

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