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Prevent Lock Bumping and Bump Keys

Posted by Customer Support , 04 February 2009 · 778 views

Prevent Lock Bumping

Some "expert" individuals will suggest that by using quality locks it's possible to stop the bump key. Quality locks are actually even more vulnerable to lock bumping unless they employ specific design mechanisms to help prevent the process from being successful. This happens because they use more precise manufacturing methods so that the pins and cylinder plug move freely. In fact, case hardened steel locks are the most vulnerable to this insidious attack since they are much less likely to be damaged by an inexperienced bumper. Damage from bumping frequently causes cheaper locks to jam which can prevent the burglary.

Locks with additional security pins are less vulnerable to lock bumping but it is still possible for a trained bumper to open the lock. The best solution is to buy electronic locks, magnetic locks, and locks that use rotating disks because they are not vulnerable to bumping.

Because the bump key must have the same blank key profile as the lock it is being used to open, using restricted or security registered key profiles make using this method more difficult since the correct key blanks cannot be obtained legally unless you are a registered locksmith. The picture below is a key blank for a typical house key. As you can see there are no cuts on the key.

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Another method that prevents bumping is to use a lock with built in trap pins. A trap pin is a pin stack that is intentionally shorter than the rest of the stacks. When a burglar tries to bump the lock, the bump key cannot bump the shorter pin stack so that the key pins and driver pins will not line up correctly to the shear line and the lock will not open.

BumpstopTM from Master Lock is one example that uses a specially designed trap pin with a high performance spring that prevents the transfer of any force to the other pins which prevents the plug from rotating so the lock stays locked. The red pin in the cut away of the tumbler pictured below is a lock trap pin. The space between it and the bottom pin stops the pins from lining up on the shear line so that bumping will not open the lock.

A better but more expensive way to protect your home is to purchase and install bump proof locks. SmartKeyTM manufactured by Kwikset is one example of a bump proof lock that provides protection from both bumping and lock picking.

Many manufacturers also provide multi-family contractors, remodelers and building managers with the ability to rekey the lock in minutes without having to remove it from the door. Manufacturers such as Medeco, Schlage Primus, Assa and Mul-T-Lock also make anti-pick locks. All of these locks incorporate much more complex, multi layer locking mechanisms as well as patented designs that allow the manufacture to control the number of blank keys that are made.

The safest alternative locks that can provide the maximum security for your home or business are the biometric finger print scanners. Since they scan your fingerprint, no key is necessary so it is impossible for you to lose it and no one but authorized people can enter. Most of these locks allow you to enter as many fingerprints as you want into the lock�s database.