Beware the Lock Bump, the Burglar’s Latest Technique

Lock bumping has been around for a few years. Apart from a few news magazine stories, it hasn’t received a lot of play in the media. At first, homeowners expressed concern, but that faded as the coverage faded, mostly due to the lack of criminal statistics on lock bumping.

Upon responding to a burglary call, police find the likely point of entry and examine for damage to the home. A lock bump leaves virtually no trace, unless the process is performed poorly. Hence, statistics for lock bumping are inaccurate since those incidents are normally categorized as “no visible sign of entry” by the officer on the scene.

Let’s look at what lock bumping is and how it’s performed. To start, a brief overview of how locks work is necessary.

As a key slides into a lock, the pins inside the lock slide across the notches and valleys cut into the key, lifting and lowering the pins. When they’re properly aligned, the cylinder can be turned and the door can be opened. A bump key takes advantage of this.

A bump key is made by filing v-shaped notches into a key at the points where the pins coincide inside the lock. When the bump key is inserted into the lock, it is aligned with the pins, although it cannot move the cylinder. By applying a bit of lateral torque and simultaneously bumping or tapping the key with a rubber handled tool, the pins in the lock pop up momentarily. This is long enough for the key to turn the cylinder and open the door.

While there are numerous brands of household deadbolts, they’re all based on the original Yale design, meaning they’re all vulnerable to lock bumping. With a thorough set of bump keys, the vast majority of homes can be opened in two seconds with very little noise.

Currently, the only solution is to buy a high security lock Mul-T-Lock or Abloy locks that use rotating disks or pins on the bottom of the lock to defeat lock bumping. They’re priced reasonably and will reinstate your peace of mind.

Why is the Back Door a Weak Spot?

Back doors have a number of weak points. Their most obvious weakness is the lack of locks. Few back doors have deadbolts, door chains, and other locks. Instead, they usually have a single deadbolt, without any accompanying security measures.

Furthermore, these doors often have more glass. Indeed, some people’s back door is nothing but a screen door – an entire door made of nothing but glass and a small latch used as a lock. That is not nearly enough security for most homes, and makes it easy for potential thieves to simply shatter the back door and enter. While adding security to your front door is important, few burglars use the front door as an entrance point. They look for weaknesses, and the back door of your home is likely a weakness.

What is the solution?

There are several types of security measures that can be installed on your back door in order to improve your security. Just a small sample of these include:

– High security Mul-T-Lock deadbolt
– Door viewers
– Door strips

There are equally as many potential locks and security devices that can be installed on your front door as your back door, and unlike your front door, you don’t have to worry about your home feeling uninviting due to this high level of security. You can keep all of the locks closed when you’re not using your backyard, and open them only when you need to.

Your security needs to keep all of your weak spots in mind. Your back door is one of the prime weak spots that burglars can exploit. That is why it is important that you install effective security devices on your back door and keep burglars from entering.