Chances are, your home’s front door is vulnerable to a #crime that can be hacked by any bored teenager. With a specially cut #bumpkey that can be made in less than 8 minutes, anyone can surreptitiously unlock your front/back door and leave no obvious sign of a break-in.
Trained licensed locksmiths have been using bumpkeys legitimately for decades; bump-keys are designed when whacked by the end of a screwdriver or hammer will momentarily force upward the internal pins that secure the lock, freeing the lock to turn just as if the correct key were used. For as little as $3, a bump key can now be ordered online from numerous Web sites offering what many say is nothing more than a burglary tool.
Bumping isn’t a new trick. The technique traditionally has involved by filing a blank key into a set of teeth that when inserted into the keyhole, the teeth will rest against each of the pins in a pin and tumbler lock. As shown in the illustration above, when the key is tapped with a mallet or hammer those teeth “bump” the pins like a pool cue hitting billiard balls: The bottom portions stay put, but the force is transferred to the top halves of the pins, which jump up a few millimeters. By applying a small amount of torque to the key, a skilled bumper can catch those jumping pins outside of the lock’s cylinder, allowing it to open.
Lock Bumping in Action!
There have been several reports of Hawaii homeowners that stated they were burglarized with no signs of a forceful break-in; they were more than likely victims of a bump-key break-in.
Here’s what crime prevention experts recommend for your front door:
- Deadbolts that extend at least an inch when locked.
- A lock with anti-bump technology.
- A burglar alarm.
- A second lock, to make it more time-consuming to bump.
- A slide lock, used while you’re home, to back up your main lock.