Bump Keys and how to avoid
break-ins at your home or business
A relatively new security problem is the threat of "bumping," in which someone with a 'bump key' can open most locks that are commonly used in homes...
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, if your home is protected with a standard lock, it may not do you much good. Thieves have been increasingly employing a popular technique called BUMPING, a lock picking technique for opening a pin tumbler lock using a specially crafted bump key. Lock bumping or the "999 Method" has long been familiar to certified locksmiths and high security companies around the world. Mainly used as a method for professional locksmiths to undo a mis-assembled cylinder on their workbench, rather than to gain entry, this technique has recently surfaced in the mainstream media as a means for intruders to illegally gain access to homes, businesses, and institutions and has raised many concerns among the general public.
Recently, in the Philadelphia area, a serial burglar, Angel Calo-Rivera, used a bump key, which can make it easy and fast to break into homes without needing too much special equipment or leaving any trace of forced entry, to break into nearly a dozen apartments in Burlington County, New Jersey. Calo-Rivera stole a gun, jewelry, clothes and electronics, according to police. Bump keys work almost as well as actually having a key, and about 90% of American household locks are vulnerable to bumping. Most home doors use standard cylinder locks...which are vulnerable to lock bumping.
FBI crime statistics show that approximately two-thirds of all burglaries have no signs of forced entry. It's impossible to know what percentage are due to bump keys because it's possible that the burglar picked the lock or simply stumbled across an unlocked door. But some crime experts believe as many as half of all cases of unforced entry are likely due to bump keys.
Clearly, bump keys are one of the biggest dangers posed to homeowners for a number of reasons. First, the bump keys themselves are neither expensive nor difficult to find for someone who wants to break into a building, according to crime experts. On websites such as bumpkeys.com, bump keys can be inexpensively purchased by anyone. Second, bump keys work on virtually any lock brand. Third, and perhaps most significantly, crime experts familiar with bump keys say they can be used to open a locked door in less than a minute. This makes bump keys a valuable commodity for burglars, who always seek the quickest method to gain entry into a home that attracts as little attention as possible. Fourth, because usually there are no signs of a break-in when bumping is done, insurance companies may not cover loss because "you probably left your door open." Installing high-quality locks is a good defense against home burglaries, according to the National Crime Prevention Council.
The truth is that although lock bumping has always posed a potential threat to consumers, the recent barrage of internet articles and demonstrations has introduced this technique to an entirely new population of existing and would-be criminals.
The National Crime Prevention Council wants homeowners to be aware of the prevalence of bumping, especially because there are many "how-to" videos online demonstrating how easy it is to use a bump key.
Watch the CBS report below
What can you do about key bumping?
First, awareness of the vulnerability is your first step to better security. Most people have never heard of key bumping, and don't realize how easy it is for burglars to get into your home. The bottom line is simply that when you consider the things that you're protecting: your home, your valuables and keepsakes, your money, and even your family - high security just makes sense; the idea of using a $20 lock to protect a home or business filled with thing, whenever you buy new locks... Check to be sure that they are specifically designed to be BUMP-RESISTANT.
The most effective way to increase your protection against lock manipulation techniques is to install a high security lock. Mul-T-Lock, the global leader in high security locking, carries a wide array of products that offer bump-resistance as well as the best defense against picking, drilling, and unauthorized key duplication. You may also consider ASSA ABLOY, MEDECO or if you want to go less expensive you may want to buy a Kwikset Smart Key Lock, they are not as good when it comes to high security, but will prevent unauthorized intruders from bumping your lock.
There are many steps that you as a consumer can take to eliminate security vulnerabilities.
In addition to installing a Mul-T-Lock high security lock to provide the ultimate protection against unauthorized entry attempts, Mul-T-Lock also offers the following safety tips that you can use to prevent your home or business from becoming a potential target. Knowing that you've taken every possible precaution to avoid unauthorized entry and that you are protected by Mul-T-Lock's unbeatable high security solution will improve your security and your peace of mind:
Talk to your neighbors about organizing a neighborhood watch effort, or simply let them know when you will be out of town and ask them to keep an eye on your home while you're away
keep the landscaping around your home as neat and revealing as possible. With less places for potential criminals to lurk, a wide open space will deter them from choosing your home or business as a potential target
Just as clearing away unnecessary trees and shrubbery deters criminals with the risk of getting caught, well-lit entrances and perimeters will discourage would-be intruders.
Motion Sensors and Security Systems
Added security measures such as motion sensors and alarm systems never hurt.