Lock Bumping

The media has picked up on (and probably furthered the practice of) lock bumping. Lock bumping is a process that burglars use to unlock your door in a matter of seconds.  The ‘bump key’, also called a 999 key, is inserted into the conventional door lock, and a hammer or screwdriver is tapped against the end of the key, and the impact makes the pins hop above the shear line long enough for the key to be turned. Voila! The lock is opened in under ten seconds.What’s even worse is that quality locks are made of better metals, and therefore easier to bump. 

It really is a stroke of genius on the part of criminals, you have to hand them that. But, as always, we are diligent in our determination to thwart them. In order to do that, we need a bump proof lock. There are two types of locks which are bump proof. The first is a key-less entry lock. The absence of a keyhole means there is nothing to bump or pick.

One of the problems with lock bumping is that there is no sign of forced entry. While this doesn’t seem like an issue, a bumped lock in terms of classifying something as a ‘burglary’ falls under the same category as if you left your door unlocked. Unless you can prove the lock was bumped, the thief won’t be charged with breaking and entering. The way our legal system works, while stealing items is illegal, the method is also important, and will add another crime--and more time--to the thief’s sentence.  While this seems like nitpicking, it probably is, until you find out he stole and summarily fenced your brand-new 42” tv, your kids’  laptops, a play station, your grandmother’s silver coin collection and a diamond ring. Then the gloves come off.

Like, 'Keep off the Grass', a 'Do not Duplicate' message is sometimes ignored.

Like, 'Keep off the Grass', a 'Do not Duplicate' message is sometimes ignored.

In our repertoire of items we can use to fight back are some different ‘bump proof’ locks. 

The first is by Schlage, the Touch Camelot BE375. It’s a keyhole-less, the numbers and lever have LED down lighting. It requires a 9 volt battery, and is a grade 2 security rating.lock.

Another option is the Lockey USA M-210-BB Mechanical Bump Proof Deadbolt. 

With no keys, no batteries, and a totally mechanic mechanism, is is a great option for people who don’t want to fumble with keys.But, some users reported that you can transpose the code numbers in any order and the door will unlock.A kindly person did the math on possible combinations for this:

2 = 66
3 = 220
4 = 495
5 = 792 (total if turn knob after each press)
Total = 1573
6 = 924 (total if turn knob after each press)
Total = 2497 (if you ordered extra)

It also can’t be used if there is an existing standard drilled lock hole in your door because the unit is too narrow and there will be a gap on either side.

Another is Master Lock DNRN1015 Nightwatch Combination Deadbolt With Bump Stop Cylinder

This one is cheaper than the others. It has pins that won’t jump and a combination key set.

A bump proof lock won’t keep out every burglar. Almost any lock can be drilled out. But, make him bring that drill (and add a forced entry to his crimes if he gets caught). The guy with the $2 bump key is going to have to find someone else to rob today. Again, security is about layers. Waste enough of a burglar’s time and he’ll either have to find easier pickings or have a cache of tools and the time to get into your house.