While high-quality locks will mostly protect you better from an intruder forcing his or her way into a home, one thing they are actually less likely to protect a homeowner from is lock bumping. With high-quality locks, the tumblers move more easily, making this technique more effective. Lock bumping appears to be more common now than in the past due to the wide availability of knowledge regarding how to do so. However, it is impossible to really know how often this technique is used because lock bumping leaves no trace, so the criminal must be caught in the act of using one.
How Bump Keys work
Pin tumbler locks are made out of spring-loaded stacks that are referred to as pin stacks. These are made up of at least two pins stacked together. To turn the cylinder, the key must be of the right cut so that the pins can form a straight line. The bump key is able to force these pins into the correct position through Newton's Cradle, which allows for the cylinder to be turned. Lock bumping is capable of bypassing most cylinder locks. It is performed using a bump key, which is a key with cuts that are all to the maximum depth. Most intruders make their own bump keys because requesting one from a locksmith would seem suspicious.
Stopping Bump Keys
Fortunately, there are locks that are specifically designed to be resistant to bump keys. These locks replace the tumbler lock design with other designs, such as the sliding bar. Attaching a chain latch to your door will make it more difficult for an intruder to enter your home because he or she will need to also get past the chain latch. Some tumbler locks have security pins known as spool or mushroom pins. They make lock bumping more challenging, but not impossible. Therefore, the best approach ultimately is to get away from the tumbler design altogether, since the bump keys are useless against other types of locks.
Ditching Traditional Locks
Traditional keyed locks are not the only way that you can keep your door secure. Bumped keys are obviously completely useless against locks that are opened using remote controls or a key code. With a keycode or remote controlled lock, entering the right code or sending the right signal will allow for the door to be opened. For more information, contact a professional like Timberline Locksmith Service.