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How to Protect Your Home from Key Bumping

Have you ever heard of key bumping? It is a technique that burglars use to open most standard pin tumbler locks using a specially cut key and a blunt object. It is also known as lock bumping or bump keying, and it can compromise the security of your home in seconds.

Key bumping works by inserting a bump key into the keyhole and tapping it with a hammer or a screwdriver. This causes the pins inside the lock to jump up and down, creating a brief gap that allows the lock to be turned. A skilled burglar can bump a lock in less than 10 seconds, leaving no visible signs of forced entry.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, key bumping is one of the fastest-growing threats to home security in the US. It is estimated that 90% of American homes are vulnerable to key bumping, as most of them use standard pin tumbler locks. If you live in Encino, you should be aware of this risk and take steps to protect your home from key bumping.

In this article, we will explain what key bumping is, how it works, and how you can prevent it with simple and effective solutions. We will also show you how to detect and report key bumping incidents, and how to get professional help from a reliable locksmith Encino. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to keep your home safe from key bumping.

What is Key Bumping and How Does It Work?

Key bumping is a lock-picking technique that uses a specially cut key and a blunt object to open most standard pin tumbler locks. A pin tumbler lock is the most common type of lock found in homes, offices, and vehicles. It consists of a cylinder that rotates when the correct key is inserted and a series of pins that prevent the cylinder from turning when the wrong key is inserted.

A bump key is a key that has been filed down to the lowest possible depth, creating a series of peaks and valleys. A bump key can fit into any lock that matches its keyway, which is the shape of the keyhole. A bump key does not need to match the exact cuts of the original key, as it only needs to create enough space for the pins to move.

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To bump a lock, a burglar inserts a bump key into the keyhole and applies slight pressure to rotate it. Then, the burglar strikes the head of the key with a hammer, a screwdriver, or any other blunt object. This causes the pins inside the lock to jump up and down, creating a brief gap between the top and bottom pins. When this gap aligns with the shear line, which is the edge of the cylinder, the lock can be turned and opened.

Key bumping can be done in less than 10 seconds, and it leaves no visible signs of forced entry. This makes it hard to detect and prove, and it can also void your insurance claim if you are a victim of burglary. Key bumping is a serious threat to your home security, and you should take measures to prevent it.

How to Prevent Key Bumping with Simple and Effective Solutions

Key bumping is a serious threat to your home security, but it is not impossible to prevent. There are several ways you can protect your locks from being bumped by burglars, ranging from simple DIY methods to professional solutions. 

Here are some of the most effective ways to prevent key bumping:

  • Upgrade your locks. One of the best ways to prevent key bumping is to replace your standard pin tumbler locks with high-security locks that are resistant to bumping. These locks have features such as hardened steel pins, sidebar mechanisms, or magnetic keys that make them immune to bumping. Some examples of high-security locks are Medeco, Mul-T-Lock, Schlage Primus, and Abloy Protec. These locks are more expensive than regular locks, but they are worth the investment for your peace of mind.
  • Install anti-bump devices. Another way to prevent key bumping is to install anti-bump devices on your existing locks. These devices are designed to block the movement of the pins or the cylinder when a bump key is inserted. Some examples of anti-bump devices are Lock Jaw, Cylinder Guard, and Bump Halt. These devices are cheaper than high-security locks, but they may not be compatible with all types of locks.
  • Use security pins. A third way to prevent key bumping is to use security pins in your existing locks. Security pins are pins that have irregular shapes or sizes that make them harder to bump. Some examples of security pins are spool pins, serrated pins, and mushroom pins. These pins can be installed by a professional locksmith or by yourself if you have the right tools and skills.
  • Rekey your locks. A fourth way to prevent key bumping is to rekey your locks regularly. Rekeying your locks means changing the combination of the pins inside the lock so that the old keys no longer work. This way, you can reduce the chances of a burglar having a bump key that matches your lock. You should rekey your locks whenever you move into a new home, lose your keys, or suspect that someone has copied your keys.
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These are some of the ways you can prevent key bumping and secure your home. However, if you are not sure which solution is best for you, or if you need professional help with installing or rekeying your locks, you should contact a reliable locksmith service in Encino. A locksmith can assess your locks and recommend the best option for your needs and budget. A locksmith can also help you with other aspects of your home security, such as installing a garage door repair or a garage door service.

How to Detect and Report Key Bumping Incidents

Key bumping is a stealthy technique that leaves no visible signs of forced entry. This makes it hard to detect and prove, and it can also affect your insurance claim if you are a victim of burglary. Therefore, it is important to know how to detect and report key bumping incidents, and how to protect your rights and interests.

One of the ways to detect key bumping is to inspect your locks regularly. Look for any signs of damage, wear, or tampering on your locks, such as scratches, dents, or loose parts. If you notice any of these signs, it could indicate that someone has tried to bump your lock or has succeeded in doing so.

Another way to detect key bumping is to use security devices or systems that can alert you of any unauthorized entry. For example, you can use a door alarm, a motion sensor, a security camera, or a smart lock that can notify you of any activity on your door. These devices can help you catch a burglar in the act, or provide evidence of a break-in.

If you suspect or confirm that you have been a victim of key bumping, you should report it to the authorities as soon as possible. Call the police file a report, and provide any details or evidence that you have, such as security footage, witness statements, or missing items. You should also contact your insurance company inform them of the incident, and check your policy for any coverage or exclusions.

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Reporting key bumping incidents can help you recover your losses, prevent further crimes, and raise awareness of this threat. However, the best way to avoid key bumping incidents is to prevent them in the first place, by securing your locks with the solutions we discussed in the previous section. If you need any assistance with choosing, installing, or maintaining your locks, you should contact a reputable locksmith in Encino. A locksmith can also help you with other services, such as residential locksmith service, commercial locksmith service, or emergency locksmith service.

Conclusion

Key bumping is a technique that burglars use to open most standard pin tumbler locks using a specially cut key and a blunt object. It is a fast and stealthy method that can compromise your home security in seconds. To protect your home from key bumping, you should upgrade your locks, install anti-bump devices, use security pins, or rekey your locks regularly. You should also use security devices or systems that can alert you of any unauthorized entry, and report any key bumping incidents to the authorities and your insurance company.

If you need any help with choosing, installing, or maintaining your locks, you should contact Prime Locksmith, a reliable locksmith service in Encino. We offer a wide range of locksmith services in Encino, including residential locksmith services, commercial locksmith services, and emergency locksmith services. We have a team of experienced, licensed, and insured locksmiths who can handle any lock-related issue with professionalism and efficiency. We are available 24/7 and offer affordable prices and free estimates.

So don’t let a little key bumping compromise your home security. Contact Prime Locksmith today and get the best locksmith in Encino for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is key bumping and how does it work?

Key bumping is a technique used by burglars to open standard pin tumbler locks using a specially cut key and a blunt object. It involves tapping the key to manipulate the pins inside the lock, allowing it to be turned and the door to be opened quickly and quietly.

Why is key bumping a threat to home security?

Key bumping is a fast and stealthy method that can compromise home security in seconds. It leaves no visible signs of forced entry, making it difficult to detect and prove, and it can void insurance claims if used in a burglary.

How can I prevent key bumping?

You can prevent key bumping by upgrading to high-security locks, installing anti-bump devices, using security pins, or rekeying your locks regularly. These measures make it more difficult for burglars to manipulate the locks.

How do I detect and report key bumping incidents?

Regularly inspect your locks for signs of damage or tampering, and consider using security devices that can alert you of unauthorized entry. If you suspect key bumping, report it to the authorities and your insurance company, providing any evidence you have.