Lock bumping, also known as the “999 Method,” has recently gained notoriety as the latest criminal endeavor. Reports of this activity have been featured in the news recently, so it is important for you to be aware of it and take steps to protect your home or business from it. Although it is newly popular with criminals, the practice of lock bumping has been around for some time. In this article we’re going to how a residential locksmith can help you prevent lock bumping while increasing your home’s security.
During the 1970s, locksmiths developed a technique that involved knocking on a lock cylinder and imposing pressure on the rear of the lock plug or pushing the key into the latch with added strength. This enabled the pins to move within the lock cylinder, making it possible to easily draw out the plug and take apart the lock. This was a convenient strategy for experienced locksmiths in the past, mainly used to undo a wrongly assembled cylinder in their workshop as opposed to entering a house or business.
It was not until 2002 that felons became aware of this method and started using it for unlawful access. Nowadays, bump keys and lock bumping can be easily found on the internet, making it easier to break into conventional pin tumbler locks. A thief that enters with a bump key does not show any physical evidence of forced entry, but a forensic locksmith’s investigation can uncover if the pins had been manipulated. Despite this, insurance companies may not be willing to honor the claim. Nonetheless, there are safety steps you can take to stop this from occurring.
It is estimated that ninety percent of locks in the United States are vulnerable to “lock bumping,” which can even be done by a child. Bump keys leave visible indications of forced entry when the lock is inspected, so preventive measures should be taken.
Keep your surroundings clear
It is essential to keep the garden and grounds surrounding your house and workplace in good order. Criminals take advantage of thick vegetation to conceal themselves as they seek to break in. Properties with wide-open areas and generous illumination are less likely to be targeted by these criminals. Installing security devices such as motion sensors is one of the several approaches for protecting your residence from burglars.
Be aware of your neighborhood’s activity
It is important to be aware of what is going on in your vicinity. Engage with your neighbors and create a watch group website. This has become a common practice in the United States. Give your neighbors a heads up when you will be away from your house, so they can look after it. Navigate to the mobile app Next Door where people can share information about activities in the area, like council meetings, crime prevention programs, and any criminal activities that have recently occurred. This is an ideal way to involve the police and other officials, so they can be conscious of any crime trends and take steps to address them.
Use a security camera
It is difficult to demonstrate to insurers that a claim is not bogus without enlisting the services of a competent forensic locksmith because lock bumping does not cause any observable damage. Additionally, you can add an extra layer of security by installing cameras near your main entrances. And, if you are able to capture footage of the intruder, you can present this as evidence to your insurance company, to show that you were genuinely victimized by a burglar.
Consider getting anti-lock bumping gadgets
If you’re on a tight budget, there are several inexpensive anti-locking gadgets available on the market. For instance, a thumb turn guard that stops the thumb turn part of a deadbolt from turning. This means the key won’t be able to rotate and the deadbolt won’t be able to go back into the lock. Though this is a cheap option, it may not be the most convenient one when it comes to the entry door since it also stops the key from unlocking the door. For a few extra dollars, you can get a lightweight commercial grade lock for the entry door and then use the cheaper anti-locking device on doors that are not frequently used.
Upgrade your locks with security pins
Instead of going to a locksmith, you can opt to have them come to you to put in specific pins which will make the lock harder to bump open. These pins are commonly referred to as security pins and they are designed in the way that they will bind before they even reach the lock’s shear line. It won’t be entirely bump-proof, but the goal is to make it take longer to bump open the lock, which could potentially discourage burglars from attempting to break in as they want a fast entry and exit. Lock rekeying after you move into your house shouldn’t be neglected either. You never know how many people have had access to your house, so it’s best to make sure your locks work with your key only.
Install locks with more security features
Adding extra-secure “bump and pick resistant” locks to your building can be a beneficial action. The Mul-T-Lock Hercular is renowned for its sturdiness, its ability to repel assaults, and the extra security features that are not found in other high-security locks. These extra security features span from protection against picking, drilling, and the reproduction of keys without authorization. On the off chance that you have a business, you should know that the majority of petty thefts that take place in small businesses are done by employees. Implementing a high-security lock implies that no unapproved key copies can be made.
Patents protect high-security keyways, allowing only one manufacturer to make the key. These keys are exclusively given to security or locksmith companies. High-security locks are composed of the strongest substances available, with heavier and thicker screws and extra anti-theft techniques. Restricted keyways are the most reliable way to guarantee that your keys are not misused.
Consider getting commercial grade locks
You should think about substituting the locks you are using right now with light commercial grade ones. These types of locks have been checked by independent third-party organizations such as American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). These organizations have a good reputation for examining, evaluating and classifying deadbolt locks through rigorous testing to ensure quality and sturdiness. For instance, the most excellent locks are given a Grade 1 certification from ANSI, which is commercial grade. UL rates deadbolt locks based on their performance in a series of lock picking trials. These commercial grade locks are perfect for residential external doors.
Opt for locks with keyless deadbolts
Before the media started talking about lock bumping, the use of keyless locks began to become widespread. If you decide to go with this type of lock, confirm that it is not vulnerable to bumping. Some of the older locks have key cylinders that can be locked, but these can be upgraded with biometric technology for added security. This option is more expensive than the others, but it is by far the most secure. A Farmers Locksmith can help you in choosing the best affordable locks for your specific case.
When you choose to fully replace your locks, it is important to remember that top-notch locks are only one part of the overall security plan. A solid door, with a sturdy core and frame, a high-quality strike plate, and a strong door jamb are all necessary to stop someone from forcing their way in, which is the most common way of breaking into a building after lock bumping.