Gone are the days when we can install door locks and feel secure. Even if we install them today, we have this nagging feeling that they’re not enough. Unfortunately, there’s a basis for this paranoia. The FBI released figures saying that in every 15.4 seconds, a home in the US is getting burglarized. Sure, we can hope that the number will eventually go down. But that’s not going to happen soon especially since these thieves are rarely caught.
It was reported that 87% of the reported burglary cases remain unsolved.
All about door locks
Everyone is familiar with door locks. They are security devices that secure doors and are designed to be opened by keys that are designed for them or by pre-set combinations.
Now, there are several types of locks that are used all over the world. Here are the most common ones:
- Disc tumbler lock
- Electronic lock
- Pin tumbler lock
The pin tumbler door lock
The pin tumbler door lock is probably the most common lock in the world. At the very least, it’s the most popular in the US with 9 out of 10 homes presumably secured by cylinder locks that have pin tumbler mechanisms inside of them. These pins are the ones that are preventing the lock from opening without the right key. As you probably noticed, the common keys have ridges along the teeth and these ridges have different heights. These ridges will manipulate the pins inside so that they will align with the shear line so that the plug can be turned. That will open the lock.
That’s how it is in a perfect world. But in our not so perfect world, they can also be opened with several techniques. Through the years, more and more people are becoming more aware of these techniques. Gone are the days when thieves are the only ones who know these techniques. Nowadays, people are informed. They arm themselves with the information so they know what they’re up against. In addition, people are taking them up as a hobby. It’s now even considered as a sport. So it’s in your best interest to know these techniques for your own security and/or amusement. Here are the most popular techniques that are used to defeat locks without the use of the right key:
- Lock picking using lock picks and a tension wrench
- Using a pick gun
- Using a sledgehammer, brick, screwdriver and the likes to break the door lock or window
- Lock bumping
What is lock bumping?
Majority of locksmiths will tell you that bumping door locks is the way to go if you want to defeat the lock easily and quickly. It works by using the same thing that lock manufactures use to secure their locks against them. It uses the scientific theory of action-reaction in which a specific action (bumping) causes a reaction (jumping pins). As soon as the pins jump, it’s fair game and a little bit of practice will help you develop the proper timing needed to turn the plug as soon as the pins are in place along the shear line.
An experienced locksmith can use lock picks to open door locks in under a minute. The common hobbyist can do it in under five minutes. Sure, throwing a brick through the window is probably the fastest. But that’s also the noisiest and this is why burglars avoid the technique as much as possible. On the other hand, bumping door locks takes less than two seconds. If you don’t believe me, watch this video of a common door lock being opened by a $2 bump key.
As you can see from the video, you only need two tools – a bump key and something to hit it with. A bump key can be bought online. It can even be made at home with the help of a triangular file. All you need to do is to file the grooves down to maximum depth. Once you have the bump key, you can start practicing.
- Make sure that you’re not doing anything illegal. Bump your own locks!
- Insert the bump key all the way inside the keyhole. Once you do, pull it back a notch.
- Bump the key’s handle using the same force in the video. Wait for a split second and turn the key towards the direction that will open the lock.
- Practice! That will help you develop the perfect timing to do it consistently.
Making your door locks bump proof
Fortunately, lock manufacturers were able to catch up and they now have security measures in place to avoid the locks being bumped. Companies like BiLock and Kwikset are the most popular when it comes to bump proof locks. However, stay away from their older locks because they’re among the easiest to pick and bump.
Now, you’re probably wondering why this site is very generous in giving information about bumping door locks which lock manufacturers are very shy about giving. It’s because we want you to be aware that it’s happening and you have to do something about it. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to secure your home and not be a statistic.
The best thing that you can do is to change your locks. This is actually the best thing that you can do. You can check out BiLock and Kwikset for their bump proof locks. Go for the high-quality door locks. Now, buy the newer high-quality door locks. You have to know that the older ones, even if they are high-quality, are actually more vulnerable to lock bumping. For example, many of them use hardened steel. That can actually help thieves escape detection. Here are some types of locks that you can check out:
- Combination locks
- Rotating disc locks
- Electronic locks
- Locks that require you to use your fingerprint
In addition, you should also include other security measures like security cameras, dogs and the likes. But the most important thing is to arm yourself with this information even if the lock manufacturers don’t want you to. After all, it’s your home and family that are at stake.