Lock Bumping: Problems and Solutions
By Colin Anderson
Mar 01, 2019
Lock bumping is a commonly used method by intruders to gain entry to a property. It involves using a modified key to manipulate the lock open. It is a sad fact that these modified ‘bump keys’ are available to buy online, and the lock bumping method is even capable of compromising a fairly decent deadbolt lock. In this post we are looking at the problems associated with lock bumping, and how to overcome them.
The problem of lock bumping
Lock bumping is a major issue because it leaves little or no evidence of how an intruder has gained entry to a property. There are two significant problems involved. The first is how the police will record the crime, and the second is convincing insurers that the property was secured in line with the conditions of cover.
A property that has been compromised via lock bumping displays no outward evidence of a forced point of entry. This leads to doubt on the part of the police and insurers as to whether the property was actually locked up prior to the break-in. Whilst insurers are now aware of this problem and won’t outright turn down a claim, it can still lead to delays and uncertainty.
Lock bumping appears to be more commonplace in new housing developments. This is because all the doors tend to use a similar cylinder as installed by the developers. So across entire estates, it is literally a case of one bump key fits all.
Thankfully the police have acknowledged the problem of lock bumping and have been working alongside industry bodies to push the development of new standards for locks and door hardware.
So there we have the problem. But what about the solution?
The solution to lock bumping
For locks to be totally bump-proof, they need to be designed that way. Doors that are already certificated to at least PAS 24:2012 will be equipped with locking systems and door hardware that is resistant to bumping. You will see a Kitemark stamped on the cylinder or on the key.
For doors or locks that do not already meet the grade, there are high security cylinders that can be used to replace existing cylinders. BSI Kitemarked or SS312 cylinders are resistant to bumping. If you really want total peace of mind, and a guarantee that your modified lock will be bump proof, then you should engage a Master Locksmiths Association accredited locksmith to carry out the installation. If you decide to undertake work on a doorset yourself you must bear in mind that you run the risk of invalidating your warranty.
Be aware that PAS standards have improved considerably over the years, so anything earlier than 2012 will need checking, and certainly anything earlier than 2008 is very likely to need upgrading. Also consider that the overall security of the entire door assembly is in question and not just the cylinder.
Certain multipoint locking systems that are driven by a traditional lever lock mechanism will also be bump proof by design.
Bump proof locks from Barry Bros Security
If you are concerned about the problem of lock bumping and would like advice on how to protect your property from this widespread issue, talk to Barry Bros Security. As a Master Locksmith Association accredited security specialist with over six decades of experience, we are able to provide expert guidance on all aspects of lock security, including measures to prevent lock bumping. For the advice you need please get in touch or pay a visit to our London showroom.