Lock “Bumping”: How doors are being bumped and broken into

A growing threat to the security of many residences is lock “bumping,” a term coined for the ability to bump open a lock with a special key and gain access to a private residence. The practice was originally used by locksmiths out of necessity, but has since gained popularity among thieves on the internet where there are detailed instructions and sites selling “bump” keys. Specially made keys called “bump” keys or 999 keys, for the sole purpose of breaking and entering, are easily attained from online stores creating an increased threat to every lock without advanced bump stop cylinder technology.


When a lock is bumped, the specially cut 999 key is inserted into the lock and hit with a screw driver or other object causing the pins within the lock to jump and temporarily allow the lock to be opened. This nefarious process allows any simple-minded crook of almost any age, access to many homes and residences whose tenants believed were safely and securely locked.

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Around 90% of locks in residences are susceptible to lock bumping and potential criminal activity. To prevent this possibility ASTM International has created new standards for locks to meet in order to be deemed impermeable to “bumping.” Masterlock offers locks with the highest grade of lock bumping security as well as other brands such as Schlage and Kwikset. Safety and security is no longer about just locking your doors so much as it is what you are locking your doors with.

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