Locksmiths have all the techniques and tools to get into your home when necessary, but this information is becoming more and more accessible with the use of the internet. The problem with traditional, outdated, or inexpensive outer-door hardware is that they can be easily compromised. This means your family, home, and possessions are vulnerable. How long can it actually take someone to compromise your residential door locks?

These techniques have been around for decades, and are still some of the easiest and most obtainable ways for people to break into your home.


What Are Bump Keys

For years, professional locksmiths have used bump keys to gain entry into homes for legal reasons. Now, with the use of the internet, anyone can find, create, or obtain a bump key and use them illegally to gain access to your home.

A bump key, also known as a 999 key, is a specialty key that can bypass security mechanisms in traditional pin and tumbler locks. These keys are cut to the maximum depth of 9 (hence the term "999 key") and can be produced in less than five minutes. This makes them extremely easy to obtain and replicate.

How do bump keys work?

Bump keys are cut to be able to disrupt the pins when simply hit with a small hammer or screwdriver. The force of the hit disrupts the pins enough, which gives the intruder just enough time to unlock and enter the premises. Bump keys are effective in nearly 90% of cylinder locks on today's market and take mere seconds to gain entry into the home.

In addition, lock bumping can go undetected by homeowners. Your home can be broken into with no signs of forced entry from a thief using this method of breaking and entering.


Pick Guns

Another quick method of accessing a residential lock is to use a pick gun. Pick guns are typically used by locksmiths needing to help residents re-enter their home, or by law enforcement on the job, and can be purchased by anyone with an internet connection.

Pick guns can open a door within 30-60 seconds by pressing a button or pulling a trigger that vibrates the pick end. A pick gun requires a tension tool, and it is used exclusively on pin and tumbler locks. They rely on the transfer of energy to compromise your locks and gain entry.


How the ANSI Grading System Rates Lock Strength

Aside from bump keys, a basic residential door lock can make it extremely easy for an intruder to gain access. Locks are sold based on an ANSI grading system. Grade 1 rated residential locks are the strongest, while grade 3 rated residential locks are the weakest.

Grade 3 and grade 2 locks can be accessed easily using methods such as:

  • Lock Snapping
  • Credit cards
  • Blunt force

Check your home locks today and find out what ANSI grade they have!


High-Security Locks & Why They Are More Secure

With the ease of access to professional lock picking tools via the internet, it is enough to make homeowners wary. Consider protecting your home with high-security lock systems. Replace your traditional pin and tumbler lock with a bump proof keyless lock!

This system cannot be picked in the traditional way, and thus they offer greater security. The only way a locksmith can gain access to a keyless lock system is by drilling and ruining the lock. This is loud, attention-getting, and extra work that a thief typically would rather avoid when trying to gain entry to a home.

Consult with us about upgrading the locks of your residence.

Talk to us by calling (813) 545-5462 if you think your residential lock systems need to be upgraded! Home security via door locks is an important way of protecting your possessions and family. Consulting with one of our professionals will help you choose the right locks to deter thieves and give your family peace of mind.