Elderly Couple Nearly Dies After Locking Themselves in Mazda

As a locksmith in Philadelphia, we see a lot of cases where individuals lock themselves out of vehicles. In fact, that makes up a large part of what we at Phila-Locksmith do. We have, however, never received an emergency call from someone who was locked inside of their vehicle. The reason that this has yet to happen is that it is impossible to lock yourself inside of car without extenuating circumstances. One couple in New Zealand did not realize this and their mistake was nearly fatal. The couple, Mollieanne and Brian Smith, believed that they had become locked inside of their car when they entered the vehicle without the keyless fob. It was their belief that the vehicle, a Mazda 3 hatchback, could not be opened without the fob from the outside or the inside.

The nearly tragic event took place in early November on Guy Fawkes day. The couple entered the vehicle which was parked inside of their garage at nighttime, but once inside they realized that they had left the fob outside of the vehicle. It was at this point that the couple believed that they had become locked in their Mazda. Mr. and Mrs. Smith attempted to alert neighbors to their situation by yelling and sounding the horn. No one was able to hear them, likely because of fireworks, the night that they became trapped in the vehicle. The next day, neighbors found the elderly couple and assisted getting them out of the vehicle. At this point Mrs. Smith had become unconscious and Mr. Smith has having trouble breathing. Emergency responders who arrived on scene said that if they had remained inside of the vehicle for another half hour, they likely would have died of suffocation.

The General Manager of Mazda in New Zealand said that there was no design flaw in the Mazda 3 keyless ignition system. Not only did he state that he had not heard of a situation like this arising before, but also that the keyless ignition system has a manual unlock just above the door handle, as you would find in any standard or transponder car key system. Had the couple been aware of this, they would have been able to avoid the entire situation.

Mrs. Smith claims that the salespeople for vehicles with keyless ignitions need to offer full explanations of all manual overrides so that a situation like this can be avoided. This is a fair point, dealerships need to be aware that not all individuals purchasing newer model vehicles are the most technically savvy people. While a manual door override may seem like common sense to many people, it is important for dealerships to ensure that they are assuming nothing to avoid any liability that they may have in the future.

Benefits of Keyless Ignition Systems

Most car manufacturers are moving, or already have moved, a majority of their vehicles to a keyless entry system. The reason for this is not only for convenience and security, but also for the driver’s own safety. In light of the ignition switch recall that General Motors went through earlier this year, it was revealed that many of the deaths or injuries could have been avoided if a keyless ignition was in place rather than a traditional blade key. Security was the initial reason that many car manufacturers began placing keyless systems in their vehicle. While transponder car keys did advance the automotive security that many vehicles had, there were still ways to compromise security. Keyless entry and transponder car key systems have made it more difficult for thieves to get possession of your vehicle, but also made it more difficult, and expensive, to get automotive locksmith services completed for your vehicle. In the long run, keyless ignition systems offer such a combination of convenience, security and safety that the benefits outweigh the additional cost of replacement fobs.

Norristown Example of Common Car Theft Practice

Thanks to the advent of transponder car keys for most newer make and model vehicles, it is becoming more difficult for thieves to steal cars in the ways that they had in the past. Specifically hot wiring, and jiggler keys, are methods which are no longer effective to gain control over a vehicle and thieves have had to adjust. One way that many thieves are adjusting is waiting for you to have a moment of weakness before striking. Either by targeting an unattended vehicle, or by breaking into a home to steal the car keys, thieves are able to take your vehicle right when you least expect it.

Just last week, in East Norriton, two men were arrested for car theft while using some of the methods named above. Police were first called by a resident who had left their vehicle running in their driveway to melt away snow that had accumulated on their vehicle. When that individual returned to their driveway, they found that the vehicle was gone. One neighbor claimed to have seen a vehicle parked on the side of the road which may had been involved in the theft. Later that day, police found a vehicle matching that description and attempted to pull the vehicle over after a traffic violation. The vehicle did not stop and police were led on a chase. Fortunately, no one was harmed during the events that took place and both of the individuals inside of the suspected car were apprehended.

While transponder car keys have made it more difficult for thieves to steal your vehicle using specific methods, it has also made it more difficult for technicians, like our Norristown locksmith, to complete replacement car keys. The moral of the story in the case of these two car thieves above, is for car owners to be attentive about their vehicle. Do not leave your vehicle unattended with the keys inside, you are only putting yourself in danger of becoming a victim of automotive theft yourself.

Mastercard Launching Contactless Fingerprint Sensing Card

In what is a huge step for providing security to all types of payment transactions, Mastercard has partnered with Zwipe to launch the first ever contact-less integrated fingerprint sensor on a payment card. After first completing a live pilot at Norway’s Sparebanken DIN, the card is no ready to go live throughout the world. By having bio-metric technology integrated directly onto a contact-less payment card, Mastercard is able to offer the convenience of contact-less payment combined with the security that bio-metric authentication can have.

Secure Payment Authentication

The biometric reader on Mastercard’s new payment card is similar to that you would find on a bio-metric lock. When the card is initially set-up a cardholder will scan their fingerprint into the bio-metric reader. Once the card has stored this information, the information is saved so that it can be used to authenticate the user of the payment card in the future. Not only does this allow for better authentication, but also allows for cardholders to avoid entering a pin or password, which is much easier for thieves to utilize once they get a hold of that information.

bio-metric card mastercard

Fingerprint the Authentication of the Future

Many security companies, and companies who have a keen interest in maintaining security, have been intrigued by the benefits that bio-metric authentication offers. Passwords and pins can easily be stolen or hacked by more experienced thieves, making bio-metric authentication necessary helps to ensure, as much as possible, that only an authorized user is able complete whatever function is being secured. For example, a traditional key can easily be duplicated at a hardware, making it easy for thieves to have authorized access to this lock. A bio-metric lock cuts out this threat by requiring unique fingerprint authentication which is much more difficult to fake than a traditional lock.

It is for this reason that Mastercard has introduced bio-metric authentication to its payment cards. Currently all a thief needs is your card and the pin associated with that card in order to make fraudulent purchases. With this new bio-metric technology installed directly inside of the payment card, if a thief steals your card it would be nearly impossible for them to be authenticated. This protects your funds from being used for fraudulent purchases or reasons.

As locksmiths we are happy to see Mastercard’s successful adaptation of bio-metric authentication for payment cards for two reasons. The first being that we complete mobile services and often times are left authenticating payment cards in a myriad of ways. If we are able to authenticate a customer through bio-metric implant on their payment card, it is easy to determine that the card does in fact belong to that individual. Secondly, a major company such as Mastercard investing in bio-metric authentication should help to drive innovation while also lowering bio-metric technology cost as competition to produce them increases. As always, continue to stay posted with all of the latest news and tips by continuing to visit the Phila-Locksmith blog.

High Security Lock Options

When it comes to commercial or residential security you can never be too secure. Ensuring the continued function of your existing lock while also completing other smaller locksmith services can help to keep your home and business secure. However, in some cases, a higher level of security may be necessary. When this occurs, you want to look past the traditional deadbolt and knob locks that are generally offered. While these traditional locks are quite effective in keeping an average person out of your home or business, lock picks can disable these locks in just a matter of seconds. If your home or business has a high amount of valuables inside of it then turning to a higher level of security lock can be extremely beneficial. Phila-Locksmith’s technicians, from our Norristown locksmith to our technicians at the Jersey Shore, offer you a number of high security lock options that will all but guarantee that your home or business will not be targeted by burglars or thieves.

NightWatch by Master Lock

One high security option that you can select from our locksmiths is the NightWatch deadbolt. What the NightWatch deadbolt is able to offer you is the utmost in security. Due to the function of the deadbolt it is much more commonly installed a residential high security options. This master lock model fits where your existing deadbolt is installed. In addition to being able to arm the NightWatch model as if it is a traditional deadbolt, there is an extra function which allows for high security. While occupying the residence where the lock is installed you are able to activate the “NightWatch” function of the deadbolt. What this does is move the piece which turns the lock cylinder and removes it from its functioning position. When this occurs it is impossible to open the lock from the outside, even if you have a key that is perfectly cut for that lock. While this is a great increase in security, the one drawback is that the “NightWatch” function can only be activated from the inside, which makes it somewhat less desirable for commercial applications.

Mul-T-Lock

Mul-T-Lock is one of the leading manufacturers of high security locks and their models are extremely popular with business owners. One of these popular commercial lock mdoels is their MT-5 lock. This model lock has impressive pick, drill and bump resistant features, which make it a challenge for even experienced burglars to disable. In addition to these external security measures, Mul-T-Lock is also popular with businesses because of its restricted key way. Due to the restricted key way copies of a Mul-T-Lock key can only be duplicated at Mul-T-Lock an authorized dealer while also having a magnetic strip key that proves you are authorized to make a duplicate. This allows for business owners to keep a tight reign on their key control and ensure that no keys are falling into the wrong hands. Of course, this added security also comes with an increased price tag. Getting duplicates of a Mul-T-Lock key is quite costly costly when compared to the price of duplicating a standard key.

Medeco Options

Medeco is another manufacturer of high security deadbolts which can be effective in both residential and commercial applications. For example, their Maxum deadbolt model, has rotating pins inside of the cylinder which allow for drill and pick resistance features. In addition to the Maxum model, there are multiple other high security lock options that Medeco offers, each one offers a different price and security level to allowing you to get the best fit for your home or business. View the demonstration below of the type of security that a Maxum deadbolt from Medeco can offer you.

There are other aspects of security to take into effect in addition to the type of lock that you select. For example, if you have a hollow door, with a high security door installed on it, there is still an opportunity for a burglar to use forced entry. In order to get the most “bang for your buck“, your security approach should be a holistic approach. By choosing to improve your entire security apparatus and not just your lock type, you are able to enjoy much more effective commercial or residential security. Contact us today to have one of our locksmiths discuss your high security options with you directly, he will be able to provide you with pricing information as well as offer suggestions that will help you to achieve your security goals.

LockCon and the Dutch Open Championship

Locksmiths like the technicians at Phila-Locksmith are always striving to become more knowledgeable and more masterful of their lock services. Many people do not realize, for the cream of the lock picking crop, there is a convention to not only learn more about their craft, but also compete for a chance to be crowned champion lock picker. LockCon is run by The Open Organization of Lock Pickers and is held annually in the Netherlands. Lock pickers, engineers, locksmiths and lock enthusiasts from around the world flock to this convention every year to test their skills, while also taking a look at the most advanced lock technology that is available.

Maintaining the LockCon Image

The Open Organization of Lock Pickers wants to ensure that their convention and competition only occurs with the best of intentions. This is why LockCon is an invite only event to certain individuals. The President of TOOOL has said that their focus is that, “we spend a lot of time trying to keep the bad guys—or guys with bad intentions—out.” Keeping a tight reign on membership and invitations is crucial for TOOOL because of the negative connotation that can come with being a lock picker. Not only is there competition within LockCon, but also a lot of collaboration and information sharing. The event provides an opportunity for lock pickers to share information with their peers about the latest methods they use and technology that they have encountered. Of course, throughout the convention, the Youth Hostel which plays host to this event each year provides their own lager, “all inclusive”, which certainly helps to maintain the cheerful, friendly but ultimately competitive atmosphere that LockCon is looking to cultivate.

Driving Lock Innovation

Master hacker and creator of Linux once said, “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”. This same logic is applied to new lock technology which is constantly being developed. With enough master lock pickers working on a new technology, it is easy to figure out exactly what the weaknesses of a new technology are. Manufacturers can use the weaknesses identified by some of the brightest brains in the lock pick industry to develop newer technology which is even more secure than that which was produced previously. Once, a lock manufacturer claimed that they had created the, “the safest locking system in the world”[1]. Intrigued, master lock pick Deviant Ollam brought the new lock to that year’s LockCon. After passing the lock around, they recorded the unlocking time that it took for every lock picker and sent that information to the manufacturer. Impressed, the manufacturer began engaging in constructive discussion with the lock pickers on how to improve their new technology.

Arthur Bühl Lock Picking Legend

Standing at 6’5″, Arthur Bühl can seem like quite the intimidating man. To many who are involved in locksport, Mr. Bühl certainly is just that. With championships in many competitions around the globe he is affectionately known as “Arthurmeister”[2] to other lock enthusiast. Hailing from Hamburg, he is among a legion of German lock pickers who have established their country as one of the top producers of master lock pickers.

Not much has been written about TOOOL’s LockCon, which certainly has to do with the strict policy that they keep on attendance. The tales that are told from LockCon display an image of not only competition to vie for top lock picking honors, but also of collaboration that enables the lock industry to grow more and more secure with each year. Americans are among the least represented in the group and continue to maintain underdog status in most of LockCon’s competitions. It will be interesting to see if in the coming years Americans are able to establish themselves as not only a competitive force to be reckoned with, but also a resource that other lock pickers can turn to for innovation. While our Philadelphia locksmiths are able to pick just about any commercial or residential lock that they come across, it would be interesting to see exactly how they stack up against the best and most refined locksmiths in the world.

toool lock con

More information about LockCon and the Dutch Open Championships can be found at: [1] Slate.com and [2] Wired.com

When Locked Out, Best to Call a Locksmith

Being locked out of your home or apartment is obviously a frustrating experience. Sometimes, due to frustration, people try to use unconventional ways to get back into their home. In these cases it is best to call a locksmith and wait for them to arrive than to attempt a more daring reentry. Below we have some daring reentry methods that individuals have recently used to try and get back into their homes. Some luckily found success, while others ended up in a worse predicament than they had originally found themselves in. We remind readers to not try any of these reentry methods for themselves. Always call a locksmith!

Scottsdale Teen Tries Entering Through Chimney

It could have been a case of the holiday spirit that caused a thirteen year old Scottsdale teenager to attempt to reenter his locked house by climbing down the chimney. Last week, the teenager found himself locked out of his home without any keys to reenter with. He quickly fashioned together a rope, out of extension cords, and attempted to slide down the chimney. Despite a larger open area at the top of the chimney, the teen became stuck once he had gotten to the “flue” area lower in the chimney. Luckily he had his cellphone on hand to dial 911. After some effort, emergency responders were able to free the teenage boy and contact family to let them know what happened. This is one simple situation where calling a locksmith immediately would have made this teen’s night much easier. (AZFamily)

Egyptian Father Lowers Child to Open Window

No matter where in the world you may be, it can be easy to find yourself locked out. This is what one father and son in Egypt discovered, when they were locked out of their home while the mother was out shopping. Rather than call a locksmith, the father decided to fashion a hoist out of straps that were around in order to lower his small son from the roof to an open window. As you can see in the video below, the father was successful in getting his child through the window, and added the comment, “If your mom was here she would never allow such an act“. Obviously you should never attempt a stunt like this, especially with the amount of danger that you are placing that child in. Next time this family finds themselves locked out it would be best to call a locksmith, or wait for mother to return from her shopping trip with keys. (Albawaba)

Darwin Man Attempts to Repel Down Apartment Building

A man in Northern Australia was close to attempting one of the most daring ways to reenter a locked apartment possible. The man had tied a rope to the top of his apartment block with the other end tied around his waste. His plan was to use the rope to repel down the side of his apartment building to land on his apartment’s balcony hoping to reenter. Fortunately, before the man had a chance to try out his rig, concerned on-lookers called police. When police arrived they were able to talk the man out of attempting to repel and having him, instead, call a locksmith to have him back inside. (ABC AU)

No matter how frustrated or irritated that you may be, it is always best to call a locksmith when you are locked out, rather than attempt one of these daring entries. While there are occasional successes, such as the father in Egypt, the risk of bodily harm is to great when a locksmith is just minutes away from providing you with assistance. For example, if you find yourself locked out of your home or apartment in Philadelphia, or the surrounding tri-state area, you can get emergency response from Phila-Locksmith in as little as 20 minutes. Fast response like this not only gets you quickly out of a jam, but also allows for you to avoid the unnecessary risk that some of these daring reentries have.

Keeping Up With Locksmiths and Keys (12/3)

Since our last blog post, Phila-Locksmith has been keeping track of much of the news and happenings in locksmith related areas. Much of this news can be helpful to customers for increasing security while also saving themselves a few dollars. In the best interest of our customers, we have condensed some of the most important lock and key related news that has occurred since our last blog update. The topics that we will cover in this post are an update to the story of a Modesto locksmith who was gunned down during an eviction process, a burglary in Charlotte and KeyMe’s forray from only house keys  to attempting the duplication of car keys as well.

Stanislaus County Lawyers Probing Locksmith’s Personal Life

In July of 2013 a Modesto locksmith was killed during an eviction standoff along with a police officer. Following his death, the family of the locksmith wanted the county to take, at least partial, responsibility for the resulting death. Now that lawyers have begun to dissect the case, it seems that a large portion of the case will focus on the personal life of both the locksmith and his wife; after a judge granted county attorneys with three years of both marriage counseling and mental health history. The attorney for the locksmith’s family has said that this action represents a gross violation of the family’s privacy. It will be interesting to see, once this case goes to trial in August of next year, whether attorneys will be able to take such a detailed look at the family’s private life and whether it will have bearing on the outcome of the case. For a more detailed update on the information requested in this case, visit The Modesto Bee.

$45K in Damage to Charlotte Barbershop

Over the Thanksgiving weekend one landlord in Charlotte, North Carolina, received a surprise that he was likely not thankful for at all. After evicting a tenant who owed about a year’s worth of rent, on November 26, the landlord had his locks replaced by a locksmith to prevent the previous tenant from coming back. Clearly, there was a lapse in security, whether it be the lock, installation or simply blunt force, that allowed for vandals to get inside of the former barbershop. When the landlord arrived back at his storefront that very Saturday, he found that the locks were disabled and store vandalized. The burglars stole some items, such as the water meter, glass and sinks, while also leaving drywall and sheetrock destroyed. A contractor has provided this landlord with a repair estimate of $45,000. Which begs the question, could this have been avoided if a higher security lock had been installed? Many individuals are hesitant to spend the extra money for a more secure lock, but is that savings worth the loss that can occur if someone breaks in?

Is KeyMe Worth It For Car Keys?

We have covered the implementation of KeyMe kiosks previously, while their concept seems like a solid idea on paper, there are some logistical and security concerns. For those within walking distance of a kiosk in New York City, getting an apartment key at 7-11 seems like a much easier process than choosing a locksmith. Now KeyMe wants you to store a copy of your car key on their cloud system. KeyMe now offers duplicate car keys, but there is a catch. The car keys can not be made on the spot, and must be mailed to the receiver. Unless you have a second vehicle to drive around, then this can leave you without transportation for a week. Until KeyMe is able to offer immediate service, like a mobile locksmith, the provider of replacement car keys will likely remain locksmiths.

Continue to stay posted with us at Phila-Locksmith for the latest in locksmith related news, tips and information. For those in the Philadelphia tri-state area, feel free to call us at anytime to discuss your lock and key or security needs.

Oklahoma Man Calls Locksmith for Burglary

(Via Newson6) Early Sunday morning an Oklahoma locksmith responded to an emergency lockout call in Tulsa. When the locksmith arrived on scene he was met by one man, Alexandro Valero, who claimed to be locked out of his home at about 8 AM. The locksmith assisted the man by opening the door, but once the door was finally opened it revealed that there were actually people in the home at that time. Those individuals happened to be the actual homeowners. At this point Mr. Valero ran, leaving the homeowners and locksmith likely confused. Valero returned to the residence later to apologize and was arrested by police and is facing first degree burglary charges. Luckily the homeowners were there to thwart this burglary attempt, but the truth is it should not have occurred in the first place. Additional details could emerge, but it will be interesting to see if the locksmith had asked for identification or for some type of verification that it was Mr. Valero’s home.

Before opening the door, the locksmith should have asked for identification so that he would have been able to match the customer’s ID address to the address he is completing the unlock service at. In some cases, like a rental unit, this may not be entirely possible. A locksmith should still be able to verify that it is indeed that individual’s residence by asking for a utility bill with a name that matches that individual’s identification. In a situation where a customer is unable to provide this information, a locksmith should contact authorities to ensure that they would not be liable for a theft in this type of scenario. Situations such as these are another reason that lawmakers are looking to clamp down on unlicensed locksmiths. An unlicensed locksmith would, theoretically, be less likely to take preventative steps that ensure the individual they are unlocking the door for is a resident, since they are less wary of any repercussions.

What can you do?

One way that you can prevent your home from being struck by a burglar like this is to use a secondary lock on the home’s exterior door. A locksmith will not be able to pick the secondary lock, which would raise additional red flags that this home may not belong to the individual claiming to be a “resident” such as Mr. Valero. Another way to prevent the proliferation of unlicensed locksmiths, who may put you at risk of a scheme like this, is to always choose a local professional locksmith to complete services for you. By frequenting a professional more often, you can help to limit the amount of unprofessional “locksmiths” who are operating in the area.

A story such as this can be a good reminder and learning moment for a locksmith who may not be constantly checking a customer’s information. By taking just a few extra seconds to ensure that they are completing service for an authorized individual the locksmith can not only limit their own liability, but save headache and hassle for the individual being burglarized. As for potential burglars who think that this may be a good method for breaking into a home, more often than not, you will find yourself behind bars like Mr. Valero.

Unconventional Locks Offer Security Solutions

Whether it is for your home, or your business, ensuring security is always a top priority. Recently we documented the security concern lock bumping presents and offered some solutions to this long standing security threat. For those who are concerned about the effect that lock bumping can have on their security, taking their residential or commercial security into the future may be a viable option. There has been very little deviation from a standard lock and key that people have become accustomed to; however, very recently lock manufacturers have begun to offer unconventional options which either include new technologies, or use existing technology in a way which is not normally anticipated.

XPUZMAG Circular Lock

A lock manufacturer in Taiwan has taken conventional lock technology, but used it in a unique way to provide home owners additional protection against commonly used lock picking methods. The XPUZMAG lock uses the same pins and tumbler technology that a standard lock would use, but deploys the pins in a much different way.

xpuzmag

The XPUZMAG lock which is manufactured in Taiwan.

As seen in the picture, rather than a small key slot, this lock uses an open circular face with multiple holes which reveal pins. When specific pins are pushed back using the specially made key, the lock can be turned and opened. There are also additional pins on the set which, when pushed in, prevent the lock from turning. Since each lock has unique holes, it is nearly impossible for a lock pick to guess which pins need to be held in. Lock bumping can not disable this type of lock. If a bump is attempted all of the pins are bumped, which would arm at least one of the “fake” pins preventing the lock from opening. There are some negative aspects to choosing a unique lock like this.

For example, getting a spare or replacement key must be done by going through the manufacturer. Additionally, if you are locked out, most locksmiths would have to drill the lock in order to get you back inside of your home. Perhaps American manufacturers can use the XPUZMAG as a basis for their own lock models, which could make getting spare or replacement keys much easier than contacting a foreign manufacturer.

Smart Locks

august smart lock

The August Smart Lock puts the security of your home right in the palm of your hand.

Smart locks are becoming increasingly popular among homes in the United States. Over 1 million homes currently use smart technology in their locks throughout North America. Not only is the cost of smart lock technology decreasing, but it also gives you protection against lock picking techniques which were relied upon to disarm conventional locks. Installed over your existing lock, the August Smart Lock is operated by an application on your smartphone. With no pins to bump, there is no way for a thief to bump or pick your lock. The same can be said for the Lockitron smart lock, which has many of the same features that the August lock has.

If you are looking to eliminate the threat of lock picking or lock bumping, these unconventional locks will be able to get the job done for you. The XPUZMAG may just be the beginning of innovative lock designs and we will continue to monitor American lock manufacturers to see if a counterpart appears. Smart locks have already arrived on the residential United States market with the August Smart Lock making its debut just last month. If you are unsure about the lock options which would be best for your home or business, call Phila-Locksmith and our professional will be happy to provide you with multiple options, or simply provide additional security information for you. As lock technology progresses it should eliminate many of the tactics that thieves use and result in much safer homes and businesses throughout the country.

Protecting Against Lock Bumping

Lock bumping, and bump keys, have been a known security threat for many years and continues to remain one. Earlier this year, Phila-Locksmith touched on the topic of how bump keys can affect security and now we are here to offer you sound methods to protect your locks from the threat of lock bumping. Bump keys continue to remain a threat to security in that they are a relatively cheap, easy and undetectable way to enter a locked door. A quick Google search reveals a number of bump key sellers who offer bump keys in groups for discounted pricing.

bump keys

With bump keys being so easily available for criminals it is best to have your security prepared.

Since bump keys are so easily accessible to thieves and Youtube training video just a click away, commercial and residential security always needs to be prepared for this threat. By just investing a few dollars in bump keys and minutes in a training, a thief can easily have access to homes and businesses which have low-end security. There are a number of options when it comes to defending your home or business from the threat of bumps keys, but it is first important to understand how bump keys function.

How Bump Keys Work

Bump keys make use of simple physics to be able to render armed locks disabled. A thief uses a key which has been cut down so that it is able to fit underneath of every pin in the locks tumbler. By inserting this key into the lock and then using another object to hit the end of the key, a thief is able to transfer energy through the key to “bump” the tumbler pins out of the locked position. While the pins on the lock are bumped, the thief is able to quickly turn the key giving them access to a previously locked area. View this animated bump key demonstration for a visual demonstration of how bump keys work.

Solutions for Bump Keys

Both deadbolt and knob locks can be effectively disabled by bump keys, so ensuring that all of your locks are protected is key. One of the easiest and cheapest solutions for bump keys is to use a secondary lock. Whether that secondary lock is a latch which is physically attached to the door, or acts as a secondary measure on a deadbolt lock, you are able to prevent anyone from accessing your home or business using a bump key. Unfortunately when using this method, you are unable to access your door from the outside as well, meaning this method is only likely to be useful if you are physically occupying the locked room.

Another solution to bump keys is to upgrade the current lock that you have at your home. Smart locks are becoming increasingly popular, while also becoming decreasingly expensive. Since these smart locks do not rely on the old fashioned pins and tumbler, they are completely unaffected by bump keys. There are also a range of traditional locks which are bump resistant or bump proof. By choosing a model of lock that has one of those ratings you are much less likely to become a victim of bump keys.

Until traditional lock and key systems are completely discarded it is not likely that bump keys will stop being a commercial and residential security threat. Relying on simple physics and a lack of investment in security, thieves are able disable armed locks in just a matter of seconds. Prevent yourself from becoming a victim of bump keys by taking preventative measures before you experience any type of security lapse.

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