Bump, Pick, Kick– OH MY!

Home Security

Home security is no longer as simple as double checking your front door to make sure it’s locked. And it hasn’t been that simple for quite some time. Thanks to the movies, we have some glamorous visions of how security is bypassed. For most of us, we imagine a ski-masked burglar on bended knee, skillfully picking a lock open. But is that really what homeowners should be worried about?

There are three main risks that impact any structure, whether it is a private residence, an apartment, or a commercial storefront:

  1. Picking– Though this is the most commonly portrayed image of burglary, odds are slim that this is your biggest threat. Picking a lock requires tools, special training, and knowledge. Ultimately, it requires skill and effort. These aren’t necessarily the top descriptors for your average burglar.
  2. Bumping– But what about bump keys? Bump keys are specially cut keys that serve as a master key for all locks of that brand. Insert the key and apply gentle blunt force with a “bump” and voila- you’re in. These keys blend right in on a keychain. I won’t go into the details of how to make one of these keys because, technically, it is a burglary tool. I do have to share that this information is no secret on the internet. For this reason, you deserve to know about it! The average lock doesn’t stand a chance against a bump key. This method of breaking in can be hard to notice because there is no damage left behind. In rare cases, folks notice small, hammer-like indentations on the face of their deadbolts- but bumping is practically untraceable.
  3. Kicking-In & Blunt-Force– Kick-in protection is a top threat in today’s world of opportunity crimes and instant gratification. We hear more and more stories of brazen, fearless burglaries and homeowners have a big opportunity to increase security against this threat. This method of breaking-in doesn’t require much of an explanation. It also closely relates to the blunt force category which can include using a crowbar, bat, hammers, or other forceful tools.

These methods of entry are often related and can be paired with one another, or with additional methods of entry. For example: automatic garage doors have their own vulnerabilities and when these are by-passed, one may also experience a kicked-in door from the garage to the kitchen. It’s important to always keep that door locked and to be sure there is a functioning deadbolt installed as well.

Remember, alarms are awesome. But an alarm alerts you when your security has already been bypassed. Quality doors and windows, quality locks and hardware, and creating solid habits of securing the openings to your home, could mean avoiding the beeping-induced panic of a triggered alarm.

When it comes to the safety of your home, there is no reason to risk the consequences of allowing a burglar to trip your alarm and enter your home. Taking a firm stance against the threats discussed here can allow you to rest at ease, knowing that your family is safe and sound.

Here are two tips for immediate home security improvement:

  1. A great place to start is by regularly and diligently locking your doors and windows.
  2. Swap out the screw in your strike plate for much longer screws. This will increase your kick-in protection- though you’ll want to look into a high security deadbolt with a hardened steel throw and deeper extension.

When a security professional says “high security,” they are often referring to a bump-, pick-, and drill-resistant lock. These locks may also offer kick-in protection and key control. It is important to always ask questions about the features of any recommended lock. Be sure that you are getting exactly what you need and more, not less.


Published on: Aug 23rd, 2016
© Katelyn Radtke, Give-A-Hoot

**Give-A-Hoot Content is for information-purposes only and is not a substitute for specific security consultations. It is always best to consult with a professional specifically for your unique situation.