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What is Lock Bumping?

It’s a sad but true fact that about 3.7 million home invasions happen each year in the United States.

Burglars use a variety of ways to gain access to your home. Just one is lock bumping, and it may be the most surprising one of all. While many people have heard of lock picking, lock bumping is not as well known.

What is a bump key?

Lock bumping involves using a bump key, which is a specially manipulated key to pick a lock. The technique has recently gained popularity among thieves due to the increased media attention and how-to online videos.

Bump keys are incredibly effective when used correctly. An intruder simply inserts a bump key into a keyhole and then taps a hammer or screwdriver. This will bump all the pins inside the lock above the shear line. Once the pins are in position, the tight touch will pop open the lock. All this can be accomplished in just a few seconds.

How to protect your home from being bumped

  • Buy the right key. Various lock smiths and law enforcement officials state that bump keys can unlock 90 percent of the keys in America. Professional lock manufacturers like Medeco, Schlage, Miwa, Assa and Kaba have versions of bump-proof locks. If your doors don’t have one or you’re unsure if they do, it’s a good idea to consider investing in new locks.
  • Reinforce existing locks. An option that’s more inexpensive than replacing your locks is replacing the strike plate. (That’s the metal plate that's mounted on the doorjamb and into which the lock bolt slides.) You can buy a new strike plate for about $10.
  • Use patent-protected keys. They help guard against unauthorized duplication of your keys.
  • Always lock your door. Lots of people like to brag that they feel no need to lock their doors. That’s a big mistake—it only makes it that much easier for a thief to enter your home.

To protect your home to the best of your ability, check out other important tips to prevent burglaries.

Also talk to an insurance professional like an Erie Insurance agent in your community. They can help make sure your home has the right homeowners insurance in case a burglary happens despite your best efforts to prevent one.

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ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.