Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lock Bumping

Many homeowners are unaware of a potential security risk that over 90 percent of American households today are susceptible to, Lock Bumping. The following is a brief explanation of how residential locks work, what Lock Bumping is, and also the best methods of preventing your home from falling victim to this residential security threat.

The average American house has Pin Tumbler locksets installed. The basic mechanical elements of Pin Tumbler locks contain a series of spring loading stacks known as pin stacks. Every pin stack is made out of a Key pin, which is the pin that touches the key when it’s initially placed into the lock, and then there is the Driver Pin, which is the spring driven pin. The proper alignment of all Key Pins and Driver Pins is what enables a locks cylinder to be turned. This proper alignment is accomplished when the correct key is inserted into the lock. A lock will not open if there is misalignment, which will occur when no key, and or an incorrectly cut key is inserted into the lock.

Lock Bumping is a Lock picking technique used specifically to bypass Pin Tumbler locksets. The Lock Bumping method is carried out by the user placing a key created for the sole purpose of “bumping” your pin tumbler lock, which is called, a Bump Key, slightly into the key hole entry way of any Pin Tumbler lock, and then proceeding to strike the Bump key with a very small amount of force, which will in turn cause the pins within the lock to give way for only a split second, but in that split second anyone willing will gain almost immediate access, leaving little to no evidence of a forced entry onto your property! These reasons combined with the fact that Lock Bumping Keys are inexpensive and easily made is what makes Lock Bumping a serious threat!

In an effort to compete against all of the sites on the internet that promote the criminal use Lock Bumping there are public service sites on the web such as that do provide awareness and methods of protecting your home from Lock Bumping. There are many different ways, and expert opinions concerning this matter, but the popular consensus came down to the conclusion, a higher security grade level of lock! Yes the one sure way to prevent your home from Lock Bumping is to install locks of a higher security grade. The drawback of higher security grade locks is of course a more expensive lock, but they can be purchased from your local locksmith or home improvement store.

Thank you for reading! For more info check out my website,, where you'll find the solution for all of your Locksmith needs! I look forward to answering any locksmith and security related inquiry you may have. Simply CLICK HERE to be redirected to my websites contact page.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Transponder - Chip Key Defined

I have a chip key, what does that mean? Well it could mean that your key is broken in the corner but when you hear it from a professional that's not what he meant! There are a few different chips in keys and all do the same, preventing a thief from driving away with your car or opening your locks. Some keys are more complex then others and can offer additional information. The most common question that I get from customers is, "What does having a chip in my key mean?". Well, let me explain.

Frequently the owner of a car will call us because they need to have a car key made finding that his/her key has a transponder chip. Perhaps the key turns but the ignition doesn't start. Why? A transponder key needs to be programmed in order to work with its vehicle. The transponder chip is a radio transmitter hidden in the key that 'talks' to the car's computer through a wireless system confirming that the original key is in the ignition. After the confirmation is done the computer lets the coil give the spark starting your car. There are many different transponder chips and each one needs to be programmed to match the specific car. The only way to do this is by having a locksmith program the key or taking the vehicle to the dealership. Either way both need the vehicle present.

One of the first chip keys was made by GM and found mostly on Cadillac vehicles. This key is called a VATS keys (vehicle anti theft system) and is a little different from the known transponder keys that are more common today. When GM initially came out with the VAT system they made 15 different variations. It's not that sophisticated to copy but still can be difficult to figure out which is the correct variation.

What other keys have chips? Most of the major lock manufacturers have models that are equipped with chipped keys: Schlage, KwikSet, ASSA, Mul-T-Lock, and others are using new technologies like chip keys or bio lock, and the demand is out there. Recently I spoke to a business owner who owns a warehouse with millions of dollars worth in inventory. He had the need for a complex system that will allow him to track every employee that came in and out of the building, the time the employee came in and out, and even how long the door was open! Having this information would help him know if someone was taking inventory with them or letting unauthorized individuals into his building. The owner also has the option to cancel a key without even having the key in hand, send an employee a message on an LCD display or even letting him know how many people are in the room at a given time. An office can also use a system like this for tracking worker hours and productivity.

Home owners can also benefit from this system. A home owner can change the code on the key without the need of changing their locks, saving time and money in cases like lost or stolen keys. Imagine never worrying about losing your keys and never having the need to re-key your lock. It is possible to restrict access to certain rooms in your home using this system.

Thank you for reading! For more info check out my website,, where you'll find the solution for all of your Locksmith needs! I look forward to answering any locksmith and security related inquiry you may have. Simply CLICK HERE to be redirected to my websites contact page.

Master Rekeying Defined

Master rekeying enables you, the owner of a business for example, to have one key that will work just on the front door, and a second key that will work on both the front door and your office thus enabling you to have fewer keys on your keychain.

What most people don't realize is that master keying and Key-A-Like is not the same! A lot of customers will call Complete Locksmith and ask us if we can set their home or business with a master key when all they really want is one key for all their locks, the same key! This is what's known in the locksmithing world as a Key-A-Like.

Think of Key-A-Like being similar to your car key in the sense that most models are made with a single key that works on all locks for the entire car. The same key that opens your car's doors and trunk will also start the engine. Imagine that! Instead of coming home after a long day and having to open four different locks, each with it's own unique key, fumbling around for the right one in the dark, you would simply have one key that will open all of your locks. This key would not only get you in the house but also into your shed and even your closet. This simple process is safe and helpful and brings with it multiple benefits like having a single key on your key chain, easy storage for spare keys with a trusted friend or relative, manageability of all your important keys in life from home to work to spares.

Master keying allows for a single key to control several locks while still having each lock with its own separate key. This carries with it several advantages. For example the owner of a company might issue employees a key with access to his company's front door locks whereas his key would allow him access not only to the same locks as his employees' key but also to restricted areas such as his personal office. As another example some businesses may have checks and cash on hand and need to keep it in a secure area but need to supply keys to the building for cleaners or maintenance workers for access at night. Master keying gives you control over who has access to sensitive areas greatly reducing the risk of compromising sensitive information. I have witnessed lockouts that that were simply a waste of time and money due to poor organization of a company and its keys. The funny thing is that simply having a multi-level master set of keys could have prevented most of these emergency calls.

How can you institute a master rekey for your business? If you contact Complete Locksmith we can send a professional locksmith technician to rekey all your locks and pin them so the tumblers will match one or more keys within the same cylinder. Or perhaps you have four locks and would like to have two keys, one that will open all of the locks and one that will open only three of the locks. Easy enough, only three of the cylinders will needed to be master rekeyed. In most cases a master rekey will be less expensive to set up for your business or home than what originally think.

Thank you for reading! For more info check out my website,, where you'll find the solution for all of your Locksmith needs! I look forward to answering any locksmith and security related inquiry you may have. Simply CLICK HERE to be redirected to my websites contact page.

Double-Sided Cylinder Deadbolt Locks Provide Extra Security

When you have a side door with a window that has a single-sided deadbolt lock you are vulnerable. This is because anybody who wants to gain access can simply break the window with his hand and access the thumb-turn to unlock your door. The same goes for businesses! Most businesses would have a mortis on both sides, but some businesses only have a thumb-turn on the inside making a break-in fairly easy. Complete Locksmith always recommends to our clients who have windows on and or close to a door that has a single-sided deadbolt, to install a double-sided lock. Commercial clients should do the same. We can come to your business and replace the lower security grade inner thumb-turn mortis locks with a higher security grade regular mortis instead.

Any regular deadbolt should extend deeper into the strike plate than a standard knob bolt. It's recommended to have a deadbolt extend at least 1". The Longer the throw, the more difficult it is to gain entry by spreading the door frame. Regular deadbolts utilize a key to open the lock when entering from outside and open from the inside with a single action turn of a knob, thus preventing any entrapment in the event of an emergency. Burglars, however, can easily gain entry through a locked door, even with a deadbolt, by breaking the glass in a window, reaching in, and simply unlocking the door. Standard deadbolts are therefore only recommended for all solid exterior doors without any glass or mail slots within 36" of the lock. If glass panels must be closer, deadbolts can still be used if the glass is covered with a security film, which prevents breakage.

Another precaution businesses and home owners alike can use is to install a doorplate. Doorplates provide increased security and deter intruders by making forced entrances more difficult. For example, if a burglar were to take a crowbar and try to force your door open, the doorplate would hold fast and remain intact. Doorplates are inexpensive and installation usually isn't a time extensive process, although you'll want to take into consideration the composition of the door and factor in that variable when estimating amount of time that installing the doorplates will take you. Complete Locksmith can do this for you.

Thank you for reading! For more info check out my website,, where you'll find the solution for all of your Locksmith needs! I look forward to answering any locksmith and security related inquiry you may have. Simply CLICK HERE to be redirected to my websites contact page.