The Bump Key Exaggeration

Some time ago there were several reports on lock bumping. Bumping is a way of picking a lock with a specially made key, and the lock industry has been aware of the method for some time now.

The Media took the stories and ran with them, making bumping look like it was the criminals’ key to the city so to speak. The truth behind the story is that most criminals simply don’t bump locks. They typically use a more destructive entry method like breaking a window or kicking in the door, because it’s faster and affords them less chance of getting caught.

First things first let’s recognize that one key won’t fit into every lock. There must be hundreds of different types of locks with as many keyways to match, meaning a criminal would have to carry a lot of keys with at least 20 or so common keys, and be able to know which key will fit into your lock. Or stand there while trying them one by one until they had one that fit. Once the key is found you have the problem of noise. Lock bumping sounds like someone knocking on your door – with a hammer – and regardless of what you have seen on TV, not every lock takes one hit to open.

But once the seeds of fear have spread it doesn’t take long to reach the right ears. And as with most people they don’t become security conscious until they or someone near them has been burglarized, lock manufacturers won’t upgrade their design until there is a demand. Now I won’t go as far as to say that lock bumping is a fallacy but it is mostly hype. For my money I’d focus on the materials my locks are made of before I’d worry about them getting bumped open.

If you’re still concerned about it as I’m sure many people are there are several options to defeat the bump key. The low-cost options involve upgrading the pins and springs in your existing locks, and the higher end options are high security locks that deliver you a myriad of extra advantages including bump key protection.

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