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Bump Keys: What Are They and How Do I Protect Myself Against Them?

Bump Keys: What Are They and How Do I Protect Myself Against Them?

Bump Key LockpickingBump keys make it easy for thieves to open many common locks, but you can protect yourself against them.

Bump keys are a lock picking tool that have been gaining in popularity among burglars in recent years. Basically, a bump key is a sort of homemade skeleton key that, when inserted almost all the way into a lock and then suddenly “bumped” or shoved the rest of the way in, can open the lock as easily as the real key would. Bump keys do pose a serious risk to the security of many homes and businesses that have traditional locks, but fortunately there are steps you can take to protect yourself against bump keys. Here are some suggestions.

Upgrade to a High-Security Lock

Because bump keys work by knocking all the pins in a spring-loaded lock stack into alignment for the fraction of a second it takes to open the lock, naturally only pin tumbler locks are vulnerable to this attack. Other types of locks which do not have pins, such as disc tumbler locks, magnetic locks, and electronic locks, cannot be opened using bump keys. Locks with trap pins also invulnerable to bump keys, because they will actually jam if the wrong key is inserted. You can also look into getting a lock that has been specifically designed to be bump-resistant, as many top lock brands have begun offering such models. By upgrading to a high-security or bump-resistant lock, you can make it more difficult for a thief to break into your home. The experts at Curley’s Keyshop will be happy to help you pick out high-security lock and install it for you.

Avoid Popular Lock Brands

Bump keys have to be made from the exact size and shape key blank that matches the lock. Because there are so many different brands and models of locks, this means that in theory a thief would have to create tons of different bump keys in order to have a chance of opening a lock chosen at random. The more rare or unusual your lock, the less likely a thief is to have a ready-made bump key for it. If you live in an apartment building, you should definitely not use the same lock as your neighbors. If you do, it makes life very easy for thieves and in fact apartment buildings are a favorite target of thieves using bump keys for this very reason.

Install a Security System

Another very effective deterrent against thieves using bump keys as well as other break-in methods is installing a security system. This might be something as simple as motion-sensing lights, a home alarm system or even a CCTV system. Basically, anything you can do to make your home less attractive to thieves is a step in the right direction!

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