How to Build a Safety Key for a Treadmill

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Treadmill safety keys are helpful at keeping you safe when you run by turning the treadmill off if you get too far away from it, but they serve another purpose as well. In most cases you can't turn your treadmill on without the safety key in place. Losing or breaking a safety key can certainly cause problems for your exercise regimen if you are not able to replace it. Searching through item numbers or hassling with ordering a new one from the manufacturer can all be bypassed by making your own safety key.

How to Build a Safety Key for a Treadmill
(Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Hard, thin plastic rectangle
  • Thin piece of wood
  • Magnet
  • Nylon cord 2 to 3 feet in length
  • Heavy duty glue
  • Heavy duty hole punch
  • Scissors or shears
  • Clip
Step 1

Inspect your treadmill and determine what type of safety key it uses. The most common types are a slide-in key and a magnetic key. If you have a slide-in key follow the steps in section 1. If you have a magnetic key follow the steps in section 2.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 2

Measure the length and width of the safety key slide site. Use these measurements to mark on your plastic or wood replacement piece. Measure the depth of the key site as well and make sure your replacement piece is the same depth.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 3

Cut out the replacement piece according to your measurements using scissors or a heavy duty pair of shears.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 4

Measure the distance between the safety key slide site and the center of the treadmill where you typically like to run. Cut the nylon cord slightly longer than that distance to allow for variation in where you run.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 5

Punch a hole in one end of the replacement key and tie the nylon cord to it. Tie the other end of the nylon cord to the clip that will attach to your clothing. Test the effectiveness of the replacement key by sliding it into the slide site and turning the treadmill on. Remove the key and make sure the treadmill turns off.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 1

Purchase a magnet that is the same size as the safety key receptor site. Try placing the magnet on the receptor site and make sure it is strong enough to stay in place and not slip around.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 2

Measure the distance between the safety key site and the center of the treadmill where you typically like to run. Cut the cord slightly longer than that distance to allow for variation in where you run.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 3

Glue the nylon cord to the magnet and tie the other end to the clip that will attach to your clothing.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 4

Test the effectiveness of the replacement safety key by putting the magnet in place and turning the treadmill on. Remove the key to make sure the treadmill turns off.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • Always attach the safety key to your clothing when using a treadmill.
  • Test the replacement key without getting on the treadmill first.

References

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