How to Build a Safety Key for a Treadmill

By DelSheree Gladden

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.

Slide-in Safety Keys

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.

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.

Step 3

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

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.

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.

Magnetic Safety Keys

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.

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.

Step 3

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

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.

References

About the Author

Based in Farmington, N.M., DelSheree Gladden has been a contributing writer on eHow.com since 2008. Her primary topics of interest include yoga, dance and gymnastics, the field in which she currently works as a certified fitness intructor. DelSheree has an associate degree in English from San Juan College.

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