Did you know that treadmills are the most common exercise equipment used at home? We all get too busy sometimes and do not have enough time to go to the gym, making treadmills a very convenient tool. However, things can get a little dangerous if you run at high speeds. You need to find the ideal way to optimize your safety. That’s why we use a treadmill safety key.
Rest assured, however, that one of the best ways to stay safe on a treadmill is to use a safety key. It is a typical accessory found attached to the treadmill.
But can you make your own treadmill replacement key? And which replacements work for your specific treadmill?
What Is a Treadmill Safety Key?
Safety keys are not always included in your treadmill purchase, but it is vital for enthusiastic athletes. It helps provide the treadmill with more security.
A safety key is simply a key attached to the treadmill through the front screen or panel, and it is connected through a string to a clip. This clip should be attached to the user on the other end. The safety key acts as an emergency stop button. It immediately forces the treadmill to stop if the key detaches from the panel.
3 Best Treadmill Safety Keys
The main reason you would be purchasing a safety key in the first place is either you lost yours or broke it, or your treadmill does not include a safety key. Either way, we advise you to always have a safety key when running on the treadmill. Below are our top 3 picks for the best safety keys out there.
Treadmill Universal Magnet Safety Key
Impresa Replacement Treadmill Safety Key
NiceCo Treadmill Safety Key
Material: Nylon, Acrylonitrile, & Butadiene Styrene
Material: ABS Plastic
Material: ABS Plastic
Weight: 17 grams
Clip Size: 1.6 x 1.1 inches
Clip Size: 2.1 x 1.1 inches
Clip Size: 2.3 x 1.1 inches
Shell Diameter of Magnet: 1.2 inches
Shell Diameter of Magnet: not magnetic
Shell Diameter of Magnet: 1.1 inches
Diameter of Magnet: 0.35 inches
Diameter of Magnet: not magnetic
Diameter of Magnet: 0.55 inches
Rope Length: 3 feet
Rope Length: N/A
Rope Length: 3 feet
Compatibility: Alliance, Pacemaster, Fitness Gear, Horizon, Bowflex, Landice, Lifespan, Livestrong, Merit, Pathfinder, Smooth, Sole, Sunny, Tempo, Triumph & Xterra
Compatibility: with many models that use a square non-magnetic key; Weslo Cadence, Proform, Nordictrack, Lifestyler, Horizon, Healthrider, Reebok, Softstrider, Sportcraft& iFit
Compatibility: Alliance, Pacemaster, Fitness Gear, Horizon, Bowflex (No TC10), Landice, Lifespan, Livestrong, Merit, Pathfinder, Smooth, Sole, Sunny, Tempo, Triumph, & Xterra
How a Safety Key Works
There are actually a few different types of safety keys, but they all work similarly. They all act like circuit breakers, so they cut the electricity from the treadmill if they get detached. So, the circuit does not work without the key in place as it is not connected to the motor.
But, how would the treadmill stop? If you fall off or get off track while running, the part of the safety key attached to you will stay in place, but the magnetic portion connected to the board will get detached. Moreover, this safety key will help you prevent kids from using the treadmill.
However, keep in mind that there are various types of keys, so you want to make sure you are purchasing one compatible with your specific treadmill. Below is a list of the other keys, and always make sure that you’re purchasing the right type for your treadmill.
Types of Safety Keys
We have already established that all these keys work like circuit breakers. Still, they use different mechanisms such as magnets, a simple clip, or even an insertion key.
Insertion Safety Key
This is a prevalent type of safety key, where you have to insert it into a slot for it to operate correctly. However, these keys work a little differently. First of all, they are made of plastic, and they simply work on triggering a switch inside the treadmill once inserted.
These keys are pretty easy to replace in case of loss or damage. However, some of them have bumps on the surface, and these cannot be substituted; a new key would have to be purchased. All you need to d is replace the key with a plastic object that is approximately the same size, and your treadmill will keep on working.
Bar Safety Key
As the name suggests, a bar key is basically a metal bar that connects two electrodes to close a circuit and let electricity run through it. These keys are covered in plastic to avoid electrocuting you. These keys cannot be replaced by any object, and you will have to purchase a new one if you lose or break it.
Magnetic Safety Key
Probably the most popular type of key, the magnetic is pretty much the safest key out there. It has a powerful magnet that pulls a metal stirp into place, making the electricity flow through to the motor.
Replacing magnetic keys is uncomplicated, as all you need is to place any magnet in place of the magnetic part present on the treadmill surface. Sometimes, however, the treadmill will require a solid magnet to work, so if you lose your key and need a replacement, make sure you have a strong magnet lying around.
Why You Should Use a Treadmill Safety Key
Keeping yourself in check and making sure you’re safe is a vital measure in life. The treadmill safety key is one of the most important safety measures you can take.
Moreover, most high-quality treadmills will not run without a safety key in place to avoid any situation where you put yourself in danger. This means that the treadmill will automatically stop operating, which will prevent you from falling off.
Imagine falling off while running at high speed and the treadmill keeps going. That will almost definitely lead to an injury, as you’ll fall off and potentially hit your face on the running treadmill. The thing is, it would otherwise be hazardous without the safety key.
There are numerous other ways a treadmill safety key keeps you and your family safe. Since there has been an increase in the number of treadmills purchased every year as more people prefer home workouts, you need to ensure that nothing causes you or your family harm.
Safety Key Benefits
- Running on a treadmill is an entirely different scene from running outside on solid ground. You need to make sure you’re always focused and balanced as there is no friction with the floor. Moreover, you’re running in place, so it is pretty tricky sometimes to restrict yourself to a running area.
- If you get distracted or lose focus for a second, you might risk injuring yourself by stumbling off or just moving to the side. When the safety key’s efficiency comes in, it will automatically disconnect the treadmill if you get too far away from the dashboard.
- Suppose you’re competitive or simply trying to enhance your skills and practice running at higher speeds. In that case, you’re constantly at risk of hurting yourself since you cannot control your own pace. The treadmill will keep running at the same speed unless you change it. While this is a great way to become a better runner, you risk hurting yourself if you start getting too tired and cannot change your speed or stop the treadmill.
- If you have kids, then a safety key will come in handy. You definitely do not want your little ones running around on the treadmill and injuring themselves. Hence, you can put away the key whenever you’re not using it to prevent the children from playing with it.
How to Use Treadmill Without Safety Key
While finding your own treadmill replacement key is not recommended, you can still operate a treadmill without one. However, it might lead to dangerous situations if not done correctly, such as malfunctioning, a faulty circuit occurring, or even injuring yourself.
However, it is entirely doable. If you break or lose your safety key, you can always find another way to operate the treadmill. But what do you need to make a treadmill work without a safety key? You will need to install a jumper bypass at the safety switch to make it yourself.
1. Gather the following material:
- Allen Wrench
- Wire Stripper
- Insulated Electrical Wire
- Electrical Tape
- Crimp Connectors
2. Remove the treadmill from the power source.
3. Remove the cover and find the location of the safety switch. You will find the button attached to the console cover in some treadmills. Use the Allen wrench to remove any bolts on the console.
4. Find where the wire leads are on each side of the safety switch. You will likely find the button enclosed in a housing and the wire leads attached to the terminal posts. Now, you need to remove those leads from the terminal posts. You can do so by turning the screws around with the screwdriver. However, if the wire leads are not outside the switch housing, you should use wire strippers to cut the leads.
5. Cut a small piece of the insulated wire that acts as the jumper bypass connecting the two lots of the switch leads. Peel off the very ends of the tips by a quarter of an inch to expose the wire. Then, twist the ends of the wire very tight with your fingers. Strip the ends of the jumper wire by a quarter of an inch and twist the wires’ ends.
6. Put the end of the switches into an insulated crimp connector. Crimp the connectors with the strippers to make sure the wires are secure. Now, put the tips of the jumper into the ends of the crimp connector. Next, crimp the connectors with wire strippers.
7. Wrap both the jumper wire and the connectors with the electrical tape, then wrap the whole thing onto each end of the leads. Put back the console cover and screw in the bolts. Your treadmill is now ready to operate!
Treadmill Safety Key Replacement
Losing the treadmill safety key is a widespread incident. You can accidentally lose it while moving around the treadmill, or you can place it somewhere then forget the place later on. Hence, to avoid building your own treadmill replacement key, buying a new treadmill switch is always better and cheaper if you do not already have the equipment.
However, when buying a new safety key replacement, there are a few things you should consider:
Imagine, after careful consideration and research, that the key you bought does not work with your treadmill. Hence, make sure you find out which keys work with your treadmill. You can check the description on amazon’s website and figure out which keys work with your specific treadmill.
You do want something durable and not something that would potentially break the first time you use it. Also, if you’re dedicated to running, then everything you want to buy should be of high quality to last you for a longer time.
Always check the reviews on the product’s page. You want to know what other people’s experiences were like before risking buying a new treadmill safety switch.
Final Verdict: Treadmill Safety Key Replacements
We all love the idea of being active and fit, but we always need to make sure we’re doing it in a safe, controlled environment. Hence, always make sure your home treadmill has a treadmill safety key. It will help you prevent yourself from getting injured and protect you and your loved ones.
And if you ever lose your safety key, we recommend simply replacing it with another high-quality one that will last you a long time.