Where Can I Get a Replacement Treadmill Safety Key?

There are times when even the best treadmills experience operational issues. One of the more common issues that treadmill owners experience is with their safety key. A treadmill safety key is an important safety feature that allows you to stop the machine in an instant so that you don’t fall and suffer a serious or life-threatening injury. Often, these safety keys are bright red, located at the front of the machine’s center console, and easy to grab onto. Unfortunately, they’re also easy to damage or lose.

“Home treadmills offer the opportunity to run and walk in the comfort of your own home,” says BarBend expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC. “This can be particularly beneficial in situations in which walking and running outdoors isn’t safe, such as in bad weather or where there isn’t a pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.” Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take advantage of your home treadmill without a working key, so if you’re wondering where you can get a replacement treadmill safety key, keep reading our guide below.  

About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level-1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cite and the information we provide to help ensure we’re delivering helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations.

What Is a Treadmill Safety Key?

Anyone who has ever stepped on to a treadmill for running or walking has seen a safety key. In fact, they’re hard to miss. Treadmill safety keys are typically bright red and come in the form of a magnet attached to a dangling cord or string.

The console and safety key of the Schwinn 810 Treadmill.

Additionally, there are safety keys that can plug directly into the machine instead of connecting via magnet. For this guide, we’re focusing on the magnet variation because they are the most common type of safety key found on treadmills.

As mentioned, the magnets are attached to the end of a cord or thick string and placed onto the center console of the treadmill, just below the visual display. At the opposite end of the cord is a black or red clip that runners can attach to their clothing. These cords are roughly the length of the treadmill, allowing users to maximize the entire deck space in order to reach their full stride.  

How Do Treadmill Safety Keys Work?

Treadmill safety keys are like keys to a car. To start your car, you need to insert the keys. The same concept applies to treadmills. To operate one of the best cardio machines, you must ensure that the treadmill safety key is properly connected. Conversely, removing the keys from your car and the safety key from your treadmill will shut off both machines.  

Technically speaking, a safety key “turns on” the treadmill by activating an electrical current, which powers up the motor and allows the belt to move at your desired speed. When the safety key is disconnected, the machine will not receive an electrical current and the treadmill belt will not move.  

Ultimately, safety keys are designed to prevent users from sustaining serious injuries when operating a treadmill. Pulling on the cord will immediately disconnect the magnet from the machine and bring the treadmill to an emergency stop.

BarBend tester running on treadmill.

When on a running machine, it’s highly recommended to always clip on the safety key. You do this by taking the clip and attaching it to the bottom of your shirt. Make sure the cord is fully untangled so that you can use the treadmill’s entire deck space without accidentally unplugging the key.

In the event that you aren’t able to pull the cord before losing balance, having it clipped to your shirt will ensure the safety key disconnects during a fall, stopping the belt and helping to prevent further injury. 

[Related: The Best Folding Treadmills]

How To Use A Treadmill Safety Key?

Follow these steps to properly use the safety key while operating your treadmill.

Make sure the treadmill safety key works by properly connecting it to the machine.

 Ensure that the safety key’s cord is not tangled or wrapped around any part of the treadmill.

Attach the safety key’s clip to your shirt, but make sure there’s enough slack to move accordingly.

 If you lose your balance, feel like you are going to fall, or become unstable in any way, pull the cord to immediately cut off the treadmill’s power. 

How to Get a Treadmill Replacement Safety Key

If you have lost or damaged your treadmill safety key, the following options should help you find a replacement.

Buy Online

Because treadmills are one of the most popular types of fitness equipment, there are many online stores that sell replacement parts. This is great news for those of us who have lost or damaged our treadmill key, as they pop up all over our list of treadmill safety tips

However, before searching for a replacement key, it’s important to write down your model number and the treadmill safety key part number. This vital information will help to accurately identify whether or not a replacement key is compatible. The last thing you want to do is to compound the problem by purchasing the wrong safety key.

Once you have the model number, you can do a web search for that specific treadmill and see what comes up or you can go to online shopping sites like Amazon. You can also look for online exercise equipment stores to see if they have treadmill safety keys that are compatible with your machine.

When shopping online for a safety key, there are a few options that can increase your chances of finding a suitable replacement. The first option is finding the exact safety key made for your specific treadmill. The second option is purchasing a universal magnet safety key.

The console and safety key of a NordicTrack T-Series Treadmill.

A universal safety key is designed to work with multiple brands and models. For example, these types of safety keys often work with many of the popular brands, including ProForm, Bowflex, Xterra, Horizon, Reebok, Weslo, Gold’s Gym, Epic, Lifespan, Livestrong, and many of the best NordicTrack treadmills. Universal safety keys are often less expensive than the first option and easier to find.

While purchasing a replacement key, it’s also highly recommended that you buy a treadmill magnet security lock. These devices will ensure that you don’t ever lose your safety key again.

Contact the Manufacturer

If shopping around for a new safety key isn’t your preferred choice, contacting the manufacturer directly could be the easiest way to get a replacement safety key. Once you have your treadmill’s model and safety key part number, look for the brand’s contact information in your owner’s manual or on their website.

You can contact the manufacturer’s customer support department directly via email or phone. Once connected with a customer support agent, let them know that you are looking for a replacement key for your specific treadmill model. The agent will inform you of the proper steps for acquiring a new key. Just don’t be surprised if they direct you to their online store.

Make Your Own

There are plenty of YouTube videos that teach you how to become a treadmill doctor and fix your safety key problem. However, the type of stop key that your treadmill uses will determine how difficult of a process this will be.

If your treadmill has a magnetic safety key, it won’t be as difficult to make a replacement key. This would require you to find a magnet with the same dimensions as your original safety key and modify the magnet to fit properly on your treadmill. You would also need to attach this magnet to a cord or thick string and add a clip to the opposite end.

If your treadmill has a plug-in safety key — like you’ll see on some of the best budget treadmills — then it will require extensive knowledge in electrical wiring to craft a replacement key. This process becomes even more complex depending on whether or not your safety key is metal or plastic. 

At this point, it’s highly recommended that you contact an electrician to open up the console and find the safety switch. If you decide to continue down this path on your own, make sure you unplug the power cord before opening up the console.

Although making your own replacement key is an option, there are some downsides to this. First, you could damage your treadmill by trying to rewire it. Second, using a homemade replacement key could void your warranty. Check your treadmill’s warranty before going this route.

Final Thoughts

Losing a treadmill safety key is not the end of the world. In fact, it’s one of the easiest problems to fix for treadmill owners. Not only can you contact a manufacturer directly to get a replacement key, but online shopping sites like Amazon sell universal safety keys that can be used as well.

With that said, it’s highly recommended that you continue to use your treadmill as it was originally designed. Creating your own safety key could cause more harm than good. In fact, it could cause you to have to buy a new treadmill. Lastly, even the most experienced treadmill users can take a tumble during a running workout, so it’s important that you use the treadmill safety key at all times in order to ensure your safety.

FAQs: Where Can I Get a Replacement Treadmill Safety Key?

What can I use if I lost my treadmill replacement key?

If you lost your replacement key, there’s always the option of buying another one. If you are in a hurry to use your treadmill, then a magnet could be modified to replace your safety key provided that your treadmill uses magnetic safety keys and not plug-ins.

Will a magnet work for a treadmill replacement key?

If your treadmill is designed to operate with a magnetic safety key, then a magnet could be used as a replacement. However, you need to make sure that the magnet is the exact dimensions as the original safety key in order for it to properly fit on or in your treadmill’s console.

Can a treadmill work without a safety key?

Unless you have a manual treadmill, then your treadmill will not work without a safety key. The treadmill safety key is what ignites the electrical current to power on your machine. The belt will not move without a safety key.

The post Where Can I Get a Replacement Treadmill Safety Key? appeared first on BarBend.


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