A backyard trampoline is a great source for fun and activity for kids. It can help your kids burn off excess energy, improve core strength, and just get them off the screens and into the fresh air. But sometimes, you want to use a trampoline lock, and just make sure that no-one goes on it.
You can lock a trampoline with a safety net with a small padlock through the zipper, or by weaving a light weight bike chain through the netting. If you don’t have a safety net, your lock-out strategy will involve good yard fences and removing the ladder to get onto the trampoline.
Let’s have a look at why you might want to lock your trampoline, and the best way to go about it.
This article is about locking a trampoline so that kids can’t get on it and jump, and thieves can’t steal it.
If you are looking for how to lock a trampoline against strong winds, please click here to read more about “How To Secure A Trampoline For a Storm or Hurricane”.
Why Do You Need to Lock A Trampoline?
Lock Your Trampoline For Insurance
The most common reason for locking a trampoline is wanting to keep unwanted guests off, and comply with homeowners’ insurance. NOTE: this is not for every insurance policy, most homeowners’ policies don’t cover trampolines under any circumstance.
However, for the policies that do cover trampolines, they generally insist that the trampoline is not available to be jumped on by every kid in the neighborhood, so you need good fencing. Further, they want all jumping sessions to be supervised to ensure there are no shenanigans.
By locking your trampoline, the insurer is more likely to be satisfied that you are keeping your trampoline secure for only supervised bouncing.
Lock Your Trampoline To Keep Your Kids Off
Another reason to lock a trampoline is to keep your own kids off. You might have adventurous toddlers that just love the trampoline. It might be as a punishment, it might be as an incentive for older kids to do their chores, or it might just be that they need to finish their homework or study for some tests.
Whatever your reasons, just remember that kids are inventive and some will see a trampoline lock deterrent as a challenge. And social engineering, ie, persuading someone to do your bidding with words, will always be more effective long term than physically forcing them.
Lock Your Trampoline To Keep Thieves From Stealing Your Trampoline
Finally, you might want to have a trampoline lock to prevent your trampoline from being stolen. This will need a different mechanism compared to locking your trampoline to stop kids getting on it. Please read on below.
What Can Be Used As A Trampoline Lock?
If you have a trampoline with a safety net, there are a couple of choices around how you can secure the opening of the net so that it functions as a trampoline lock.
Padlocks As Trampoline Locks
A padlock is the simplest option, but is suitable for only some nets. For a padlock to work to lock a trampoline, it needs to have two zipper sliders, or a significant overlapping flap of safety mesh.
The padlock fits through each of the zipper sliders, and lock together to prevent the zip from opening.
The alternative to have a number of padlocks. You would then attach these in 8” intervals across the mesh openings itself, starting around 12” from the base of the safety net opening.
The trampoline padlock(s) should be:
- Waterproof as it will be in the outdoors
- Have a slender shackle to fit through the zipper sliders
- Keyed as a combination lock can be cracked by any kid with an hour or two spare
- Strong to prevent short nosed pliers breaking it (although nothing will stop good bolt cutters)
Puroma Padlock As A Trampoline Lock
I like these Puroma Padlocks from Amazon. Solid brass for outdoors, keyed and a long slender shackle. Just make sure that the zippers on your safety net look like they can take a padlock through the holes in the end of the sliders.
A Bike Lock As A Trampoline Lock
It’s possible to use certain types of bicycle locks to lock the entrance to your trampoline, depending on the size of mesh in your trampoline net.
The bike lock needs to be the flexible cable type, with quite a narrow cable so that it fits through the mesh of the trampoline safety net.
If you want to be really secure about it, I’d recommend a key lock for the cable, rather than a combination lock. But maybe that’s just because my kids can get bored, and then become quite inventive about brute force lock cracking.
Thread the bike lock cable through the opening pieces of mesh. If you have a Velcro- or zipper-style opening, you would weave the cable through like a shoelaces. If you have an opening that is like a double piece of mesh that the kids slip through, just make sure you go through the overlapping pieces. Again, you want a weaving application so that there is no way they can slip through.
Then, just make sure that the cable is able to lock back up on itself.
I like this Master Lock Python bicycle lock from Amazon.
It has a very narrow but very strong 6ft steel cable. It’s vinyl coated for outdoor use, and flexible enough to weave in and out of the mesh. As it is only 3/16 inch, it can fit through the holes in most safety nets.
As soon as you open it up, use dry graphite lube to help the lock. It does have a tendency to get a bit stuck in cold weather otherwise.
Pop-Lock System from Vuly
One manufacturer includes a system that makes it more difficult for kids to jump on the trampoline unsupervised. Vuly has the pop-lock system on its safety net.
Whilst not a true lock, you are able to “pop” the poles of the safety net out of the frame fairly easily. You then lie these poles in across the trampoline in such a way that all six poles end up crisscrossed over the mat.
As the safety net is still attached to the trampoline, the kids can’t just shove the entire netting arrangement (poles and net) off to the side.
How To Lock A Trampoline Against Being Stolen
To prevent a trampoline from being stolen, you can lock the trampoline. The most common way of locking a trampoline against theft is to wrap a chain around the leg of the trampoline, and then again around a tree, and lock the chain together. Just make sure there are no branches above where the kids will be jumping.
This will prevent would-be thieves from dragging the trampoline away. The benefit of this approach is that you can still move the trampoline if you need to mow the lawn. You can always undo the chain and move it to a different tree or even dissemble it for winter if you want.
Another more permanent way of securing a trampoline against theft is to concrete it into the ground. This will do the job, however, it’s not my preferred way of securing a trampoline. It means that you can’t move the trampoline easily to mow the lawn.
Concrete will also make it harder to winterize the trampoline. Whilst you will still be able to remove the net and leave the frame in the ground, it will be unsightly. And, if you get a great deal of snow, it can also become a hidden hazard that you can’t remove.
You can lock a trampoline to keep kids off it, and the best way to do this is with a bike lock threaded through the netting. You can also try a padlock through the zippers. And if you are trying to lock a trampoline to keep it from being stolen, try a big chain through the legs and around a tree trunk.