How To Secure A Trampoline In A Hurricane (Do This Now!)
You’ve probably heard the horror stories. News stations are quick to post the aftermath of a storm– trampolines picked up and thrown, some of them found miles away from their home. Rogue trampolines can break windows, total cars, and tear down fences.
If you have a trampoline, not only should you worry about it causing damage to your property during severe weather, but a trampoline could pose serious injury to others as well. Learn how to secure your trampoline in a hurricane.
If you have an outdoor trampoline, you need to anchor it to the ground. In the event of a storm, an unanchored trampoline becomes a dangerous flying object. Trampolines are especially susceptible to high winds because of their large surface area, which essentially acts as a sail. Any wind speed over 40 mph is enough to cause a trampoline to become airborne. Fortunately, it’s easy to secure your trampoline in a hurricane.
The process will be the same, whether you choose to secure your trampoline with star pickets, corkscrews, or wind stakes. First, twist the corkscrew stake into the ground under the trampoline, about 12 inches from the inside of the frame. Wrap a ratchet strap around the frame ring of the trampoline and thread the strap through the loop.
Then, hook the ratchet strap to the corkscrew anchor. Thread the strap hanging from the frame through the ratchet and tighten until you feel slight tension. Repeat process using one stake per trampoline leg.
Securing a Trampoline in a Hurricane
During a hurricane, dismantling your trampoline is your safest option. But since severe weather is often unpredictable, you may find yourself without the time or resources to do so. Make sure your trampoline is secure by anchoring it to the ground with stakes. But remember, saturated soil can compromise even the most reliable of stakes.
Trampolines vary from 8 to 14 feet. If you have an average-sized trampoline, it likely has four U-shaped legs and will need four stakes. If your trampoline has more than four legs, you will need more stakes and straps.
- Four star pickets, stakes, or corkscrew stakes
- Four ratchet straps or cargo straps
- Hammer (unless using corkscrew stakes)
Step One: Insert First Stake
Once you are satisfied with the location of your trampoline, insert your first stake. Twist your corkscrew stake into the ground 12-18 inches from the inside edge of the trampoline leg. If you are using star pickets or U-shaped stakes, hammer your stake into the ground at the same distance.
Leave 2 inches of the stake above ground. The stake should be in the soil underneath your trampoline, about 1 or 1.5 feet from the trampoline leg. If you are using star pickets, place the cap on the stake.
Step Two: Wrap Ratchet Strap Around Frame Ring
Wrap a ratchet strap around the frame ring of the trampoline. The frame ring is where the springs connect the net to the rest of the frame. Most are round, but some trampolines are rectangular.
Step Three: Thread Strap Through Loop
Once you have the ratchet strap hanging on the frame ring, identify the “loop” on one end of the strap. Thread the other end of the strap through the loop. The strap should have a secure hold on the frame ring.
Step Four: Hook Strap to Stake
Using the hook end of your ratchet strap, attach the ratchet strap to the part of the stake that is above ground.
You should have a strap fastened to the frame ring and a strap attached to the stake in the ground. Now you’re ready to connect them!
Step Five: Thread and Tighten
Take the strap that is attached to the frame ring and thread the open end through the ratchet. Tighten until you feel slight tension. Make sure not to over tighten, as this could lead to breakage.
Step Six: Repeat Process
Repeat the process until all trampoline legs are secured, using one stake for each leg.
Step Seven (optional): Remove Protective Net
Since both the jumping pad and protective netting can act as wings during high winds, anything extra you can remove will lower the risk.
Remove safety netting by going under the trampoline to untie the protective padding from the frame. Once you’ve removed the protective padding, lift to separate a pole from its post. Do this with each pole and set aside. Untie the poles from the safety netting and store them safely.
Remove the jumping pad by unhooking the springs from the frame ring. You can use a trampoline spring to unhook the other springs from the frame.
Types of Anchors
Corkscrew anchors are giant corkscrews made of galvanized steel. If you intend to leave your trampoline intact year-round, corkscrew anchors are the most durable and sustainable option to secure it to the ground. Since they screw into the earth, corkscrew anchors are less likely to be pulled out by high-speed winds.
Corkscrew anchors are easy to install, considering you don’t even need a hammer. Using the triangle-shaped handle on top, twist the corkscrew into the ground. Only the handle should be above ground. If there is no handle, thread a long object (such as a screwdriver) through the corkscrew to use as leverage. Using the object as a handle, twist the corkscrew into the ground. Leave 2 inches of the corkscrew visible.
A star picket is a spiked metal fence post. Star pickets are sometimes called T-posts, or Y-posts, due to the star or T-shape on each end. Star pickets are easy to install– simply hammer into the ground at a slight angle.
Although star pickets are made of tough steel, they’re not quite as reliable as corkscrew anchors. Depending on the severity of the storm, star pickets can be pulled out of the ground by high-speed winds. Since star pickets are smooth, they offer little resistance to strong winds, and wet soil only exacerbates the problem.
“U” or “J” Shaped Wind Stakes
Sometimes referred to as trampoline wind stakes, these U-shaped stakes are made to hold down the legs of your trampoline. While securing the legs to the ground is adequate in most conditions, during a storm, you will want to secure the frame ring to the ground instead. Since the trampoline’s frame ring is the strongest anchor point, drive your U-shaped stakes into the ground underneath the jumping pad and secure the frame ring with ratchet straps.
Wind stakes generally have sharp ends, so you can easily push them into the ground. Like star pickets, wind stakes are smooth and offer little resistance to being pulled out of the earth. Wind stakes may work better with rockier soil.
Additional Safety Measures
If you’re short on time, flipping your trampoline may reduce the risk. Remember NEVER put a trampoline on its side, as it will catch the wind. Turn the trampoline upside down so that the jumping pad is on the ground. Secure the frame to the ground with U-shaped wind stakes. Flipping the trampoline alone will not be enough to reduce the risk of becoming airborne.
For an added layer of protection, remove the safety netting and/or jumping pad from the trampoline after anchoring it to the ground. By breaking down the surface area, you can reduce the risk of the wind picking up and carrying your trampoline. The frame of the trampoline can still cause damage, so make sure that it is properly secured.
Concrete Fillings or Foundations
If you live in an area where hurricanes or tropical storms are common, you may consider making your trampoline anchors permanent. You can reinforce your stakes with cement. Remember that you should never anchor a trampoline on cement for safety reasons, but you can pour cement over installed stakes to make the anchor permanent. A concrete-filled foundation is still not foolproof, as trampoline frames can break away from the legs under extreme tension.
In-ground trampolines pose less of a threat during storms because they have jumping pads that are flush with the ground. But since they require more robust materials, in-ground trampolines usually are much more expensive and time-consuming to install. You will need to build air escape holes and a retaining wall.
Disassemble the Trampoline
The only way to guarantee that your trampoline will not fly away during a storm is to disassemble it—every single time. Even the most secure anchors can become loose under extreme circumstances such as hurricane winds and saturated soil. If the anchors hold, the frame can still detach from the legs if the metal joints are fatigued.
Tips for Securing Trampoline
Buy an Anchor Kit
You can find trampoline anchor kits online for approximately $30. Trampoline anchor kits use auger-style corkscrew anchors and tie-down straps.
Pour Some Water on It
If you are having trouble installing the anchors, soften the area with water. Moisture will help to break up the soil and allow you to twist or hammer in your stakes.
Warning: NEVER place your trampoline on its side. The jumping pad will catch the wind, causing it to become airborne.
Can my trampoline fly away during a storm?
Yes, a trampoline can fly away during a storm if not anchored properly. And not just during hurricanes! While a hurricane is classified as having high-speed winds starting at 74 mph, even 40 mph wind can pose a risk to outdoor trampolines.
Can I anchor my trampoline with sandbags?
Although sandbags can be a quick fix in an emergency, it is not recommended in a hurricane. By holding down only the trampoline legs, you transfer more stress to the frame joints. If the jumping pad or net is still intact, high-speed winds may cause the trampoline frame to separate from the legs in extreme situations. Hurricanes can reach speeds of up to 157 mph or higher. In the event of a major hurricane, roofs can be ripped off homes; simply placing heavy objects on the trampoline legs will not be enough.
More Related Guides
HK Sloan is a freelance writer currently covering DIY Home Improvement, Health, and Lifestyle. Sloan is passionate about improving situations for less, whether it be working on mind, body, or home.
More by HK Sloan