Millions of people deal with mobility issues and rely on innovative tools and technology such as scooters and wheelchairs in order to get around. But for these individuals, severe mobility issues can make navigating their own homes painfully, challenging, and dangerous. This is why the concept of the chair lift came to be and why it is such a common commodity in many people’s homes today. A common question people have when they first consider the idea of getting a stair lift for their home is, “Are they safe?”. Stair lifts that are installed properly by an experienced individual and that are made by companies adhere to state and federal safety standards are very safe and come with a range of safety features.
Safety features of stairlifts to consider when making a purchase
There are a number of things people with mobility issues need to have in mind in order to maximize their overall health and safety when operating a stair lift in their homes. These include the following:
- Ensure anyone using the lift is able to stand, bear weight, and pivot for a few minutes without support or assistance other than a stair hand railing.
- Make sure wheelchair users are given enough room to safely move from wheelchair to the lift chair at the top and bottom of the lift’s run.
- Adhere to the authorized weight limit for the stair lift and keep in mind it typically, between 300 and 400 lbs. and only covers one rider at a time.
- Use safety included features or purchase approved safety devices like seat belt and swivel seats to make loading and off-loading easier.
- Never do any self-installations or repairs on a life, only work with an experienced and licensed company who is able legally to work on these devices.
- Schedule yearly preventive maintenance checks with the manufacturer and get the chair lift system checked right away if anything seems off with it.
Wrapping your head around everything you should know about stair lift safety features
In addition to these basic safety tips that used need to know about when it comes to stair lifts, there some other options to consider. Many manufacturers offer lifts that come with additional design considerations and upgrade safety options and features that can help people with different mobility limitations safely use the lifts.
- Footplate and motor sensors to stop the lift if any obstacle is detected ahead of it.
- Seats fitted with seat belts to provide added security and support to users.
- Swivel seats allow for more stability away from the top of the stairs when offloading.
- Batteries that constantly charge to allow for emergency use during power outages.
- Optional folding rail and hand held supports to allow for more stability on the stairs.
- Enclosed motor to prevent anything from becoming caught and pulled during use.
- Personalized and customized features to fit specific wants and needs of the user.
While these design features can make it safe for more people to use a stairlift, what’s most important is to ensure the stair lift is installed by professionals, routinely maintained, and used only according to manufacturer’s specifications.
Final thoughts on stair lift features
Everything you should know about stair lift safety features and accessory options can be found by reading the care and use manuals that come with your system. You can also search for reviews and compare features of various brands and models online to get a feel for what you do and do not like about certain options. Anyone buying a stair lift dot not need to worry about safety while they are using their system so long as the points outlined here are followed and all regulations and specifications are followed every time it is in use. To find an experienced provider for your stair lift, be sure to check the following things: their licensing, the manufacturing factory certifications, and any medical or therapeutic credentials. Organizations such as the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) or Certified Environmental Access Consultant (CEAC) can help you know when you are looking at a high-end stair lift system. And finally, be sure to look for the positive reviews and testimonials, not just on the company website but also on other review platforms such as Yelp! and social media platforms. Buying a quality stair lift for your home can help you or a loved one be safer and more confident in their own homes so be sure to get one today!