5 Questions To Ask About Safety Features When Selecting A Stair Lift For Your Home

Posted on

As you have gotten older, you may have started having problems climbing the stairs in your home. Because of this, you may decide you would like to have a stair lift installed but are concerned about its safety. If so, use the following list of questions to ask about the lift's safety features.

Is A Key Required To Start The Lift?

If you have small grandchildren, you may worry about them operating the lift and getting hurt. If so, ask if a key is required to start it. Many models come with this feature so the lift can only be used when the key is in the ignition and switched on. That way, you can keep the key with you and out of the little ones' hands.

What Happens If Clothing Gets Caught In The Lift's Railing?

You may be concerned about loose clothing getting caught between the lift and rail while it is moving. You may be worried that it could throw you out of the chair or break the lift.

If so, ask if the lift has a sensor to detect obstacles and obstructions. Many of them are programmed to bring the lift to a soft stop whenever its smooth motion is interrupted. When this happens, you or a family member can remove the obstacle and hit a reset button that allows the stair lift to move once again.

What Types Of Brakes Come On The Stair Lift?

Another safety feature you may want to ask about is the braking system. This includes the brakes used to automatically stop the chair when it reaches the end of the rail, as well as any manual brakes.

Ideally, the stair lift you choose should have both electronic and manual brakes. While the electronic ones stop the lift under normal circumstances, you could find yourself in need of manual brakes in case the power goes out or the automatic ones malfunction. If nothing else, this double system would give you peace of mind about your safety.

Will The Lift Become Stuck If The Electricity Goes Out?

You may have an image of being halfway up the stairs and having the electricity go out, getting you stuck on the stairs. If this is a fear of yours, ask the representative if the stair lift comes with a backup power source.

Some stair lifts come with a small generator that kicks in whenever the sensors detect a power outage. Others have a built-in DC battery you can switch on manually whenever the electricity goes out. When asking about the backup power source, discuss the layout of your home to determine which one would best fit your situation.

Does The Lift Have Limit Sensors?

While you are riding the stair lift either up or down, you may have a fear that the chair could go past the end of the rail, spilling you out into the floor. If so, ask about the limit sensors on the chair.

Limit sensors automatically detect when the lift starts reaching the end of the rail. They then send a signal to the motor and braking system to start slowing down, bringing you to a slow, smooth stop. 

Another type of limit sensor available detects the amount of weight that is allowed on the lift. This prevents the chair from being overloaded to the point of pulling it forward and potentially breaking the brakets or railing.

Although not a comprehensive list, the above questions should get you started when learning about the safety features on each stair lift. As you speak with the representative from each company, write down additional questions and concerns to discuss with them so you can select one that best suits your needs.