A common question among people shopping for a stair lift is, “Are they safe?”. Stair lifts that are installed properly by an experienced provider and used correctly are extremely safe. Quality manufacturers including Bruno, Harmar, Savaria, and Handicare, go to great lengths to make sure their stair lifts meet rigorous safety standards.
Some of these design considerations include:
- Footplate and motor sensors that will detect an obstruction on the stairs and stop the lift
- Seats fitted with seatbelts that will keep a rider secured while the lift is in motion
- Swivel seats that will turn away from the top of the stairs while off loading
- Batteries that are constantly charging so that a lift can be used during a power outage
- Optional folding rail at the bottom of the stairs to avoid a tripping hazard
- Enclosed motor to prevent clothing or hair from becoming caught
While these design features go a long way to ensure safe use of a stair lift, there are things that the user should keep in mind to maximize safety.
- Make sure the user is able to stand, bear weight, and pivot
- Make sure wheelchair users have ample strength to safely transfer from wheelchair to stair lift
- Adhere to the stated weight capacity of your lift. Typically, between 300 and 400 lbs.
- Use safety features like the seat belt and swivel seat when riding and offloading the stair lift
- Use an experienced and licensed company to install your stair lift
- Schedule yearly preventive maintenance appointments with your provider
Anyone buying a stair lift should have little to worry about if they look for the design features discussed above and follow the proper precautions. A qualified provider will be able to confirm various safety features on individual stair lift models and give proper instruction for use.
To find an experienced provider look for those with proper licensing, factory certification, credentials such as Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) or Certified Environmental Access Consultant (CEAC), and positive reviews and testimonials. That way you can be confident that they have knowldege, experience, and a history of customer satisfaction.