- Stair lifts are mechanical seats which help lift people up and down the stairs.
- Ideal for persons recovering from an injury or have a condition which reduces mobility to reach and get down from the upper floors of the home.
- A stair lift carries an individual up and down the stairs in a safe seated position, giving easy access to the second story or basement level of the home.
Design of Stair Lift
- Most common design is chair which glides up and down a rail.
- There are also specialized lifts for wheelchairs and "perching" models with tall, narrow seats for users with knee problems or narrow staircases.
- There are two types of staircases, straight and curved. This is one of the biggest considerations when determining which stairs lift would be needed.
Straight stair lift-
- The lift for a straight flight of stairs goes up and down in a straight line.
- It is not able to turn around curves, bends, or travel across a landing.
Curved stair lift
- A curved stair lift is able to navigate corners and reversal of direction in the stairs.
- The curved stair lifts tend to cost more money due to their more complex nature, and the fact that most need to be custom designed and built.
- Weight capacity- Each stair lift has a maximum weight capacity, which usually ranges from 250 to 400 pounds.
- Battery option- Stair lifts run on electricity, but to keep them running during power outages, they also must have battery backups. Lifts can recharge anywhere on the track laid along the rails.
- Seat- Stair lift seat must be comfortable, ergonomic, secure and adjustable. Most of them are padded and equipped with seat belts.
- Key switch- A key switch prevents unauthorized use of a stair lift as it cannot be used without its key. This feature is especially useful in houses with children.
- Hand-held controller- Allow users to send the carriage up the stairs and out of the way when not in use, or call it to the bottom of the steps from the top.
- Call and send controls- Stair lifts with multiple users have infrared remote controls to call them down or send them up the stairs.
- Contact pressure controls- They requires the user to actually be pressing a control (usually located on the seat arm) for the carriage to move along the track. If the control button or joystick is depressed, the carriage will not move. Thus, constant pressure must be maintained for the carriage to travel the length of the track.
- Safety Switch- Located on the carriage and is used to ensure that the chair is locked into a safe position for travel before the carriage begins its ascent or descent on the track. It will not allow the carriage to begin movement, or draw power, unless it is in the correct position.
- Safety sensors- Some stair lifts may have cutoff sensors in their carriages and footrests which in monitoring the path of a stair lift for obstructions. When there is an obstruction in the way, these sensors immediately pull it to a stop, helping prevent accidents and damage.
- Lockable isolation switch- Designed to prevent use of the stair lift when the isolation switch is locked by a key.