Stairlift Faqs

If you are thinking of installing a stairlift in your home, there may be a few questions that you would like answers to.  This article aims to answer at least some of these questions.

Stairlift FAQs #1 – Can a stairlift only be fitted on certain types of stairs?

Stairlifts can be installed on almost every type of staircase.  However, your staircase will probably dictate the type of stair lift that is most suited to you.  The two main types of stair lifts are:

  • Straight stairlifts, which run on a single straight rail and can be fitted to staircases that do not have any curves, bends or corners
  • Curved stairlifts, which are custom made and bespoke to fit a specific staircase and can include bends or curves.  These types of stairlifts can even be fitted to spiral staircases.

Stairlift FAQs #2 – Does Installing a Stairlift Mean Extensive Structural Work?

Stairlifts are very easy to install.  Straight stairlifts in particular can even be installed by anyone who has some basic DIY knowledge.  There is no need at all for any major structural work, as the rail of a stairlift simply attaches to the treads of the staircase.  It is possible, however, that you may have to install a plug socket in your wall if there isn’t one already there or near enough, but that would be the only structural work involved in installing a stairlift.

Stairlifts FAQs #3 – How Much Weight Can Stairlifts Carry?

Stairlifts are generally designed to carry a load of up to 18 stone or 120 kilograms.  If the user is heavier than this, a heavy duty stairlift may need to be installed.  Standard heavy duty stairlifts are equipped to carry up to 25 stone, but can be custom made to carry even heavier loads if required.  A stairlift installer will always ask you for the weight of the heaviest person that will be using the stairlift, as well as whether or not there is any possibility of significant weight gain if the person is already near the weight limit (for example due to pregnancy or medication) and it is very important to not be vain and to answer this question truthfully.

Stairlifts FAQ # 4 – How Safe Are Stair Lifts?

Stairlifts are very safe to use and all come equipped with seat belts to ensure the user does not fall from the seat or standing platform of the stairlift.  Furthermore, stairlifts generally have obstruction sensors, meaning that the stairlift would stop if it senses that something is blocking the track or rail of the stairlift.  In the case of seated stairlifts, the swivel chair will generally also have a chair lock, meaning that the seat can swivel to assist people in getting in and out of the chair, but will then lock into place whilst the stairlift is travelling up and down.

Although all these safety features are in place, accidents do happen and it is important to use it responsibly.

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