Five Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Commercial Stairlift


Commercial Stairlifts East Anglia - Ransome Mobility

Commercial stairlifts have become a necessity for many groups and organisations who have a legal duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their buildings for the benefit of the disabled community.

As many premises cannot be adapted to include a conventional lift, a stair lift is one way of complying with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act, which first became law in 1995 and was updated in 2010 as part of the Equality Act.

Ransome Mobility supply and install commercial stairlifts across East Anglia, including Essex, Norfolk and Hertfordshire. Here we look at five key factors to consider before ordering this type of mobility aid for a workplace or public building.

Security

This is even more of an issue than with domestic stairlifts, where you have a limited number of people using it. This means in a commercial or public building where footfall is much greater, a key or security system is essential.

There is also a greater risk of abuse and misuse. Even those who have a stairlift at home may be unfamiliar with how to operate one in their workplace. For this reason, you will need someone on hand to explain how the stairlift works, either to the user or their carer. They will also be able to check that the safety features are all in place, and that no one else is using (or about to use) the staircase.

Straight or Curved?

This will be determined by the configuration of your stairs. A single flight of straight stairs will require a simple straight stairlift, while multiple flights of straight stairs or a curved staircase will be best suited to a curved stairlift.

Straight stairlifts can be fitted relatively quickly and easily and can be bought new, reconditioned or rented, whereas curved ones are manufactured to suit an individual staircase.

A Question of Style

If the lift is going in a modern office block or similar commercial premises, you shouldn’t have to worry much about this. This is because most of the makes and models have a contemporary design that works well in these locations.

However, you may have to think if your stairlift is for a period property (for example, a museum) where you may prefer it to blend in with your surroundings. In such case, you might need to customise it slightly (and that includes the rail as well as the seat).

When It’s Not In Use

In a commercial setting, there may be a greater imperative to leave the stairways clear when the stairlift isn’t being used because of the greater footfall. This is also the case if the stairlift is more modern than the building, as mentioned above.

Therefore you would probably want to consider a model which allows for free and unfettered access to the stairs when it isn’t being used. Standard stairlifts fold away neatly when not in use so people can walk past with minimal restriction, but compact slimline stairlifts offer some extra wiggle room if space is at a premium or your stairs are narrow.

In addition, some curved stairlifts have a rail that turns back on itself at the bottom of the staircase, with the chair coming to rest facing outside the staircase, leaving the stairs completely unobstructed.

Equally, if there isn’t enough space to do this, you can continue the rail higher than it needs to go at the top of the staircase and “store” the chair here when not in use, calling it down to lower levels as and when it is needed. So there is usually a solution to any particular requirement or building type.

Weight Limits

Again, with domestic stairlifts this is less of an issue because there is usually a limited number of users. However in public buildings it is much harder to know the weight (or size) of who will be using the mobility aid.

Most stairlifts have 18-20 stone capacity. However, heavy-duty ones are also available, with some able to carry someone weighing up to 30 stone, such as the Homeadapt Elite pictured above, which is one of the models we can supply.

In public buildings, heavy duty stairlifts are usually a better choice because they are more durable and will last longer. This means they may be more expensive initially, but work out cheaper in the long term. However, a lot depends on the nature of your business or premises and who the likely users are going to be. So it is good idea to discuss your requirements with specialists like Ransome Mobility.

Commercial Stairlifts in East Anglia from Ransome Mobility

The brands we stock include Minivator, Home Adapt and Access BDD. We have many years of experience in the sector, and we can fit our range of stairlifts to straight or curved staircases.

If you would like to know more about our range of commercial or domestic stairlifts, follow this link and complete our online contact form or call us on 01473 727263.

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