Ten Ways Stairlifts are a Safe Option for the Home

If you, or someone you know, is starting to find it difficult to get up and down stairs, you may have already considered whether straight stairlifts or curved stairlifts might be the solution. At Ransome Mobility we have been helping people to choose straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts for many years and have conducted thousands of home surveys and talked to many families about their mobility requirements. While all this experience means plenty of technical expertise, it means we also know the most typical concerns and worries amongst people considering a stairlift.

For a great many customers, one of their top concerns is safety. They may worry about the lift breaking down in a power cut, whether it will be strong enough to carry them, whether there is a risk of falling off, whether it will be a danger to pets or children, and so on. These concerns are perfectly understandable and manufacturers have put a great deal of effort into ensuring their products have a range of safety features, most of which are standard on the straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts we sell at Ransome Mobility.

Straight Stairlifts – click here to view our range of straight stairlifts.

Curved Stairlifts – click here to view our range of curved stairlifts.

These safety features are common to both straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts so here we take a look at the top ten reasons why stairlifts are super safe.

1. Built-In Safety Sensors

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is “What happens if there’s something in the way on the stairs?” or “What happens if my dog or cat gets in the way?”

Every model of stairlift nowadays includes built-in safety sensors which can detect if there is something in the path of the stairlift and will automatically stop before it reaches an obstacle.

2. Built-In Battery Charger

All stairlifts include a built-in battery which is kept fully charged. So if the mains electricity is turned off for any reason the stairlift still has enough power for several trips.

3. Swivel Seat
For people with mobility issues there is often an ongoing fear of getting “stuck” and not being able to get on or off a stairlift safely. To address this problem, most straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts have seats that swivel to the side, allowing the user to get on and off the lift at exactly the angle that they find easiest. And for those who may find it difficult to swivel the seat themselves, powered swivel seats are available on some models. In addition, most stairlifts allow the height of the seat to be adjusted to whatever level best suits the user, making mounting and dismounting all the easier.

4. Secure Ride

One very common worry is about the possibility of falling off while the lift is in motion. All our stairlifts include seatbelts as standard, and all have armrests to help support the body and give something to hold onto. In addition, some of our models, such as Homeglide Extra (a straight stairlift) and Flow (a curved stairlift) have armrests which curve around the front of the body forming a partial barrier and helping to prevent someone from moving too far forward in their seat.

5. Key Switch
In situations there may be children around, users often want to ensure that accidents can’t occur as a result of youngsters playing with the stairlift. Most of our stairlifts include a key switch which allows the main user to prevent the stairlift from being used except by those it is intended for.

6. Two Remote Controls
For users who only use their stairlift some of the time (for instance, to go up but not down) there is sometimes a worry about “getting stranded” downstairs with the lift at the top, or vice versa. While a single remote control can partly solve this problem (you just call the stairlift up or down to where you need it) there is still a risk of forgetting to take it with you. The majority of our stairlifts include two remote controls, so that there is always one upstairs and one downstairs. As well as being a safety feature for a single user, it is also very convenient if there are two users within a household, so each can call the lift independently.

7. Easy to Use Controls
Many people worry about whether operating the stairlift will be complicated or physically difficult, especially if they have restricted mobility in their hands. And of course, if this were the case, it could give rise to safety issues. But all our stairlifts have controls which are designed to be extremely easy to use. For a start, operating the stairlift involves just a single control, so there is no possibility of confusion between different controls. Secondly, the controls themselves come in a variety of different form factors – toggle, joystick and rocker switch – and can usually be positioned either to the right or left, enabling each user to choose the shape and position of control that feels most natural to them or which they find easiest to operate.

8. Foldaway Seats
Often there is a concern that the stairlift itself will create an obstacle for other stair users which could potentially give rise to safety issues. Most of our stairlift models include foldaway seats, arms and footrests, either as standard or as an option, ensuring the stairs can continue to be used easily and safely.

9. Hinged Track

Where there is a doorway or passageway immediately at the foot of a staircase, there is a danger that the bottom of the stairlift track could be a tripping hazard, but this problem has also been addressed by manufacturers on some models with the use of a hinged track which can be retracted (or, in a powered version, can retract itself) out of the way when not in use.

10. Measured Weight Capacity
Perhaps the most obvious safety concern is whether a stairlift is strong enough to take the weight of the person using it. And since many modern stairlift designs look so light and streamlined it’s a very sensible question to ask. All stairlifts specify the maximum weight that they can safely carry and manufacturers have had to carry out thorough testing to show that the weight specified is well within the capability of the stairlift. In short, there is no need for guesswork – you simply choose a stairlift which has the appropriate weight rating. Most standard models have a weight rating of around 18 or 19 stone, some have an additional option of around 21 or 23 stone and the HomeAdapt Elite (available as straight or curved stairlift) has a weight capacity up to 30 stone.

Of course it’s one thing to be told how safe stairlifts are, it’s another to feel truly confident enough to have one installed and use it on a daily basis. This is something we also understand very well and do our best to help with as part of the overall selection and installation process. Our showroom includes working stairlifts so that you see them for yourself and try them out. Only by sitting in a stairlift can you really feel just how solid it is, how easy it will be for you to get on and off safely, see the safety sensors in action, and so on.

But even if you are not able to visit our showroom we ensure that your selection closely matches your personal requirements. And when it is installed you will be shown how to use all the controls by the engineer and given plenty of time to practice and be sure you are completely comfortable with how it all works. In fact, our engineer won’t leave until he is satisfied that you are familiar with your new stairlift and fully confident about how to operate it.

To arrange a visit to our showroom and see or try out some of these features, please call us on 0844 8569790, or send us a message via our contact form.