Dr. Hilary's Guide To
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Using a Stairlift Safely

A stairlift may seem simple but it is a highly engineered complicated piece of machinery. Stairlifts are designed to carry people weighing up to 40 stones. They have powerful electric motors designed to carry this weight up to 7 meters (22 feet). In the wrong hands they can be dangerous and cause serious injury.

The How To Use a Stairlift Safely

Many accidents can happen when using stairlifts. These range from hitting obstructions due to system sensor failure. The lift has been fitted to stairs with a too steep incline causing the user to fall from the chair. The rail that carries the lift comes loose.

Safety Tips

1. Always make sure the lift is returned to its position either at the top or bottom of the stairs. This will make sure it remains on charge and also avoid it being an obstruction to others using the stairs.

2. Make sure the remote batteries are up to date and you have spares in case of failure. Have the spares to hand near the lift so they can be changed quickly and easily.

3. If you have guests to your house who need to use the stairs. When the chair is parked be sure to fold it away to avoid it becoming an obstruction for normal stair users.

4. If your stairlift has a key when you leave the house or have guests lock it and take the key out. This is useful if you don't intend to use it. Make sure you keep the spare key some place safe in case the other is lost.

5. Have your stair lift system inspected on a yearly basis and checked for any faults. Lots of companies offer service contracts make sure you choose a reputable and capable company to perform this. Check their credentials with peers and family members before you commit to any type of contract.

6. Stop using the lift if you see any signs of wear and tear and call your service provider. This could something not already shown up on the error code. If the stairlift sounds different is wobbly or slower or faster than usual stop using it and call it in.

7. Never ride the lift without the safety belt or safety bars in place. To get lazy and think you do not need the protection of the bars or the belt unfortunately complacency is the main cause of accidents.

8. If any safety sensors fail report this fault immediately. Don't just think it will be ok without them if it still works and reputable stair lift company will have a warranty in place to fix these types of faults that are fundamental to the chairs safety.

9.Never use the lift if another person is using the stairs normally at the same time. This is common sense but in the past there have been accidents reported where this has happened.

10.Always us the lift with the footplate down. The appliance should not work automatically without the plate down though some older lifts may not have this feature.

11. Never oil the rail or try to undertake any maintenance yourself consult the manufacturer first for any type of additions or maintenance.

12. Keep children away from the lift a stairlift for children is often seen as a plaything rather than the piece of mobility equipment it is. Go for a lift that has a key which is the best way to control this. Even if you turn off the power to the stairlift mischievous children tend to always find a way to switch the power on. Children and stairlifts don't mix they often are more likely to try silly things or ride the stairlift without the safety belts.

Having a new stairlift installed can be a little daunting especially if your house is not very conventional. Problems include having enrty ways at the foot of the stairs. This can be solved by using whats called a hinged rail that gets lifted out of the way. Its always a worry if you have narrow stairs will the lift fit? can I walk past it will it get in the way of the grand kids? Further reading if You Have Narrow Stairs You Can Install A Stairlift

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