If you've decided to install a wheelchair lift on your office stairs, then you have various logistical choices to make. You need to find the right lift for your stairs that can accommodate the person or people using it. As well as making sure that the lift fits right and works well, you'll need to put some thought into the lift's safety. What kinds of features should you look out for?
1. Lift Restraints
A good wheelchair lift will come with some kind of safety restraints. These are vital — the lift will carry users with reduced mobility to high heights. They may not be able to physically react to save themselves if something goes wrong.
If the lift is solely designed to carry a wheelchair, then look for safety bars. These bars typically automatically engage around platform edges when a wheelchair is positioned on the lift before it is used. They act as a barrier that holds the wheelchair safely on the platform, preventing it from moving or rolling off the platform.
If the lift also contains a chair that users can sit on, then this chair should come with some form of seatbelt. This holds the user safely in the chair.
2. Battery Backup
If you have a fire in your building, then you may lose power. If the wheelchair lift you install is powered by electricity, then it may not work in emergency situations. This could leave a wheelchair user or someone who can't use stairs with no clear escape route.
So, look for wheelchair lifts that have a battery backup system. These lifts can switch to battery power if they lose their electrical supply, allowing users to get out of the building without needing extra help.
3. Key Operation
Some wheelchair lifts allow open access. Anyone can use the lift if they want to. While this may seem easier, it may be better to restrict access by installing a key-operated lift. This prevents people from using the lift who don't need to or who may just be messing around. For example, someone coming into your building may think that it will be fun to stand on the lift to go upstairs. This could be dangerous.
If you need a key to turn the lift on, then you can control who uses it. This makes the lift safer.
Wheelchair lift suppliers and installers can tell you more about available safety features. They can help you choose the right lift for your stairs and make sure that the lift itself runs smoothly and safely.
For more information, contact a wheelchair lift supplier.