How does a stairlift work?

The majority of home stairlifts are straightforward to operate and simple to maintain, offering good reliability. While it is unusual for problems to occur, there are a few things you need to know to keep your stairlift functioning properly.

Stairlifts consist of a seat (or standing platform), footrests, operation controls and tracking elevator rails to move along. To use it, you usually: press the call button at the station where it is parked at the bottom of the stairs. The button will either be on the wall or on the remote control. Sit in the chair, fasten the seat belt and rest feet on the footrest. There will be a lever or a joystick which when pushed will send the stairlift where you want to go, and it will start to move.

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Stairlifts have sensors especially built-in that are designed to notice any obstructions on the stairs – like objects that have been dropped by the pet. The stairlift will come to an automatic stop in this situation, so the obstruction can be removed. For Stairlifts Bristol, visit a site like Pearce Bros, a leading Stairlifts Bristol supplier.

Most seated stairlifts come with a height-adjustable, padded swivel chair, so you can easily get on and off them without having to change or twist your body. Some are motorized swivel chairs; all of which will secure into place when needed. Most models also feature arms making it easier to get in and out of the chair. Folding the seats when they are not in use helps the stairs remain accessible to non-users of the stairlift.

Stairlift controls are very simple, usually consisting of a key that fits into the machine, which can stay there while the stairlift is being used, and a press button or lever that can move in both directions. Most of the controls can be set on the armrest on both sides of the lift. If you want to turn off your stairlift for a short time – for example, if you have children visiting – you can do this by taking the key out.

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Most stairlifts run on rechargeable batteries, with a small amount running on mains electricity. Both are at risk of failure during power outages, so the electric-powered stairlifts have a back-up battery. Stairlifts which runs on rechargeable battery are designed so that the battery will automatically recharge whenever you use the stairlift. The charger is located in a designated ‘park’, either at the top or bottom of the stairs. The stairlift needs to be returned to its park station in order for the batteries to recharge. There is normally a warning sound to remind you if you forget to do this.