Stair Lift Features
Here is a list of stair lift features - and what they mean to you, the user. Some of these features (highlighted with the word essential!) I consider to be essential safety features. Review the list and check that the stair lifts on your 'shopping list' give you these features and benefits
DC (Battery) operation
Smooth, quiet, works during a power outage, and present no risk from electric shock.
Direct Drive Rack & Pinion
Motor/gearbox directly attached to drive mechanism - no separate gearbox, belts or pulleys - reliability, smooth ride.
Folding Seat & Footrest
Minimises the space taken by the stair lift when not in use. Ideal when there are other users of the staircase.
Overspeed Governor essential
Prevents uncontrolled descent - no stair lift should be without one. It is a mandatory component in most countries - though strangely not in the US.
Soft Start - Soft Stop
No sudden, jarring starts and stops. Make sure it's an electronically controlled system. Mechanical soft starts don't work very well.
Locking Swivel Seat essential
Ensures safe mount/dismount of stair lift at top of stairs. Stair lift seat pivots and locks in position, so user can step directly off on to landing.
Infra Red Remote Control
Allows stair lift to be summoned remotely. Steer clear of Radio Frequency remotes, which are susceptible to outside interference.
Locking Key Switch essential
Disables the stair lift to prevent tampering or unauthorized use.
Not a gimmick - constantly displays stair lift status, by a system of lights or a digital display. The system allows the user and relevant tech personnel to determine the stair lifts operation and safety status.
This feature allows users who cannot bend their knees to use a stair lift. Also works well on very narrow staircases.
Stops the stair lift if it collides with any obstruction on the stairway.
The lower section of the rail folds upwards and out of the way, in situations where the foot of the rail might otherwise cause an obstruction or tripping hazard.