Useful Terms

Audible 'off-charge' warning

A distinctive warning sound that indicates your stair lift is not parked in the correct place to recharge the batteries.


You can be sure that your stair lift will never be 'off charge' and potentially run out of power. Note: A display on the carriage is also useful to show that the batteries are charging - just in case you cannot hear the sound. Some stair lifts also have full digital diagnostic display to show the status of the lift at all times.

Battery charger

A battery charger which is usually plugged into a regular household outlet, and is sometimes attached to the wall or floor near one end of the stair lift rail.


Battery power gives your stair lift the smoothest, quietest and most reliable ride.

Battery isolation switch

A switch located on the back or front of the carriage (the part under the seat) dependant on model.


Allows the user to isolate the product when not in use for long periods of time such as vacations.

Battery power

Rechargeable batteries within the carriage to provide power to the stair lift.


Battery power gives your stair lift the smoothest, quietest and most reliable ride. Ensures your stair lift will never run out of power even in a power cut.


The part of the stair lift between the rail and the seat. Contains the motor, batteries, electronics etc.


Keeps the whole stair lift self-contained, which looks better, is faster to install and is more reliable than using cables and a winch on the top landing, as was done in the past.

Charging points

Small devices located at either end of the rail, where the stair lift recharges its batteries.


Ensures the stair lift is always ready to use.

Constant pressure controls

A switch located on the end of the armrest.


Required by Law, these require the user to press a control the whole time the stair lift is moving. If you let go, the stair lift stops instantly.

Curved stair lift

A stair lift travelling along a custom-made rail which is able to turn corners.


When a staircase has a constant or variable curve - such as a spiral staircase - a curved stair lift may be the only option. Although curved stair lifts can be very expensive.

Soft start/stop

The stair lift gently speeds up and slows down at each end of the staircase.


Gives a more comfortable ride, particularly for people with bad backs, stenosis of the spine etc.


A key which can be turned off and removed to prevent use of the stair lift.


Allows the stair lift to be locked - especially useful if there are young children in the house.

Lap belt

A seat belt which passes across the lap only.


Reassurance and restraint to the user.

Manual hinge

A folding section at the bottom end of the rail to fold the end up.


Prevents the stair lift from blocking a doorway or creating a tripping hazard at the bottom of the stairs.

Over-speed governor

Safety device located inside the carriage to prevent uncontrolled descent - Should not be an option! It is an essential safety item.


Prevents the stair lift from running out of control down the rail.

Remote controls

Infa-red controls enabling the stair lift to be called from top or bottom of the staircase.


Ideal when there is more than one user in the household.

Safety sensors

Sensored pads around the footrest and carriage.


To stop the stair lift immediately if the footrest or carriage touches an obstruction.

Swivel seat

The seat may be swivelled manually onto the top landing by first pushing gently down on a swivel lever (found on the side of the seat), then rotating the seat, somewhat like an office swivel chair. Releasing the swivel lever locks the seat in place.


A swivel seat points the user towards the top landing, which is the easiest position for getting in and out of the seat. Also, both armrests may then be used as supports to lean on, and the back of the chair forms a partial barrier across the top of the staircase.

Visual 'Digital' Display

A digital display on the carriage or on the arm showing the status of the lift.


Informs the user at all times the current status of the lift - whether it is charging, if it hit an obstruction to cause it to stop etc. Makes self-installation much simpler. - finding the best stairlift for you!