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Essential Stairlift Safety Features – What You Need to Know

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For those with physical limitations, stairlifts can be a life-changing solution to overcome mobility challenges within the home. However, ensuring the safety of these devices is of utmost importance.

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In this blog post, we will delve into the essential stairlift safety features to know, professional installation, routine maintenance, and customisation options for stairlifts so that users can make an informed decision and feel confident in their choice.

Understanding Stairlift Safety Features

When choosing a stairlift, it is crucial to consider a range of safety features that are designed to provide a secure and comfortable experience.

These include seat belts, swivel seats, safety sensors, and emergency stop functions.

Understanding and prioritising these important safety features will not only ensure a safe and reliable mobility aid, but also offer peace of mind of stairlift safety for users and their families.

Seat Belts and Swivel Seats

Seat belts and swivel seats play a vital role in stairlift safety, offering enhanced comfort and stability during operation.

Seat belts provide added assurance that the user is securely seated, minimising the risk of falls.

Stannah stairlifts, for example, offer four customisable seatbelt options such as a standard seat belt, retractable seatbelt, a horizontal lap or perch seat belt, a diagonal lap seat belt, and a five-point harness.

Swivel seats, on the other hand, allow for easier and safer entry and exit at both the top and bottom of the stairs.

The powered, swivel seat option enables the chair to turn towards the landing with the press of a button, eliminating the need to step down onto the stairs and reducing the risk of falls.

Safety Sensors and Obstacle Detection

Safety sensors and obstacle detection play a key role in ensuring the safe operation of a stairlift.

These features are designed to detect any potential obstructions in the way of the tracks, preventing the stairlift from colliding with objects on the stairs.

For curved stairlifts, an extra section of track may be provided to facilitate greater user safety by affording more space at the top of the stairs.

This extra space allows users to secure themselves to their seat before commencing their descent, further reducing the risk of falls or accidents and increasing the stairlift safety overall.

Emergency Stop Functions

Emergency stop functions are a crucial safety feature that enables users to quickly halt the stairlift in case of an emergency.

This stairlift safety feature can typically be activated by pressing a button and are supported by safety sensors that automatically stop the lift when it encounters an obstacle on the stairs.

Furthermore, stairlifts are equipped with two DC batteries, ensuring uninterrupted operation even during power cuts.

Stairlift Installation and Maintenance

To ensure the safety and reliability of a stairlift, professional installation and routine maintenance are highly recommended.

By enlisting the help of qualified technicians, users can guarantee that the stairlift is installed accurately, complies with multiple safety standards and regulations, and operates correctly.

Additionally, regular maintenance can assist in detecting any possible issues before they become a safety risk.

Professional Installation

Opting for professional installation of a stairlift ensures that it is correctly installed and adheres to safety regulations.

A highly qualified technician will accurately and securely attach the lift to the stairs, guaranteeing its security and functionality.

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The installation process typically takes between 2-4 hours, during which the installer will ensure that the stairlift is properly attached to the stairs and functioning as intended.

By trusting professionals with the installation, users can enjoy peace of mind and extra confidence in knowing that their stairlift is safe and ready for use.

Routine Maintenance and Inspections

Regular maintenance and inspections are essential for ensuring that the stairlift operates correctly and safely.

Routine maintenance includes cleaning of circuit boards and electrical contacts, lubrication of the gear rack, inspection of the seat swivel, and servicing by a technician every 12 months.

By scheduling regular maintenance and inspections, potential issues can be detected and addressed before they become safety hazards.

This proactive approach guarantees the reliability and longevity of the stairlift, providing users with a secure and dependable mobility solution.

Customising Your Stairlift for Enhanced Safety

Beyond the standard safety features, customising a stairlift to meet individual needs and preferences can further enhance its safety and usability.

This may involve choosing the right seat type or selecting appropriate rail options and track lengths based on the size and layout of the staircase.

By tailoring the stairlift to the user’s specific requirements, the overall safety and functionality of the device can be significantly improved.

Choosing the Right Seat Type

Different seat types are available to suit the specific needs of individual users. Straight stairlifts typically offer high-back chairs, perch seats, and rotating benches.

High-back chairs can be advantageous for individuals with weakened or injured knees caused by ailments, such as arthritis.

Perch seats, on the other hand, provide a safe and comfortable option for individuals with limited knee or hip movement.

By selecting the most appropriate seat type, users can ensure a comfortable and secure experience while using their stairlift.

Rail Options and Track Length

When selecting a stairlift, it is important to consider the appropriate rail options and track lengths based on the size and layout of the staircase.

There are two primary types of stairlift rails: straight rails for straight staircases and the curved stairlift rails for staircases with curves or turns.

For staircases with doors or passageways at the bottom, folding track or hinged rail stairlifts are specifically designed to accommodate such situations.

By choosing the right rail option and track length, users can ensure a seamless fit and safe operation of their stairlift.

Stairlift Safety Standards and Regulations

Adhering to stairlift safety standards and regulations is crucial to ensure the safety and reliability of these mobility aids.

The British Standard for stairlifts, BS EN 81-40:2020, outlines the requirements for the safe construction, manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and dismantling of electrically operated stairlifts and inclined lifting platforms intended for persons with impaired mobility.

By following these standards weight guidelines and regulations (i.e maximum weight limit), users can feel confident in the safety and quality of their stairlift.

Compliance with Safety Standards

Stairlifts must comply with safety standards such as BS EN 81-40:2020 to guarantee their quality and reliability.

These standards outline the requirements for the safe construction, manufacturing, installing a stairlift, maintenance, and dismantling of electrically operated stairlifts and inclined lifting platforms, ensuring that they are securely affixed to the building, designed to prevent falls, equipped with several safety features, sensors and obstacle detection, and that they feature user-friendly controls.

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By ensuring compliance with these safety standards, users can trust in the quality and reliability of their stairlift, providing them with a secure and dependable mobility solution.

Certifications and Warranties

In addition to complying with safety standards, stairlifts may also hold certifications such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, as well as certifications from industry associations.

While no specific certification is mandated for stairlifts, these certifications can further attest to the quality and safety of the product.

Many stairlift manufacturers also provide warranties for their products, typically covering a period of two years.

A warranty provides coverage for repairs and replacements, offering additional peace of mind for users.

Tips for Safe Stairlift Use

To ensure the safe operation of a stairlift, users should follow some simple yet crucial safety tips.

Proper seating and posture, as well as adherence to staircase etiquette, can significantly reduce the risk of accidents or injuries.

By following these safety guidelines, users can confidently enjoy the benefits of their stairlift while minimising potential risks.

Proper Seating and Posture

Adopting proper seating and posture is essential for reducing the risk of falls and injuries while using a stairlift.

Users should ensure that they are seated securely, with the seatbelt fastened and their back against the backrest.

Adjustable armrests and footrests can provide additional comfort and support, promoting correct posture during operation.

Apart from seating posture, users should also ensure adequate lighting on each step when ascending or descending the stairs, especially during nighttime hours.

This helps in preventing any missteps or accidents while using the stairlift.

Staircase Etiquette

Following staircase etiquette is critical for safe stairlift usage. Users should ensure that the stairs are free of obstructions, including other individuals and pets, before operating the stairlift.

It is also important to refrain from making any abrupt movements and to ensure that only one individual is on the stairlift at a time.

Moreover, users should always wear a seatbelt while using the stairlift and keep the stairs clean, removing any potential tripping hazards that could lead to falls or accidents.

By adhering to these simple etiquette guidelines, users can enjoy a safe and worry-free experience with their stairlift.


In conclusion, stairlifts are a reliable and essential mobility solution for those with physical limitations.

Ensuring the safety and reliability of these devices involves considering essential safety features such as seat belts, swivel seats, sensors, and emergency stop functions.

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Professional installation and routine maintenance are crucial for the safe operation of stairlifts, as well as customising them for enhanced safety by choosing the right seat type and rail options.

By adhering to safety standards and regulations and following safety tips for proper seating and staircase etiquette, users can confidently enjoy the benefits of their stairlift while minimising potential risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are many of the frequently asked questions about stairlift safety:

How safe are stairlifts?

Overall, the safety of stair lifts is highly dependent on proper installation and usage. Quality manufacturers have implemented rigorous safety standards to ensure that stairlifts are a safe mobility option for users.

However, it is important to read the stairlift user’ manual for your specific model and be aware of basic safety features, such as the seatbelt, when using a stair lift.

What is the British standard for stairlifts?

The British standard for stairlifts is BS EN 81-80:2003, which specifies the safety requirements that must be met for a lift to be considered safe and compliant.

This requirement ensures that users of the stairlift will have a safe experience.

What do you need for stair lift?

To install a stairlift, you will need an electrician to fit the connection to the mains and a team of engineers to install the stairlift itself.

It’s also important to make sure that your staircase is wide enough for the stairlift and that it meets the safety requirements set out by the supplier.

Additionally, you may need to consider additional features such as folding arms or swivel seats, depending on the individual needs of the user.

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