Even a small flight of stairs in can pose a formidable barrier for people with mobility issues and wheelchair lifts are designed to overcome this problem. Leading dealers in New Jersey offer top quality residential and commercial wheelchair lifts or platform lifts with a wide range of advanced features.
Platform lifts provide safe and easy floor-to-floor access when stairs are not a viable option. They are ideal in settings that cannot accommodate a ramp due to space constraints or the user does not have the strength to independently use a ramp. Platform lifts can serve two or more floors by moving people – up to two wheelchair users depending on what lift – up or down in an enclosed shaft. They allow users to move from floor to floor safely without having to leave the comfort of their wheelchair.
Platform lifts are suitable for both commercial and in-home environments. In fact, these devices are best for use in low rise buildings where there is a disabled access problem or where it is not possible to install a passenger lift. Used internally or externally, platform lifts offer a solution for a wide range of properties, including – home use, new and existing buildings, businesses, restaurants and retail outlets. The device requires little space or building works and involves no requirement for a machine room or lifting beam. They also come with easy-to-use controls.
When it comes to buying a platform lift, you need to consider several factors. Leading accessibility equipment dealers offer a variety of lifts that are integrated with specific features based on the needs of the user. Here are some top factors that should be considered before choosing a platform lift –
- Space – It is important to ensure that the installation space or footprint of the wheelchair lift meets state building codes. The arrangement of doors and the space required in front of each door is an important factors when it comes to safe access for wheelchair users. In normal cases, the installation space required is usually 30-100mm more than the footprint size.
- Loading Capacity – Loading capacity of the device is another important factor to consider. The loading capacity of a platform lifts vary according to type and model selected and therefore it is crucial to choose a specific model that will fully meet your specific wheelchair or mobility scooter requirements.
- Design of the Platform Lift – The design of the lift is an important consideration when selecting a platform lift. The access to enter the platform and the wheelchair structure need to be thoroughly considered. Always check whether the size of the platform can accommodate the size and structure of the wheelchair. In addition, try to allow for enough space for easy wheelchair maneuverability inside the lift during the lowering and lifting process.
- Type of lift (Open or Enclosed) – An open type platform lift does not have a shaft whereas an enclosed platform lift has a shaft for the entire length of travel. An open style platform can only travel up to maximum 3 meters.
- Lifting Height – The lifting height of the building is another important factor to consider when buying a platform lift. The lifting height of a building is derived by measuring the floor to ceiling height in the building. This aspect is particularly relevant for indoor wheelchair installation. For outdoor installation, the lifting height is arrived at by measuring either the floor height or the vertical height of the stairs.
- Drive System – Platform lifts feature different types of drive systems such as guided chain, hydraulic and screw drive. The drive system will affect the space requirements, the ride, as well as the longevity of the components. It is important to discuss that type of drive system with the platform lift dealer in advance. For instance, choosing a hydraulic drive system would require allocating extra space for the fluid tank.
- Door System – The way in which the door of the lift opens on to each specific landing matters. Will the door conflict with another door? Will the door opening to a particular side put the wheelchair user at risk of falling down stairs? Automatic doors are useful for users who have difficulty pushing or pulling a door. There are different types of automatic door closers, which will react differently when the door comes into contact with an object. In addition, the location of the door with an automatic closer is another factor to be considered. For instance, a door opening on to a busy corridor could potentially create a hazard for those in the corridor when it opens automatically. These factors should be discussed with your dealer so that you can select the door system that best meets your requirements.
- Safety Features – Leading accessibility equipment dealers offer different wheelchair lift models integrated with a wide range of safety features. Top safety features include – manual lowering valve, platform safety panel, over-speed governor, non-skid platform, emergency stop button, sensor system on the platforms, remote control, safety doors with interlock, paddle landing controls, interlock systems and more. Be sure to discuss your need before you buy a lift.
Consider all these factors before choosing a commercial or residential wheelchair lift for your building. An experienced dealer will guide you in selecting the right option for your needs and also install the device to meet your requirements.