If you’re considering a home stairlift there are various features to look for, but most important of all are the built-in safety features.
The prime motive for investing in a stairlift is to ensure your continued safety on the stairs if it’s undermined by reduced mobility or any condition which makes you prone to falling. So it stands to reason that the stairlift you buy should have safety at its core.
At Acorn Stairlifts we’ve spent years developing our products to incorporate all the essential features you need, especially those which help keep you safe. Below are six essential features which you should look out for, and which are standard on all Acorn Stairlifts:
Safety sensors: Your stairlift should be fitted with sensors which automatically cut off power if they detect any obstruction in its path of travel, such as anything inadvertently left on the stairs. Children and pets often leave things on the stairs which you might not see. Or you might drop something while riding on the stairlift, such as a handbag or walking stick, which could fall into its path.
Acorn stairlifts have multiple sensors fitted to the footrest and carriage itself. If they detect any obstacle blocking the way, they will automatically bring the stairlift to a halt. Once the obstacle has been removed, the stairlift’s journey can be safely resumed.
Lockable swivel seat: A seat which can swivel makes it far easier to get safely on or off the stairlift at either end of its journey, especially at the top where you should step off onto a level landing. The seat should also lock securely into position in the straight or swivelled position, so it stays firmly in place while you’re travelling or getting on or off.
Acorn Stairlifts have large easy-to-use paddles at both sides of the seat to operate the lockable swivel function, so you can use whichever hand you favour. Once turned, the swivel seat also acts as a safety barrier at the top of the stairs.
Safety belt: Just as you should always wear a seat belt in a moving vehicle, you should also wear one on a moving stairlift. All Acorn Stairlifts are equipped with a simple, easy-to-use retractable safety belt, which works just like the one in your car.
Fastening the safety belt once you’re comfortably seated on the stairlift will keep you safe and secure and give added peace of mind. At the end of your journey, just unclip the safety belt and let it automatically retract when you’re ready to step off the stairlift.
Powerful batteries: Early stairlifts drew power directly from the mains, but Acorn pioneered the use of powerful rechargeable batteries located in the stairlift carriage. They are automatically recharged whenever your stairlift is ‘parked’ at the top or bottom of the stairs.
It means our stairlifts will still operate even if there’s a power cut or if a safety ‘trip switch’ is activated in your fuse box. Because the power comes from the batteries, not the mains supply, your Acorn Stairlift will keep running and you’ll never be stranded on the stairs. It also makes our stairlifts very economical to run, only drawing mains power to ‘top up’ the batteries as needed.
Easy-to-use controls: Fiddly, small or hard-to-reach controls can be very difficult, especially if you have limited movement in your hands and arms. Struggling with poorly designed controls can make using your stairlift less safe than it should be.
Acorn is the first and only stairlift manufacturer to be awarded the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use commendation for its simple, ergonomic and intuitive controls. Each arm of the stairlift carriage has a large paddle control which allows you to move the stairlift at the lightest touch. Just move the paddle in the direction you wish to travel, using whichever hand is easiest, and off you go. Release it and you’ll come to a smooth stop.
Slimline foldaway design: If others living in (or visiting) your home will be going up and down the stairs on foot, then you need to consider their safety too. Trying to squeeze round a bulky stairlift could make them more likely to lose their footing on the stairs, especially if the staircase is narrow.
All Acorn Stairlift carriages have arms, seats and footrests which fold up neatly out of the way when not in use, making ours among the slimmest profile models on the market. In some settings, the bottom of a straight stairlift rail (at the foot of the stairs) might cause a trip hazard where it extends into a walkway. To overcome this, Acorn offers the option of a short hinged rail section at the which can be manually or electrically folded up out of the way when the stairlift is not in use.