Wheelchair lifts make it easier for people who have difficulty moving around to access floors on various levels – be it in their own homes or public settings.

Instead of relying on carers and loved ones to help them navigate stairs, they allow users to travel between floors independently, which ultimately improves their autonomy and quality of life.

Although we’d highly recommend installing a wheelchair lift at your home or business, you want to make sure it meets your specific needs.

Let’s take a look at some of the safety features you should look out for when choosing a wheelchair lift.

  • Onboard controls

Every wheelchair lift or inclined platform should have a call station and a simple control panel for the user to ascend and descend in their own time.

For safety reasons, there should be an emergency stop button on the platform which can be pushed as soon as a hazard arises.

Usually, if an object gets in the way of the wheelchair lift while it’s travelling up or down, it will stop automatically until the obstacle is cleared. However, having a panel that can override the system is always beneficial.

  • Non-slip surface

Most wheelchair lifts allow passengers to remain seated in their wheelchairs, saving them the hassle of transferring to a folding seat.

Users should always secure their wheelchairs with the brake. However, the wheels may have limited traction – resulting in them turning as the lift travels up or down.

Opting for a lift with an anti-slip surface is the best advice we could give to anyone looking to invest in a wheelchair lift. Not only will it add traction but it will help to keep the wheelchair steady too.

  • Safety ramp

If there’s a gap between the platform and the carpet or tiled floor, a ramp will enable the wheelchair user to roll off smoothly – reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. 

Some lifts have a self-lowering ramp. These ease themselves forward to lie flush with the floor, ensuring there isn’t a lip for wheels to get caught in.

When they’re not in use, ramps should fold up neatly – either automatically or by manually lifting them out of the way.

  • Backup battery

Opting for a wheelchair lift with a backup power system will ensure that it operates as usual, even in the event of a power cut.

These batteries can be mounted underneath the lift and offer enough charge to get it to the top or bottom floor. Compact and lightweight, they rarely affect the lift’s performance.

  • Automatic door or gate locking

Wheelchair lifts often have rails that help to keep users safe as they ascend or descend. 

Not all wheelchair lifts have rails but, if they don’t, they should have a gate or door that remains closed. The door or gate will only open when the lift stops, allowing the wheelchair user to exit safely.

  • Quiet operation

If you share your home with other family members, you may be worried about your wheelchair lift making loud, jarring noises.

However, some systems feature quiet operation – enabling users to travel from floor to floor safely, smoothly and quietly, without disturbing their family’s daily routine.

Ready to invest in a wheelchair lift?

If you’d like to install a wheelchair lift, it pays to go to a reputable company – preferably one with vast knowledge and experience, like Level Access Lifts.Not only will they have an extensive range of platform and wheelchair lifts available, but they’ll discuss your requirements in further detail and take into account the features you value the most.