Stairlifts are mechanical devices used for lifting people and their wheelchairs up or down a stairway. They are mounted on and move on a rail to which the lifting platform is attached. As the chair moves up or down the rail, the person is seated in a chair and lifted when the stairlift is operating. The first stairlifts to hit the commercial market appeared in the 1900's and today there are 6 popular types to choose from.
Curved rail stairlifts - designed to facilitate a curved staircase and more costly than the straight rail version
Straight rail stairlifts - the most common type of stairlift in use today primarily in private dwellings that have straight staircases
Wheelchair platform stairlifts - typically used in public access buildings and outside private dwellings, these devices are considerably heavier and designed to convey a person in a wheelchair as the name implies
Goods stairlifts - these stairlifts have trays attached instead of seats and are primarily used for conveying goods in between different levels of commercial and industrial buildings.
Outdoor stairlifts - can be manufactured with footplates, perches, platforms, or seats and are similar to the indoor varieties except for the fact that have additional weatherproofing to cope with outdoor climates
Pre-owned stairlifts - there is a second-user stairlift market as the name would imply.
On a historical side note, the original stairlifts that were being used in the beginning were driven by AC (alternating current) motors. They operated using 100 volts in the US and 230 volts in Europe. In recent years, stairlifts have been constructed to operate off of a DC (direct current) electrical source as well as rechargeable batteries. The reason for this was so the person could get up and down the stairs during power outages.
Jason Tate has been involved in providing more information on mobility aids and stairlifts for numerous years. To know more about stairlifts and other products, please browse Stairlift Comparisons.
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