When buying a stair lift many are told that self-installation is straightforward and can be safely carried out by anyone with basic DIY skills. The supply of mobility goods via the internet has fueled this perception.When buying a stair lift many are told that self-installation is straightforward and can be safely carried out by anyone with basic DIY skills. The supply of mobility goods via the internet has fueled this perception. However, there are many reasons why one should never be self-installed.
Many retailers now promote self installation for the goods they sell. The consumer is left to install and ensure that whatever it is they buy works properly and safely. The message put across is that because the supplier is only providing the merchandise prices are kept to a minimum. This marketing trend has spread to stair lifts. Straight stair lifts are often touted as being easy to install and the burgeoning market of used stair lifts has fuelled this concept of DIY installation.
The consumer may initially save on the cost of installation but they expose themselves to accidents, increased maintenance costs due to improper installation and lack of any king of warranty.
The AMEA (Accessibility Equipment Manufacturer\’s Association) strongly advises against self installation of both new and used lifts. The AMEA points out that with self installation the consumer cannot possibly know if they have installed it in a safe manner. Also, the consumer can\’t be sure if it has been installed in such a manner that ensures operational safety and that the installation conforms to local codes and regulations.
For these reasons the AMEA advises consumers to only buy new and used machines from reputable dealers who will both supply and install it. The dealer will not only have received training of installation procedures from the manufacturer, he will also be aware of conformance requirements with both local and national codes; in many localities, the codes referenced are the ASME A17.1, the A18.1, and the NFPA70 (National Electrical Code). Your average consumer will be ignorant of such matters.
As well as conforming to certain installation practices, many localities require that the installation of a stair lift is carried out by someone/organization that has a license or permit to do so.
By ignoring or disregarding the above two points the person self-installing lift could well be breaking the law. Besides, would the average person who is fitting one for the first time be knowledgeable about the clearances needed, the electrical safety and the proper anchoring of one?
Stair lifts are complex machines, employing the latest technology. The safety of them can only be guaranteed when they have been installed by a technician with the correct knowledge, training, experience and permits.
Finally, self-installation of stair lifts provides the consumer with no come back. The dealer who sold the machine can wash his hands of the matter should any problems be encountered. Even problems not caused by improper installation can be dismissed under the term \’my company isn\’t responsible because we didn\’t install it\’. You will always get a warranty when a reputable supplier carries out the installation.
Though self-installation of a stair lift may seem attractive, there is a very real danger of harming the most vulnerable; the old and the disabled.
About the Author Follow the links for stair chair lifts from leading brands like the Acorn stair lift and the Ameriglide stair lift.