Invalifts‘ Craig Merry fills us in on what you should know when seeing whether a lift could help support your access needs – be it at home or in a public venue
There are many things that need to be thought about at when looking to invest in a lift – most of which are will be best discussed with the manufacturer. Here, we highlight the five most important (and common) questions we get asked when it comes to choosing the right model.
1 Should the lift be open or enclosed?
This depends on the distance you are looking to travel. An open lift is one that doesn’t have a shaft in which the platform will travel; an enclosed platform lift will have a shaft enclosure along the length of its travel. Open platform lifts are only suitable for applications that require a lift to travel 3m or less.
2 How much space will I need?
It is vital that you consider the lift’s footprint – the area it uses – in relation to your building. You must also take into account the arrangement of its doors and how much space will be required in front of the lift so that users can access it comfortably and safely. The lift manufacturer can provide the dimensions of the lift platform and the space required, the latter of which will typically be 30-100mm more than the lift’s footprint.
3 What drive system should I choose?
It is important to discuss the drive system with the manufacturer, given the different options available, since the choice you make can have a huge difference in terms of the lift’s ride, the resilience of its components and the space needed for its installation. A hydraulic drive system, for example, will require additional space for the fluid tank.
4 Should I choose a pit or ramp?
In most cases, a platform lift will require a pit of around 50mm to 150mm. However, if a pit cannot be provided then some manufacturers may be able to add a ramp at the bottom level door. If you go with this option, bear in mind that it may constitute a potential trip hazard.
5 Is it worth adding automatic doors?
Automatic doors are a popular request in cases where a lift will be used by individuals who have restricted mobility or dexterity. You can choose between different types of closing mechanisms, which will behave differently when coming into contact with any stray objects or obstructions – something else that should be discussed with the lift’s manufacturer, to ensure that it will meet your requirements.
The location of doors with automatic closers will need to be considered very carefully. If your lift’s door will open out onto a busy corridor, this could present a potential hazard or obstruction for passers-by.
For more information about the services offered by Invalifts, and answers to any other lift-related questions you might have, contact 0845 4682 543 or visit www.invalifts.com