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Platform lifts – how safe are they?

Some of the most frequently asked questions from people who are considering a platform lift for their homes or businesses are related to safety. And, rightly so!

Platform lifts provide access between floors and split levels for individuals with reduced mobility, including elderly people and those with additional access needs – some of whom may rely on a wheelchair or walking aid. They typically operate over two or three floors and operate at slower speeds than conventional passenger lifts.

When you invest in a lift, you want to be reassured that it’s safe to use in all situations that can occur. You also want to be confident that it won’t suddenly stop working as this could prove problematic when users need to access floors on different levels.

The good news is that, here at Level Lifts, we are a UK leading manufacturer of platform lifts and leave no stone unturned. We make sure that all our products are manufactured to an exceptionally high standard, ensuring safe, smooth and comfortable transport for users.

From vertical lifts and compact open style platforms to wheelchair lifts and steplifts, there really is something for everyone, here at Level Lifts. No matter which of our platform lifts you choose, they all adhere to strict safety codes and standards and incorporate a wide range of features to help reduce the risk of accidents at home and in public environments.

Here we look at some of the safety features our lifts include:

  • Interlocks – a very important feature of lift design is the interlocking of landing doors or gates to prevent them from opening when the platform isn’t at the correct position (i.e. on your floor). An interlock stops the lift from raising and lowering when the door or gate is open too.
  • Safety edges – a safety edge, or sensitive edge, is a mechanically operated device that’s used where there is potential to trap, crush or shear. For instance, if the user stood on the edge of the platform where the safety edge is fitted, between the platform and structure panels, the lift will stop immediately. It will only start to ascend or descend again once the obstruction has been cleared.
  • Barrier arms – these are sometimes called safety arms and prevent users from falling off platform stairlifts. The great thing about barrier arms is that they can be folded vertically upwards, allowing the user to get on and off the platform, and fold 90° horizontally during transit, acting as a barrier. When the lift isn’t in use, it can be folded away and the arms can be folded down.
  • Light curtains – typically found in elevators, a light curtain is an optical safety sensor – sometimes called a ‘magic eye’ or safety light barrier – that shines an infrared beam between two points. But how does this improve lift safety and performance? Light curtains allow users to move freely in and out of the lift – holding the door for as long as the beams are blocked in the door opening.

To maximise the safety of platform lifts, once installed, it’s advised that you regularly review maintenance and inspection to ensure tasks are completed by competent personnel. You should also consider introducing simple checks into your daily routine to make sure that your platform lift is operating safely.

If you have any questions about our platform lifts, or would like to know more about maintenance and servicing, you’re welcome to get in touch with the team. Just give us a call on 023 8081 4924, email info@levellifts.co.uk, or fill in the online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you.



Author: Nick Dade. Sales Director (Level Access Lifts Ltd).
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed within this Education Centre are solely those of the original author/s. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of any given lift manufacturer or lift industry association.
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