We think it’s safe to say that what generally springs to mind when we say “stairlift” is a nice, cushioned seat gliding up an indoor staircase. Our most popular models of stairlifts are those that are best known – as you’d expect – but what if the barrier standing between you and your independence is a staircase located outdoors?
Outdoor stairlifts often aren’t even considered an option because people don’t know enough about them, but we’d like to change that today, so we’re answering the most frequently asked questions on outdoor stairlifts. Ready to dive in? Onto question number one…
How do outdoor stairlifts hold up in the Irish weather?
The most common question we get by a long shot is whether an outdoor stairlift will hold up in the rain, frost, snow and sun. We all know Dublin’s no tropical paradise destination, so can the chair and machinery withstand the changing temperatures and less than idyllic winter months?
- And the answer is: weatherproofing is a key part of their design.
Made to withstand the elements year-round, outdoor stairlifts operate at temperatures between -10°c and +40°c, which means every circumstance (in Ireland, at least) is provided for, no matter the season. Rain or shine, you can hop on your chair and know it’ll be fully operational. Still, it also comes with a handy cover for when it’s not in use, giving it that extra layer of protection.
Where can Outdoor stairlifts be fitted?
The next most popular question is always about the stairs themselves. Are they too long, short, steep or narrow? They’re made of concrete, marble or wood – can a stairlift be safely fitted?
- And the answer is: no matter what your stairs are like, an outdoor stairlift is designed specifically to fit them.
Fit on either side of a staircase for maximum flexibility, on a curved or straight rail, no matter what shape your stairs are or what they’re made out of, we’re more than likely to be able to fit your stairlift. Worried about damaging your stairs in the process? All we do is drill a few holes on the stairs themselves, so though they’re not left untouched, the impact is kept to a minimum.
Are Outdoor stairlifts safe?
Safety – not always the first question asked but always our main priority, so we’re sure you already know the answer to this one…
- The answer is: yes. In every way.
Unaffected by the weather and set to glide smoothly in any conditions, if there’s one thing we can say about outdoor stairlifts is that they’re safe. Worried about things being in your way? They’re fitted with sensors, so if anything blocks your chair’s path, it will come to a gentle but immediate stop to avoid anyone getting hurt. Concerned about getting in and out of the chair? It swivels at the top and bottom of your stairs, placing you squarely on any landing and fully supporting you as you find your bearings. What’s more, outdoor models can be locked with a key so that you can ensure you’re the only person using it.
Can more than one person use an outdoor stairlift?
This question often comes from establishments rather than private homes – bars with outdoor terraces, restaurants with lovely open seating areas and Dublin’s most accessible options of accommodation. It also, however, applies to homes where more than one resident feels unsafe on a staircase, so let’s get to answering it…
- And the answer is: not at the same time, but certainly one after the other!
Each outdoor stairlift is fitted with 2 remote call buttons – one at either end of the stairlift. If your stairlift is at the wrong end of the stairs for you, all you have to do is press the button for it to come gliding straight to you, all on its own. Now just imagine being able to leave your house, confident in the knowledge that you’re safe accessing your home, both indoors and out.
What about if there’s a power cut?
As with anything electrical – especially the things that keep up moving around safely – we’re often concerned about losing access to them, finding ourselves stuck because we were relying on them for our everyday needs. So, what happens if the power’s out?
- And the answer is: your outdoor stairlift keeps working regardless, because it’s fitted with backup batteries.
Whether you’re facing a full power cut or a fuse has simply tripped, you’ll never get stuck on your stairs because your stairlift’s backup battery kicks in automatically, making sure you get carried to safety.
Will other people still be able to use the stairs once I get my outdoor stairlift fitted?
Last, but certainly not least, questions about whether stairlifts will block stairs for other users.
- And the answer is: your stairlift takes up minimal amounts of space, leaving plenty of room for other people to use your stairs safely.
This applies even to narrow outdoor stairs, as because the stairlift rail is fitted as close to the edge of a staircase as possible, it means other users will barely notice it’s there. What’s more, the chair folds away neatly when not in use, tucking away so that it’s not obstructing the stairway.
Had all your questions answered? Great!
A few questions still niggling in your mind?
Give us a call, and we’d be more than happy to straighten them out for you. There’s no reason you shouldn’t feel safe and free to come and go from your home as you please, so think of your outdoor stairlift as an investment into a healthy, active, barrier-free future. And we’re here to help you build the future you deserve!