– a guest post by Oakley Healthcare

Buying a stairlift is a fairly substantial purchase, but it can make an enormous difference to your life – whether it’s for yourself or someone that you care for. As it’s a product you likely won’t have purchased or researched before, it can be a bit overwhelming to know what to choose and what to look out for.
Understandably, people often have an array of questions before they commit to buying and, while it’s impossible to cover all questions, this post runs down five of the most commonly asked questions so that you can make an informed purchase.
1. Will My Walls Be Able To Support A Stairlift?
Modern stairlifts are not fitted the walls of your home; the system involves the rail and brackets being fitted to your steps. The brackets themselves are screwed directly into your steps, so it doesn’t matter what kind of wall runs along your stairs – whether it’s plasterboard or a strong, supporting outer wall, it doesn’t matter as it’s not involved in supporting the stairlift.
2. What Happens If There Is A Powercut?
Modern stairlifts have a battery backup, which is automatically charged from the mains when not in use. Running on DC power, if there’s a powercut or your electricity metre runs out of credit you should still be able to use your stairlift for at least five or six trips before the battery would require charging – there’s little worry of being stuck upstairs, or halfway down!
3. How Long Does A Stairlift Installation Take?
Once your stairlift has been ordered and an installation has been arranged, the actual process should only take a few hours which means it will cause minimal disruption to your home and day-to-day life. As the brackets for the rail and chair are not fitted to your home’s walls, as we mentioned earlier in this post, the actual installation is very quick and simple creating minimum mess and minimal fuss.
4. Are There Any Quality & Safety Standards To Look For?
The official safety standard for stairlifts in the UK is BS 5776:1996, which is the British Standard specification for powered stairlifts. It’s also worth watching out for CE European safety directives, though if a stairlift meets the British Standard for safety it’s likely that it’ll also meet European standards. Ensuring these standards are met means that you’ll have peace of mind that you are safe on your stairlift.
5. Are Stairlifts Expensive To Run?
Unlike older stairlifts, modern models are much more energy-efficient and therefore much more affordable to run – which is excellent news, as we’re all feeling the pinch with energy bills! Running on a lower voltage due to the backup battery, stairlifts now run far more economically and their daily power consumption can be compared to using other everyday appliances.
This is a guest post written by Tom McShane on behalf of Oakley Healthcare; visit their website for more information about their stairlifts and other mobility aids.

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