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Stairlifts and Pets: What You Need to Know

Posted by: The Stairlift Company · on 26th May 2016

cat-649164_1280When choosing to fit a stairlift in your home, there are many considerations which must be taken into account. Many people worry that having pets such as cats or dogs will prevent them from having a stairlift fitted, or will make it unsafe to use.

This article highlights the various safety features which will make sure that both you and your pets are kept safe, along with some handy hints and tips for peace of mind when using your stairlift.

Obstruction Sensors

Stairlifts are fitted with safety sensors which detect any obstacles on the stairs, such as pets or falling objects. Once picked up by the sensor, the stairlift will come to a smooth stop, ensuring that the passenger is not jolted suddenly. This means that if your cat or dog runs onto the stairs while the stairlift is in use, the sensors will prevent a possible collision, keeping both the user and animal safe.

Many stairlift models also feature pressure sensitive sensors around the footrest and carriage itself, stopping the seat from crushing any obstructions which may be underneath the chair. This is particularly useful if you have pets that may be waiting at the bottom of the stairs. Your stairlift will also have an emergency holding switch, which will stop the stairlift immediately if pressed.

Locking Swivel Seat

Perhaps the most dangerous part of a stairlift journey is exiting the lift at the top of the stairs, as it can be difficult for people with limited mobility to transfer onto the landing. If you also have a pet that is excitable or may be getting under your feet, this can add to the risk.

Choosing a stairlift with a locking swivel seat may help to minimise the risk of falling. A swivel seat will not only help the user to easily exit the stairlift, allowing them to turn the chair and step forwards onto the flat landing, but when in its locked position, with its back to the stairs, it can also act as a barrier, preventing falls caused by loss of balance. This will allow the user to more confidently exit the stairlift, even with pets around.

General Safety Advice

While all stairlifts must be manufactured to relevant safety standards and pass rigorous testing, the user should always make sure that they are responsible and safe when using their stairlift. You must always follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions to keep yourself and your pets as safe as possible.

Always make sure that the stairway is free from any obstructions before using your stairlift. While the system will have safety sensors in place, it is always best practice to check for any potential hazards, such as your pet playing with a ball at the top of the stairs, before you make your journey. You should also make sure to get your stairlift serviced regularly to ensure that all of its safety features are in full working order.

It is a good idea to train your pets to keep away from the stairlift when it is in use. This is a very effective method in making sure that they are kept out of harm’s way. The positioning of the stairlift track usually means that you cannot put a safety gate at the bottom of the stairs. If your pets are normally kept downstairs by use of a safety gate, alternative arrangement must be considered when thinking about having a stairlift fitted.

Generally speaking, there is no reason why having a cat or dog in your home should stop you from getting a stairlift installed. As long as you make sure to follow all safety guidelines when operating the stairlift, you will be able to enjoy freedom and independence without worrying about your pet.

If you have any questions or concerns about the suitability of a stairlift, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today and ask about our wide range of safety features.

About the author

The Stairlift Company

The Stairlift Company installs high quality stairlifts to help people with mobility problems stay in their homes longer. Based in the Midlands, The Stairlift Company serves the whole of the UK and offers a friendly and comprehensive service to customers.

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