Nowadays, a lot of people purchase stair lifts on the Internet and assemble the units themselves. This is pushed by residential stair lift dealers and distributors involved in marketing the products online.
This saves the customer some money and it is what most customers want. However, there is growing number of organizations raising concerns about the hazards involved in do-it-yourself installation of stairlifts.
Elderly and handicapped people are endangering themselves by installing the stair lifts themselves, according to the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA).
Most of these individuals belong to the low-income bracket and they are trying to save some cash by setting up the lift on their own. However, the savings could be only temporary and in the long run they may have to pay more.
David Jenkins, a product safety consultant for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents believes that the effects of improper installation of a stair lift could not only be monetary but also could lead to injury or death. This is a growing concern in the United States as well.
Only qualified professionals can determine whether the home stairlift has been correctly assembled, according to the Accessibility Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (AEMA). Likewise, the customer would have no idea whether the equipment conforms to local and national code requirements.
The AEMA also believes that such practices could be illegal. If wires need to be connected to the main power supply, many states in the U.S. prohibits such practice unless undertaken by a certified technician.
In addition, some dealers proffer customers to install the lift themselves because they cannot be blamed if anything goes wrong. They can always wash their hands and use incorrect installation as an excuse. Aside from that, consumers could void the warranty of the product by doing self-installation.
The elderly and the handicapped are the usual victims of this practice. Thus, when buying stairlift, choose a company which requires that they assemble the equipment. This is an indication of their concern for the customer. Also, this is a safety measure should something go wrong with the lift.
Purchasing a stair lift can be costly. A qualified installer can set up the equipment within a few hours. The cost of installation compared to the total cost is generally minimal.
Reliable suppliers always advice customers not to do the installation themselves because the risks could be greater than the savings.