There is a growing, and worrying, trend for home stair lifts to be sold without any installation. The buyer is told that self-installation is easy and can be done by anyone with basic DIY skills. However, AMEA (Accessibility Equipment Manufacturer’s Association) and the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) strongly advise against self-installation of a home stair lift. A reputable stair lift supplier will insist on doing the installation. Also, remember to ask about warranty and after sales service. A reputable dealer will offer both; look for a dealership that offers 24/7 telephone support so that you’ll get instant help when you need it. Here are some brief stair lift reviews of some leading makes.
Take for example the new NADRA (North American Deck and Railing Association) study that examined the number of injuries caused by outdoor deck stairs and porches from 2003 to 2007. The report confirms that deck and stair injuries are on the increase. NADRA points to a 2003 study showing a total of 37,760 injuries which required a visit to the hospital. Of these injuries, 6,120 were a result of structural failure or collapse. Further, the report shows that by 2007, the incidents of serious injury had risen to 55,160. Quoting from the report- "Nearly 15% of all injuries are a result of structural failure". Wood decks are constantly exposed to the elements and they have a limited life span of 10-15 years. As you can see, important to have your deck and deck stairs inspected so that signs of wood decay and deterioration can be repaired.
Over the past several years, much has been done to address deck and stair safety issues, but we still have a long way to go. One glaring example of the failure in deck and stair safety protocol is the industry standard of permitting "hot dipped galvanized" anchors, screws, hangers and other hardware to be in direct contact with ACQ, pressure treated wood. The galvanic corrosion created between the high copper content of the wood and the galvanizing is so severe that the normal industry standard of G90 galvanizing will corrode in as little as 12 months and G185, such as Z-Max® can be gone in 24 months. The industry (including code officials) has adopted G185 as a fall back position with no engineering testing available to substantiate the validity or longevity of this adoption...this is a "knee jerk" reaction and is an accident waiting to happen. Without a barrier between the pressure treated wood and galvanized hardware, serious corrosion is inevitable.
How is this possible with only two stringers? The adjustable brackets are ICC/ES tested and approved as joist hangers. The risers are made structural (2x8’s), attaching to the brackets and spanning across the stair like load bearing joists. This structurally superior system has been tested with breaking strains in excess of 1,200 lbs. per sq. ft. Once the risers and treads are attached, your stair is complete. The result will be a stair that is accurate, extremely strong and "you built that stair".
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