Safety in using stairs should be the main concern when planning the stairs. Its form and design should be rooted on safety. Beauty is useless without proper function. Since a stair’s function is to safely take people to different levels in a multi-level home or building, it should be made in a way that will not compromise those who will be using it. A good way to ensure its safety is to start at the beginning of the installation of the stairs itself. A stair’s foundation lies on the quality of the stair parts used. Therefore, investing in good quality stair parts is a must for ever homeowner and stair builder.
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.
The Stannah Stair Lift: This is a UK stair lift manufacturer that now exports to over 40 countries. Quite simply, Stannah stair lifts are the best on the market. Stannah make both straight and curved stair lifts. The Stannah 120 stair lift has two models; the Solus (a very contemporary design) and the Sofia (for those who prefer a more traditional look). With a Stannah home stair lift you get many features as standard but the company also offers optional features that other manufacturers don’t. Stannah stair lifts aren’t the cheapest on the market, but it makes the best handicap stair lifts.
The Summit Stair Lift: This is a low cost home stair lift. The company only makes straight stair lifts. The Summit chair lift is made to be a no-frills but reliable handicap stair lift. It uses technology that is now considered old-fashioned by most leading stair lift manufacturers; it uses a cable system rather than rack and pinion to drag the chair along the track, and the Summit stair lift is mains powered rather than battery powered. Other manufacturers switched to rack and pinion battery powered stair lifts because they give a smoother ride. You do get basic safety systems with the Summit stair lift such as a sensor on the footrest to detect obstacles, a seat belt and cable tensioning. Won’t you won’t get the more sophisticated safety features offered by other manufacturers. All in all, the Summit stair lift is for those on a small budget.
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