What is a Vertical Platform Lift?
Porch lifts, enclosed and hoist-way wheelchair lifts
A vertical platform lift is an elevating device that can travel a small distance up to many feet. A very basic vertical platform lift features an open platform and a drive mechanism to power the platform up and down. This lift is also called a porch lift or deck lift because it is commonly used outside to allow access from a ground level to the elevated entrance into a home. The simple porch lift is usually powered by a screw drive system which makes them reliable but economical.
Depending on where the unit is installed, local building code may require important safeguards. For example, if the lift travels to a deck area, a solid gate should be installed on the deck. A solid gate ensures that there are no open areas that could create a pinching hazard for toes or hands when the user is traveling up or down in the wheelchair. This gate should feature a lock that is integrated into the operation of the unit (an interlock). The lock will prevent the gate from being opened unless the lift is at the upper landing. The unit should be secured to a concrete pad underneath so that it is completely stable. Installation of a porch lift should only be done by a trained and authorized installer. Silver Cross can help you find a pre-qualified installer in your area.
Compare models of basic vertical platform lifts.
Aside from a basic deck or porch lift, a vertical platform lift can feature a manufacturer-built enclosure in metal, with metal or acrylic panels. A vertical platform lift can also be used inside with an enclosure, or it can be installed in a home, inside a shaft-way that is built by a contractor. When a vertical platform lift is installed inside a hoist-way, it can feature full-sized walls that are finished similarly to how an automatic elevator would be finished with melamine panels. Vertical platform lifts are also often used in commercial settings such as schools, churches and public buildings. For commercial installations, there are specific requirements that must be met. Consult the top manufacturers for this kind of information, or contact Silver Cross to be directed to one of our pre-qualified commercial dealers near you.