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The Safety of a Home Elevator

The dramatic increase in life expectancy in recent decades has left most of us excited about the prospects of living independently for years to come. For many Seniors, installing a home elevator has proven to be an attractive investment towards this independence because it can help ensure safe access to our entire home as we age.

But if you are wondering just how safe an in-home elevator is, you are not alone. Some of the safety questions Seniors typically ask about elevators include:

  • How do I know if I need a home elevator?
  • Should I be concerned about home elevators safety?
  • Do home elevator accidents occur?
  • What should I look for when shopping for a home elevator?

How Do I Know if I Need a Home Elevator?

We all age differently, but one thing safety-of-buying-home-elevator-in-copy-imageis certain: for most of us our vision, reaction time, balance and other key abilities decline over time.

All of this can contribute to the risk of falling. If you plan to age in place, you should know that falling is one of the top risks facing Seniors, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And – according to the National Institute for Health of every 10 falls happen in the home.

And these numbers may not even reflect the full extent of the risk. Why? One report found that – because Seniors fear they may have to give up their independence – many times they may not confide falling incidents to loved ones.

So, although we all age differently and there may not be specific signals alerting us to the need to make home safety updates, it may be safer to exercise caution and begin those updates (such as installing a home elevator) as soon as we commit to aging in place.

Should I Be Concerned About Home Elevator Safety

If you’re concerned that an elevator may be unsafe, look for key safety features such as:

  • A rechargeable battery so the elevator can operate during a power outage
  • Low-step so the elevator can be accessed safely
  • A carpeted, non-slip floor
  • Built-in grab bars
  • Top and bottom auto-stop sensors alerting you if something is in the path of the unit
  • A sliding, retractable door to reduce the risk it gets caught in its travels

Are Home Elevator Accidents Possible?

The key to preventing accidents is to select a residential elevator that has been designed with advanced safety measures. Do your homework and ask questions about the sturdiness of the elevator you are considering and its construction. Be sure it equipped with the features mentioned above.

Questions to ask before you make an elevator purchase include:

  • “What happens if the power goes out and I’m in the elevator?”
    • The best response is “The battery in the elevator is rechargeable and will operate during a power outage.”
  • “What if something gets stuck in the door and the elevator starts moving?”
    • The answer should be: “That’s unlikely to happen. There is a door mechanism that prevents the elevator from operating until the door is fully shut and locked.”
  • “If I have a medical emergency inside the elevator what can I do?”
    • The best answer is: “There’s a phone in the elevator cab so you can call someone if you are concerned.”
  • “What happens if there is a home elevator accident or mechanical failure?”
    • Listen for: “The elevator is equipped with a fail-stop mechanism that gently stops it in the unlikely event of a mechanical failure.”

Do You Still Have Concerns About Home Elevator Safety?

One of the best ways to ensure you choose a home elevator that is safe is to arm yourself with as much essential information as possible. If you would like to learn more about our home elevator process, download our free guide, Your Home Elevator Guide.