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Stair lift in narrow escape stairs

Guest KateM

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Hi - I have a small opticians practice and the consulting room is upstairs, to comply with NHS regs I need to be able to get disabled/infirm patients upstairs. I was wondering if a stair lift would be the answer? The stairs are narrow (88cm approx. width) and have a bend at the bottom but they provide the only access to the first floor and therefore would be our fire exit.

I would be grateful for some advice before I start looking for new premises!


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The stair lift could narrow the stair below the minimum 800mm (750mm in certain situations) and also you would need to ensure that there was sufficient battery capacity to allow the lift to evacuate someone if the fire took out the power supply.

Also if the stair is not a protected route the time to evacuate could be too long - also does the first floor have a protected refuge area for the stair lift user whilst the other persons upstairs leave (to prevent bottlenecks caused by the lift user going first.)

A lot of building stock in this country was not built with accessibility in mind and a fair proportion of that cannot be reasonably made accessible at all or in a way that would be safe in a fire and care needs to be taken when choosing premises.

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