We’ve written quite a bit over the years about the benefits of installing a stair lift. But with this blog post, we’re moving outdoors and focusing on a device that performs a lot of the same functions as a stair lift. It’s time to meet the VPL, otherwise known as the vertical platform lift.
What is a VPL?
The answer is in the name: it’s a lift that uses a platform to lift people up and down, allowing people who use wheelchairs, power chairs or scooters to enter their homes without worrying about steps. (They can also let users gain access to backyard decks or basements.)
The benefits of installing a vertical platform lift include:
- A platform lift allows for accommodations in places where a wheelchair ramp may not work.
- VPLs give people who use wheelchairs or have other mobility issues a better quality of life.
- Businesses and other public buildings can make sure they’re in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Are they safe?
There are building codes created with the design of vertical platform lifts in mind, so that the user and anyone else nearby will remain safe.
In addition, VPLs often come with canopies that protect riders – and the device’s inner workings – during wet weather. Still, you should only work with a qualified installer when installing a vertical platform lift.
Can’t I just build a wheelchair ramp?
In many cases, a wheelchair ramp might be the solution you need. However, installing a ramp might be more complicated than you’d think.
In order to meet the building codes for ramp installation – and to ensure the safety of the user – you’ll need to adhere to some pretty specific measurements.
Under the ADA, wheelchair ramps must have at least one foot of ramp for every two inches of vertical rise. That means if you have a front porch that’s four feet off the ground, your ramp needs to be at least 24 feet long.
These requirements might make installing a ramp more costly than you’d anticipated – or at the very least – not practical for your home.
Is a platform lift tough to operate?
On the contrary, they’re quite easy to use. There are up and down controls on the unit and the landing, so that going up or going down is as simple as pushing a button.
Are you ready to install a vertical platform lift on your property? Pennsylvania Stair Lifts can help. We carry the Bruno platform lift, designed to help people in scooters, wheelchairs and powerchairs easily exit or enter their home.
Contact us today to learn about our vertical platform lifts and all of our other accessibility options.