Published at Friday, 14 September 2018. Stair. By Florentine Brugmann.
While the maintenance of mobility in the event of a power outage is a huge advantage of a DC stair lift system, that advantage is tempered by the cost of replacing batteries every 12 to 18 months, which can run up to $100 a pop for most stair lift batteries. On the other hand, DC stair lifts make less of a demand on the home electricity system, meaning that electric bills will be somewhat lower for DC powered lifts. The batteries of a DC powered stair lift charge in one of two methods: station charging or the use of a charge strip. With station charging, permanent charging stations are positioned at each end of the rail. Charge strips allow the lift to charge at any point along the track. Today’s rechargeable batteries are reliable and hold a charge better than old models. The typical stair lift battery will stay charged through about 8 trips up and down the track, though it will vary based on how long the staircase is and how heavy the person it is transporting is.
Starting with two parallel 2x6 stringer members, the adjustable brackets are first positioned using a spacing tool and then attached to each member with a single "pivot screw". For finished interior stairs, the stringers may be "paint" grade or "stain" grade but will have a tongue and grove or spline milled into the parallel mating surfaces so that once the brackets are adjusted, the mating surfaces will be pushed together to form a continuous, decorative, one piece knee wall stringer. The remaining screws are inserted and the end cuts are made. All the risers and treads are now square cut to the exact length using a chop saw. It is recommended that a stop is used for accuracy and efficiency. The treads are usually cut slightly shorter than the risers (1/64") for fit. For fast assembly it’s best to first pre- assemble the stair and then lift into position whenever circumstances permit.
Curved stairs are not as safe as a strait set of stairs. Curved stairs get very narrow on one side. A curved set of steps may be difficult to negotiate in an emergency or fire situation. Handrails should be installed on at least one side of the stairs that has two or more risers. Properly configured stair handrails should 34 inches high and they should be designed to comfortably accommodate a person wrapping their hand around the rail. Guardrails also should accompany a handrail system on a properly configured set of steps. The gaps should be only 4 inches wide so that the body of a child can not fit though the openings.
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