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Improve Accessibility for Mobility Devices

Many homes were not built to accommodate individuals with limited mobility. If you or a loved one now need to use a mobility device to maintain your independence, you'll likely need to make some changes to your home. One of the most common challenges people encounter is a change in elevation to their home's exterior. That's where a vertical platform lift from BLACKBURN'S can provide a valuable solution. Designed to be placed in spots where accessibility can be tricky, a platform lift allows people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters to safely navigate changes in elevation. Below, you'll find a list of the most common questions we receive about platform lifts. Browse our full selection by clicking the button below.

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Vertical Platform Lift FAQs


What is the difference between a vertical platform lift and an elevator?

Vertical platform lifts and elevators are similar devices but serve different functions. Platform lift systems are designed to make buildings more accessible by helping mobility devices overcome smaller changes in elevation. Platform lifts cannot travel as far or as quickly as elevators, as they are built to hold only 1-2 people at a slower pace. This also allows platform lifts to be a more cost-effective accessibility option. 

How do platform lifts work?

In general, a platform lifts involving a simple mechanism that allows the user or operator the ability to raise and lower the platform to the appropriate level using a control panel or operation switch. The controls trigger the lift system, which is usually comprised of either hydraulics or an electric motor. 

Why use a vertical platform lift instead of a ramp?

Platform lifts are a great solution to help users overcome elevation changes where a traditional ramp system may not be practical. Many code requirements can require ramp systems to be longer and take up more space than is available to overcome elevation changes. With a platform lift, you can accommodate individuals who use a mobility device without taking up a large footprint. 

Will Medicare cover the purchase of a platform lift?

Medicare and private insurance do not cover anything related to purchasing or installing a platform in your home. If you have a Medicaid policy from the State of Pennsylvania, please call us for further details about what may be covered. If you have questions about any insurance coverage related to purchasing and installing a platform lift, please contact your local BLACKBURN’S office.

How much weight can a vertical platform lift support?

While each lift system is different, vertical platform lifts are designed to support significant weight totals because they are built to accommodate mobility devices and the user at the same time. At BLACKBURN'S, we sell vertical platform lifts that have a weight capacity of up to 750 pounds. 

Are vertical platform lifts safe to use?

Platform lifts are built with safety in mind. Depending on the model and manufacturer, they can be equipped with safety features that include:

  • Safety sensors: Many platform lifts are equipped with sensors that can detect when an object or person is in the way of the lift. When the sensors are triggered, the lift will stop moving or reverse direction to prevent an accident.

  • Emergency stop button: Platform lifts usually include an emergency stop button that can be pressed to immediately stop the lift in case of an emergency.

  • Guardrails and safety gates: Most platform lifts are surrounded by guardrails or safety gates to prevent users from falling off the lift platform.

  • Overload protection: To prevent the lift from being overloaded, many platform lifts include sensors that can detect when the weight limit has been exceeded. When this happens, the lift will stop moving to prevent damage or injury.

  • Battery backup: Some platform lifts are equipped with a backup battery that can keep the lift operating in the event of a power outage or other electrical problem.

  • Non-skid surface: The platform itself is often made of a non-skid surface to prevent users from slipping and falling.

  • Brakes: Platform lifts usually include a braking system that can hold the lift in place when it is not in use.

How can I get a vertical platform lift in my home?

The team at BLACKBURN'S specializes in making home accessibility modifications. We can install your vertical platform lift system for you. The first step is a free, no-obligation home accessibility assessment to determine what solution will work best for your home's unique layout. Contact us to schedule your assessment and get the process started.