Lifts have become an ordinary part of our daily life. So much so that we often don’t pay attention to them. It’s only when they break down that we truly realise how important they are! As an invaluable means of ensuring independence and mobility, especially in a residential building, a lift impacts residents’ day-to-day lives. Read on to learn why.
Lifts in residential buildings: day-to-day assistance
Because of our sedentary lifestyle, many people like to take the stairs to compensate for their lack of physical activity. However, even the bravest among us lose motivation when faced with ten flights of stairs. And for some people, using the stairs is simply not an option.
People who depend on lifts
No lift, or a faulty one, can be a discomfort for many residents in a residential building. Those particularly concerned are:
- parents who have to climb the stairs with their children, pushchairs and groceries;
- people with permanent or temporary disabilities;
- elderly people with limited mobility.
Moving in or out
“Is there a lift in the building?” is often the first question we ask when someone asks us to help them with their house move.
When moving in or out, lifts are essential for easily carrying up and transporting heavy furniture and other cumbersome items.
This service, provided by the property management firm, makes residents’ everyday life easier – as long as they are used correctly. Here are some rules for the proper use of lifts:
- don’t go over the maximum weight indicated in the cabin;
- don’t block the doors;
- protect the walls of the cabin – for instance with covers.
Did you know?
In the UK, lifts are regulated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which sets out requirements for the design, construction, installation, and use of lifts. The HSE's guidance states that lifts should be provided in buildings where it is reasonable to do so and should be suitable to the needs of the people who use them.1
The lift, a vehicle for socialising
A significant percentage of people in the UK would prefer to stay in their own home even if they lost their independence. Easy access to upper floors is important for maintaining independence for elderly people or those with disabilities. This can affect how often people go out and participate in social activities. As a result, lifts can help prevent loneliness by enabling mobility and improving access to different parts of a residential building.2
Lifts also bring people together within a block of flats. When you leave home and take the lift, you get the chance to meet your neighbours, chat, and enjoy some human contact for those who live alone.
Even in buildings with only a few floors, system failures can have a devastating impact on residents. Preventive maintenance and a reliable service provider can help you anticipate and avoid these issues. Keep that in mind!
Ageing of the population: how to keep your residents
According to United Nations projections, the proportion of people aged 60 or over in the UK is expected to reach about 35% by 2035. This means that approximately 3 in 10 people in the UK will be aged 60 or over in 2035.
Today, nearly half the people in their sixties and over consider their home unsuitable for someone approaching old age. However, by 2033, 19% of the English household population is projected to live alone, compared with 14% in 2008.2 It’s clear that, in a residential building, a reliable lift is one of the key facilities required for good living conditions. In order for your residents to grow old comfortably in their homes, they must be able to use the lift safely and confidently.
The leading cause of accidents in lifts is the height difference that forms when the device fails to stop level with the floor.3 This frequently causes people to trip or fall. User safety, especially for people with reduced mobility, is paramount. This is why you must pay particular attention to making adjustments and ensuring the regular maintenance of your lift.
Lifts in residential buildings: more than a maintenance requirement – a duty
Proper, professional monitoring of these systems will save you a lot of trouble. Calling on a maintenance company will ensure safe and effective use for everyone.
How to get the partnership off to a good start
Draw up a maintenance contract with your service provider. As a minimum, it should include the provisions laid down by regulations4 . The contract should stipulate the conditions for repairs and assistance to entrapped passengers, as well as the frequency of maintenance visits:
- at least one inspection every six weeks to check the overall operating condition of the system;
- one check every six months to assess the integrity of the cables;
- a yearly visit for inspecting the parachute, cleaning the lift pit, the cabin roof and the machine room, and lubricating and cleaning various parts.
To perfect this service, you may also want to consider:
- regular cleaning of the cabin’s interior and fixtures (furnishing, door leaves, cabin and shaft door thresholds, panes of glass and shaft);
- upgrades in order to bring the system into compliance with regulations (anticipating obsolescence when possible) or modernise it.
Although lifts are an ordinary fixture of our daily lives, we must take their maintenance seriously. More than just a modern convenience, they give every occupant the freedom to move around. This core feature of your residential building ensures the well-being of your residents, provided that it is well-maintained and reliable. WeMaintain helps you avoid breakdowns and guarantees quality lift maintenance!