The A-Z Guide of Wheelchair Ramps
Wheelchair ramps come in different shapes, styles and sizes. Some are fixed while some are semi-permanent while others could even be portable. And that is not all, they can also either be platform ramps or track ramps, folding or telescoping ramps. The variations are plenty you can chose a ramp that can be just big enough to get over a threshold of your doorway to a ramp that is made to navigate a user to the very top of a long flight of stairs. Whether you are looking for a new ramp for your home or business or need to update your old one, you need to understand fully and consider a number of things that concern wheelchair ramps.
When building, upgrading or purchasing a wheelchair ramp, you need to have the following in mind.
Weight is Key
It goes without saying that the job of the ramp is to basically lift weights. Your weight to be precise, the weight specifications of ramps must, therefore, come first on your checklist. Wheelchair ramps are designed for different types of wheelchairs, some are for electric wheelchairs, some for manual wheelchairs and some for just any wheelchair. Your choice of wheelchair ramp should be in line with what it was designed for, it may save a future accident from happening.
Safety comes first. Therefore, an edge protection for a wheelchair ramp is essential. It prevents your wheelchair from rolling off the side and as a result sending you flying into the air you do not want to fly without wings. I would not either. You must ensure the edges are of an adequate height to keep any chairs from rolling over.
The Degree of Incline
This is the most important element to consider when purchasing a wheelchair ramp. If you choose a steep ramp then you have lost the purpose of why you had to get a ramp in the first place. A ramp is supposed to safely provide access to a building for all its users regardless of their situations. Steep ramps increase the possibility of tipping over and will require you to use extra energy to climb. Therefore, when purchasing a ramp remember that the lower the slope the better. The minimum recommended slope in a public area is 1:12 for icy or wet weather the incline could be best if at an even lower degree of 1:18 or 1:24. With a lower slope the wheels are less likely to slip you will also climb the ramp easily and since what goes up must come down, you will also no doubt be able to easily come down.
You should be able to open the door at the top of the ramp in your wheelchair. A level area with plenty of space for you to manoeuvre, open a door and easily change direction is a big element to consider when choosing wheelchair design to buy. Without a proper landing at the ramp’s top, you will likely roll back down the ramp when struggling to open the door.
Traversing an incline and turn at the same time is not easy a proper landing area should be at accessible.
Let me be clear about something, a wheelchair ramp is not just a ramp, it is a key tool that allows everybody regardless of their situation, the ease and convenience that most people take for granted in their day to day lives. With safety being one of the core factors surrounding wheelchair ramps even the slightest change in the degree of slope is an accident waiting to happen. At sportaid you will find a huge assemblage of wheelchair ramps and scooter carriers, with the tips I have shared here, you will definitely walk home with the best choice of the ramp.