Buying wheelchair lifts off the internet has real risks. We are seeing this happening time and time again where a person will buy a wheelchair lift from an internet site to only be told that it will not pass inspection and then they find out they cannot return it. As hard as we try educating people about the risks of buying these products, the cheap price is often too hard to resist. The websites will tell you that they are "commercial lifts" that will meet code. My question is what code? Do you know what code your state follows?
The lifts we have been seeing are poorly built and are lacking code complaint items such as: compliant door interlocks, emergency stop buttons, emergency alarms, emergency lighting, short side guards, and no safety pan. The other issue is who will be installing the lift? In all the states we work in, a licensed mechanic must do the installation and then stand inspection with an inspector. There is no way around the licensure issue. If you are in doubt about the rules for your state, please call the state elevator inspector and ask the question. What seems to be an inexpensive way of getting a wheelchair lift installed can become very costly in the end.