Outdoor stair safety

Outdoor stairs are found in homes with porches and decks that vary in their construction and height. Safety measures such as proper railings, stair treads and keeping stairs free of obstructions prevent accidents from occurring.

Stair treads

Ice, snow and rain can make stairs slippery during bad weather.Using a non-skid tape or tread that is easy to lay along the edge of each stair will help prevent falls.


Having a railing installed on both sides of steep stairs gives people a place to hold onto as they move up or down. Railings should be sized so that they are easy to grasp.

Bad weather

Ice and snow can build up quickly on stairs, causing a slick and dangerous surface. Keep outdoor steps clear using a broom, snow shovel or ice melt to prevent falls.


If you have stairs on your outdoor porch, make sure they are adequately lit at night so people can see where to walk. Shadows created by lower wattage bulbs can deceive the eye and cause accidents.


Keeping your stairs in good condition is essential to safety. Loose handrails, warped stairs or protruding nails are potential hazards. Installation of a child gate at the top and bottom of the stairs will prevent your child from getting injured due to a fall.

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Erin Steeley is a full-time writer and freelancer who uses her background in education, sign language and art to create quality articles. She published her first book, "The Soldier and the Storyteller," in 2006. Steeley has a Bachelor of Arts degree in general studies from Pittsburgh State University.