Simple Solutions

How to Prevent Slips and Falls on Outside Steps

By: Joe Truini
Applying a self-adhesive strips to an exterior wood step.

Applying self-adhesive strips to exterior wood steps to prevent slipping.

Exterior wood steps can become slippery over time, especially when they’re wet. One of the easiest way to protect against slips and falls is by applying self-adhesive abrasive strips, available at home centers, to each step.

To apply abrasive strips to steps:

  1. Make sure the steps are dry and clean.
  2. Cut the abrasive strip to length.
  3. Peel off the paper backing.
  4. Align the strip on the step about 1” from the nose of the tread.
  5. Press the strip down into place.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Joe Truini: The easiest way to prevent slips and falls on exterior stairs is with abrasive strips that you can buy at any hardware store or home center. And they come in various sizes and shapes. I prefer the kind that comes out on roll, because you can custom cut it to length.

All you need to do is stretch out the length of the abrasive tape, and then cut it with a pair of scissors. Then all you need to do is, if you look on the back, it’s got this wax paper backing.

So you just peel that off to expose the adhesive, turn it over and stick it down. You want to keep it about one-inch from the front edge—the nosing of the step. You can just eyeball it, as long as it’s close. There you go, right about one-inch—peel off the rest.

This is really sticky, so make sure you get it right where you want it, and just press it down. Now, of course, you want to put one of these on each step.

And on a wide step like this, you could put a second strip if you want. But it is really important to have it near the front edging because, of course, that’s where you step.


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How to Prevent Slips and Falls on Outside Steps