Closed Treads and Open Risers Fire Safety

In the picture above the stair risers are closed and carpeted. This is what most people refer to as a closed stair riser.

Some building codes require closed risers stairways under certain circumstances, especially for large building exits. The reason for this is simple, by closing off the risers, people can safely run out of the building, instead of getting burnt as the flames from the fire come out of the individual riser areas.

illustration of fire under wood stairway with open risers

Attention: Don't forget to check with your local building department to verify any building codes on this website. This information could be incorrect or outdated. Building codes are updated regularly and to some building departments have different interpretations for certain building codes.