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Mai Pham
December 15, 2023

Robot vacuums are a great way to keep your home clean and tidy, but they can also be dangerous if not used properly. Robot vacuums have the potential to fall down stairs, which then you can basically say goodbye to your little helper. It is important for you to take steps to prevent such accidents from occurring. In this article, we will provide tips on how you can ensure that your robot vacuum does not end up tumbling down the stairs. By following these simple steps, you can rest assured that your robotic cleaner will remain safe and sound in its intended location, not at the bottom of your staircase!

In short, to keep your robot vacuum from falling down the stairs, you can set up virtual walls or No Go Zones on the app, use baby gates or pet gates or something else to block it from going near the stairs, and install sensors on the stairs. These will help you to block your robot vacuum from going near the stairs. In a worst-case scenario, when you can do neither of them, you can always manually steer your robot vacuum from the stairs.

Let’s take a closer look on how to do so.

Ways to Prevent Robot Vacuums from Falling Down Stairs

Use physical barriers like baby gates or pet gates

If your stairs are located in an area where a robot vacuum travels regularly, it is a good idea to put up physical barriers like baby gates or pet gates. This will prevent the robot from getting too close to the stairs, thus eliminating the risk of falling down them.

Carefully examine any steps with steep inclines. Some steps may have a steep incline, which can make them more difficult for the robot to navigate. When you set up your robot vacuum, pay close attention to any step that has a particularly steep incline and make sure to avoid assigning the robot cleaning tasks in this area.

You can keep a large cardboard box, a stack of books or a large towel near the stairs. When it’s time to clean up, place items right in front of the stairs. It doesn’t even need to cover the entire aisle. Just make sure your robot vacuum doesn’t have enough space to get over the obstacle.

Make sure that the sensors are working properly. Robot vacuums use sensors to detect objects and steps ahead of them. If these sensors are not working properly, the robot may be unable to identify a stairwell in time, resulting in it falling down the stairs. To ensure that your robot vacuum is safely navigating around your home, check regularly that all of its sensors are functioning correctly.

Install sensors on stairs to prevent falls

If you are particularly concerned about your robot vacuum falling down the stairs, you can install sensors on each stair step. These sensors will detect when the robot is approaching a step and send out a signal to make it stop in its tracks, thus preventing any falls from occurring.

How to Modify Robot Vacuum Settings

Set up virtual walls or boundaries on some models

Setting up no-go zones and virtual walls for your robot vacuum is a great way to block it from entering certain areas of the house. This can be done after the robot vacuum has completely mapped out your home, giving you complete control over where it can go and what it can do. With this feature, you can block off stairs, furniture, bathrooms, or any other area that may be hazardous for the robotic cleaner.

For example, the Roborock app allows you to do both directly in their app with some simple steps.

  1. First, you need to turn on Map Saving before setting it up.
  2. Tap on Edit Map and tap “No Go Zone”
  3. Add a Zone, move it where you want it, and adjust its size. You can add up to 10 No Go Zones.
  4. Add a Virtual Wall, move it where you want it and adjust its size.
  5. Tap Save in the bottom.

With different brands and models, the names that appeared on the app (No Go Zones for Roborock, Keep Out Zone for iRobot) might differ. However, the steps to set these up are basically the same.

Manually steer your robot vacuum away from stairs

If your model of robot vacuum does not come with virtual walls or manual override controls, you can still steer it away from stairs by manually guiding it in the right direction. Simply lift up the robotic cleaner and move it away from the staircase until it is safe to set down again.

Maintenance Tips for Safe Operation

To ensure that your robot vacuum remains safe when navigating around your home, it is important to keep up with regular cleaning and maintenance. This includes regularly emptying the dustbin, replacing filters, and making sure that all of its sensors are working properly. Doing these simple tasks can help to ensure that your robotic cleaner will stay on track and avoid any dangerous falls.

Finally, ensure that the staircase is clear of debris and obstructions. Before you let your robot vacuum loose in any area with a staircase, make sure to check that the steps are free of any small items or obstructions that might trip it up. This will help to reduce the chances of an accident occurring and keep your robot vacuum safe.


To prevent your robot vacuum from falling down the stairs, take the necessary precautions to ensure its safety. Install sensors on stairs if necessary, modify the robot vacuum settings to avoid stairs, use manual override controls, and manually steer it away from staircases when needed. Additionally, keep up with regular cleaning and maintenance, and make sure that your staircase is free of debris. By following these tips, you can keep your robot vacuum safe as it goes about its daily tasks.

About the Author

I am a working mother who more than often prefer to come home and rest rather than doing house chores. I am passionate about simplifying house chores to live and enjoy life more.

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