The way the steps usually work is this:
If you switch the steps off, when you turn the ignition off, the steps will extend and retract when you open and close the door because they are connected to the ignition switch. The way to keep them from working is that, after you turn the ignition off, turn the step switch on. Leave the unit and shut the storm door, which should retract the steps, then open the access panel in the storm door, reach in and turn off the steps. The steps should remain retracted until you turn the switch or the ignition on.
Gary Shapiro, 2011 Georgetown 29' Class A
Dash, Molly & Lily - now at the Bridge and forever in my heart
Shadow - 4-year-old Greyhound
Hannah - 1 1/2-year-old GSD rescue