Have you ever been abroad and driven a car on the right-hand side of the road? It doesn’t seem right, does it? Sometimes other nationalities do things differently. You may have spotted that doors in some countries open outwards, whereas here in Australia most of our doors open inwards.
It would be unusual for us to pull a front door open, rather than push it. It makes sense for a door to open inwards as it provides better security and protection against harsh winter weather. However, what works well for one country doesn’t necessarily sit right for another.
We’ve been exploring why Scandinavian countries in Europe, that’s Denmark, Norway and Sweden and a few other countries have doors which open outwards rather than inwards.
Many believe that doors which open outwards are safer as it allows for easier escape access. Anyone caught up in an emergency or fire, rushing to get away, would naturally push a door rather than pull it.
During a church service in Finland in the 19th century, a false fire alert left dozens of people dead. They became crushed in the chaos as they fled for the exit doors and struggled to open them. It led to new laws and the introduction of outward opening doors.
Allows More Space
Apartments in Scandinavia were traditionally built quite compact. External doors opening outwards can create a feeling of spaciousness.
Where you’re restricted on size, it’s natural to want to make your home feel quite roomy and outward opening doors go some way to achieve this by not causing any internal obstruction.
Years ago, houses in Sweden used to have a double entrance door, one would open outwards, the other inwards, each swinging open independently. This unusual combination helped to improve insulation and retain warmth inside a home.
As the years went by, the door which opened inwards started to be replaced by a single outward opening door which then became the norm.
Harsh And Extreme Weather
Scandinavian houses are faced with a harsher climate than Australia and endure plenty of rain and heavy snowfalls. Doors which open outwards help to reduce the amount of water and snow entering the property, minimising any damage.
A large majority of homes in Florida in America have outward opening doors, especially those built after 1992. Hurricane Andrew, a category five hurricane, ripped through the state in in that year causing massive destruction. Building regulations were changed following a result of the severity of the hurricane. Heavy objects picked up by a hurricane and travelling at speed in strong winds have less chance of smashing through outward opening doors.
Here at Door Stop, we can offer advice on all types of doors, both external and internal. We have doors available in a variety of sizes, materials and designs and they all come with a 7-year warranty. Come and speak to the experts and investigate our range at our two showrooms in Joondalup and Osborne Park.