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Why not swing external door outwards?

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  1. #1
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    Default Why not swing external door outwards?

    G'day

    Why not swing external door outwards?

    Designing a rear external laundry door and wondering why no one swings an external door outwards (idea of giving a bit more space to the room.)

    Does it not make code ? I can understand it might be a bit of a fire hazard if blocked from outside?

    I found something from national construction code (ABCD) Swinging doors - hinging on the direction of egress | Australian Building Codes Board

    but not sure if this is applies to a residential dwelling in Qld.

    Any idea why I can't/shouldn't swing rear laundry door out ? CHEERS

  2. #2
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    I swung one of my doors outwards for the reason of space and I like the way it works for me. It is a glass door and easy to see through it, so no risk of opening on someone waiting outside.

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    I swung my laundry door outwards as well. More space inside, but main reason was security -can’t be forced inwards by a burglar kicking it in. No rules against it

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    It would make it impossible to fit a screen door, unless the screen was on the inside which would be a pain and also take up room space.
    In an emergency if someone outside is trying to rescue someone inside, it's a lot easier to kick or barge a door in than it is to pull a locked door open.
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey66 View Post
    In an emergency if someone outside is trying to rescue someone inside, it's a lot easier to kick or barge a door in than it is to pull a locked door open.
    Interesting idea of an “emergency” given the only 2 emergency door laws I can think of is that a toilet door must open outwards from the toilet so that someone in trouble doesn’t fall against the door and block entry, and the other one being fire doors which again must open outwards.

    Agee you can’t fit a screen/security door easily, so if you want one then it’s an inward opening door

  6. #6
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy2 View Post

    Agee you can’t fit a screen/security door easily, so if you want one then it’s an inward opening door
    Or have a screened louvred window next to the door, that's what I have done.

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    I'm sure Marc will be along shortly Seem to remember he is a fan.

    I know outward opening are popular in Europe - based on better weather proofing I'm told.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy2 View Post
    Interesting idea of an “emergency” given the only 2 emergency door laws I can think of is that a toilet door must open outwards from the toilet so that someone in trouble doesn’t fall against the door and block entry, and the other one being fire doors which again must open outwards.
    I didn't say it was an emergency door, I said it could be used in an emergency. Like for instance, if a whole family was overtaken by smoke from a house fire and a neighbour with no tools tried to save them.
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy2 View Post
    I swung my laundry door outwards as well. More space inside, but main reason was security -can’t be forced inwards by a burglar kicking it in. No rules against it
    I did the same with a solid door on my old work shed - for security for all the tools. I also drilled into the door jamb, and fitted 1/4 stainless pins that fitted sockets drilled into the door, so if they ground the hinges off, the door would still be secure.

    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy2 View Post
    Interesting idea of an “emergency” given the only 2 emergency door laws I can think of is that a toilet door must open outwards from the toilet so that someone in trouble doesn’t fall against the door and block entry, and the other one being fire doors which again must open outwards.
    I remember being told once that commercial buildings needed to have outward opening exits to assist in evacuating large volumes of people quickly.
    Regarding the toilet door - this very reason popped up a week & a half back on a Saturday night. Saw a fire engine in the street, and wondered what happened. Turned out Nanna had visited, and fell over in the toilet, blocking the door. I have seen the "lift off" doors where there's a gap at the top, and the hinges are only short pins - allowing you to lift the door off it's hinges to gain access - this is an alternative to an outward opening door.

    Many years ago a drunk mate passed out in the pub toilet, blocking the door. Luckily one of his other mates was quite agile, so he hopped over from the adjacent cubicle, lifted him up, the door swung open, and he let him go - his head landing on my feet (and no doubt saving him from a nasty concussion on the tiled floor). It made me look at doors in confined spaces, and the trap hazards, in a new light (I was 100% sober too).

  10. #10
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    The way we build is not necessarily the result of deep thought and logical conclusions, but more the result of what materials are available, what the others do, and what the trade is accustomed to.
    The defence of the way we build can be fierce and the reason can be explained with two words. Confirmation bias.
    But that is good material for another thread.

    As far as opening out or opening in, don't confuse doors with windows. Windows in my view should all open inwards to allow for shutters to open outwards. A country with the sun we have that builds houses with no shutters and black tiled roofs is an incongruence.

    Doors is the question, and someone posted the right answer. Public places must have the exit door opening outwards to prevent people from getting crushed in a panic situation be it fire, gunshots or whatever can provoke a stampede.
    A domestic dwelling has no need for exit doors opening out. My laundry door opens out. It was that way and I don't mind it.
    Toilet is another matter. Toilet doors must open outside or if they swing inwards, be able to be removed easily from the outside by lifting them out of the hinges.
    The door of a shower screen must open outwards for the reason given above not so the toilet door.

    However and for the OP, I don't know if the council would allow an otward opening door in a private dwelling. The reasons given above don't make much sense to me.
    The only thing I don't know is how will a lock work in an outwards opening door. It seems to be rather exposed unless you have a steel frame.
    Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
    Confucius

  11. #11
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    The only thing I don't know is how will a lock work in an outwards opening door. It seems to be rather exposed unless you have a steel frame.
    I have the standard deadbolt and lockable handle on mine keyed alike. Run a timber cover strip on external door edge.

  12. #12
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey66 View Post
    I didn't say it was an emergency door, I said it could be used in an emergency. Like for instance, if a whole family was overtaken by smoke from a house fire and a neighbour with no tools tried to save them.
    Oh that would suck, Just make sure there is a window in the same room as well.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    The only thing I don't know is how will a lock work in an outwards opening door. It seems to be rather exposed unless you have a steel frame.
    My previous house laundry door opened outwards, it was fine except when the wind would blow it closed, latch would fix that problem though.

    I had standard Lockwood 001 fitted with no problems, you just get the special striker plate to accommodate this, and the bolt is reversed.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  14. #14
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    Our extension has an outward kitchen door, passed by council no worries. The only thing to plan for is the landing, if you have more than one step. It either has to step directly down or be a landing covering at least the full arc or of the door, then step down

  15. #15
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    We made a mistake with our front door
    It would be much better if it opened outwards I prefer them in many instances, enemies at the gate and battering rams excepted
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

  16. #16
    1K Club Member Pulse's Avatar
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    Default Why not swing external door outwards?

    I too gave my shed an outward opening door. The lock bolt was protected with a kaba plate,

    https://www.drlock.com.au/store/door...ess-fire-rated

    I routed out the external arch so that this plate is recessed too.

    For the house doors I removed part of the door jamb with a laminate trimmer and some of the gyprock to put 6mm steel plate under the architrave, batten screwed to the hardwood studs to support the deadbolt against kick in attacks, can't trust some of the deros in Newcastle


    ====

  17. #17
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Kick in and battering rams would be very ineffective against a door that opens out. They would need to demolish the frame!
    Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
    Confucius

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    Oh that would suck, Just make sure there is a window in the same room as well.
    Yes, but it would need to be a big window . In any case it's quicker and easier to get people out of doorways than windows.
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


  19. #19
    Senior Member PhoenixSkyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey66 View Post
    In an emergency if someone outside is trying to rescue someone inside, it's a lot easier to kick or barge a door in than it is to pull a locked door open.
    Agree. But there's the other side of the medal. Before someone will be there to help you out you will be trying to get out yourself. And it is a lot easyier to kick a locked door out if it swings outwards than pull it open. Right? So the question is still debatable. But i agree it won't work if the door is blocked from outside

  20. #20
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    There are some exceptions to the rule that emergency doors must open out. For environmental reasons almost all doors above the snowline in Australia have to open inward. It being impossible to open the door outwards when there is a big drift of snow across the door
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

  21. #21
    Senior Member PhoenixSkyline's Avatar
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    Funny thing. In Russia all the external doors swing outwards. Needless to say about snow in Russia?))

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixSkyline View Post
    Agree. But there's the other side of the medal. Before someone will be there to help you out you will be trying to get out yourself. And it is a lot easyier to kick a locked door out if it swings outdoors than pull it open. Right? So the question is still debatable. But i agree it won't work if the door is blocked from outside
    I don't know what your doors are like, but mine and every other external house door I have seen unlocks from the inside. This is the reason they advise people who have deadbolt locks when the only way of opening is by key, to leave the key in lock.
    They also advise that if someone breaks in a window and can't get out the door when they go to do a runner it could be more dangerous for those inside.
    In my example the people were overtaken by smoke, which happens in a lot of house fires that people die in because they simply can't get themselves out.
    The only time I reckon an outward opening door is safer is when you are dealing with crowds of people in a building. In this situation the guy at the door would be trying to open the door inward while people are panicking and pushing the door hard into the frame. If there's only 3 or 4 people trying to get out, this just doesn't happen because everyone at the door knows it has to open inwards, and even if they didn't you could shove them back then open it. Try doing that with several hundred people that can't even see the door.
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


  23. #23
    Senior Member PhoenixSkyline's Avatar
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    I meant when the lock is blocked or broken. It happens during emergencies and i wasn't only talking about the external doors but doors themselves. Just some thoughts

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    what proportion of the population could forcibly open a locked external door anyways?

    i'm thinking maybe 5%
    freedom of expression freedom from consequences...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixSkyline View Post
    Funny thing. In Russia all the external doors swing outwards. Needless to say about snow in Russia?))
    Yes but don't you also have escape doors on the second floor or have big windows up high?
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    Yes but don't you also have escape doors on the second floor or have big windows up high?
    Scotland building regulations specify escape windows.
    Note that the word “apartment” is being used to mean “habitable room”.


    https://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/bu...s/windows.aspx
    “Emergency escape windows

    • Emergency escape windows are intended to allow the occupants of a dwelling the option of unaided escape from the dwelling in the event of other escape routes being unusable.
      An emergency escape window should be provided in every apartment in an upper storey of a dwelling at a height of no more than 4.5 metres from ground level, unless there is more than one way out of the apartment excluding the window.
      An emergency escape window should also be provided in any apartment which is an inner room, unless there is an alternative route out of the room.
      Satisfactory dimensions of an emergency escape window would be a clear opening of 850mm. in height and 500mm. in width, providing unobstructed exit. However, it is recognised that alternative dimensions may still be acceptable, and advice should be taken from the Building Control office.”
    “What a fool believes, he sees. No wise man has the power to reason away”- The Doobie Brothers

  27. #27
    Senior Member PhoenixSkyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavoSyd View Post
    what proportion of the population could forcibly open a locked external door anyways?

    i'm thinking maybe 5%
    Also truth

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    Yes but don't you also have escape doors on the second floor or have big windows up high?
    If it is a private house in Russia there is rarely the escape doors. But windows - yes
    P.S. i must say that i believe doors must be open inwards. Saying to prevent any arguing)

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixSkyline View Post
    If it is a private house in Russia there is rarely the escape doors. But windows - yes
    Tilt-turn windows obviously!)

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    Senior Member PhoenixSkyline's Avatar
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    Yup)

  31. #31
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    Thanks all for your perspecitive, plenty of lateral thinking included there. Not being able to screen the door may prove the deciding factor here as I do need the doorway to ventilate but to keep it secure and mozzie's out are highly desirable too. I figure the area where the door swings inward might take space out of cabinetry but at least there will be enough room for people to move through the doorway comfortably. Had not even thought about the lock issue. I think much easier to stick with convention for this design.

    Cheers, bluehorse

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavoSyd View Post
    what proportion of the population could forcibly open a locked external door anyways?

    i'm thinking maybe 5%
    Even if it is only 5%, its still higher than the 0% that could pull a locked door open. You'd be surprised how much power you have when adrenaline kicks in.
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey66 View Post
    Even if it is only 5%, its still higher than the 0% that could pull a locked door open. You'd be surprised how much power you have when adrenaline kicks in.
    i said open a locked door, didn't specify which way

    anyways, here's a few guides, just in case anyone might need them...

    https://www.wikihow.com/Kick-Down-a-Door

    https://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/...k-down-a-door/

    EDIT - i would aim to open an outward swinging door with a object... in fact, that would be my first thought - what tools are in my range?
    freedom of expression freedom from consequences...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluehorse View Post
    .... Had not even thought about the lock issue.
    I'm not sure what the lock issue is at all! I have the same on all external doors, including, inward double and single doors and the outward kitchen door. Push button lock allows for easy exit without a key, and deadbolt for when the home is unoccupied. Gainsborough TriLock

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