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Why Do Residential Doors Open Inward?

You may have recently had beautiful knotty alder doors installed in your home and noticed, not for the first time, that those doors always open inward.


Have you ever wondered why? Especially when compared with professional buildings where the doors open outward? There’s a very simple reason for this: your safety.

Door Construction

Most doors operate on a very simple principle. A flat, solid shape is held up in a wall opening through the use of hinges and pins. This simple construction leads to easy installation and removal of the door. The pins can be easily removed to accommodate a large item, such as a couch or stove, to be moved through the doorway. This ease of removal is great when you’re moving, but it’s a serious drawback when you’re looking at security. How do you stop someone from simply removing the pins and taking off your door?

The Safe Side

The solution to the problem is as simple as the door construction itself. Arrange the doors so that the pins are on the inside. This allows the homeowner to protect the pins, lock the door, and sleep soundly at night. The inward opening door is a residential homeowners first line of defense in home security.

The opposite is true in public buildings.

The next time you visit the grocery store, library, or your local police station, take a look at the doors. They all open to the outside. Why, if security and safety is so important, would they put those pins on the outside, where anyone could remove them?


The answer there is simple as well. In a public building the most important element of safety is not how to keep people safe inside, it’s how to get people out in the event of a fire or other emergency situation. An inward opening door, when people are bunching against the doors to get out as fast as possible, is a hindrance to the flow of foot traffic. Doors that open outward are easier to open, no matter how many people are crowding against them.
So, now you know. Your doors open inward to keep you safe!

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