Pull vs. Push:
You may or may not have noticed, but as you walk into work every morning or enter your favorite coffee shop to get your morning energy, you most likely pulled the door open. Yes, pulled, not pushed, and this is no accident. Doors are installed, by design, to swing either open or closed based on the type of construction in question….Let’s dive in a little deeper.
More secure than your password:
Let’s begin by discussing the structure of a typical residential doorway; it’s composed of a large board that’s attached to a frame with hinges. By design, most home doors open inwards for an array of reasons with home security being at the top of the list. When a door opens inward, the hinges are located inside of the home, making them very difficult for intruders to disassemble or tamper with. Besides, how else are we going to shut the door on unwanted company standing in our doorway??
Big bad weather:
Weather poses a large threat to the structural integrity of a door. An inward opening door isn’t getting beat up by the weather to the extent that an outward opening door does, effectively increasing its lifetime and durability. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about wrestling the wind when attempting to shut your door. With an outward opening door, you also run the chances of winding up on America’s Funniest Videos due to the wind grasping the door when attempting to open, sending you and the door flying. Other problems that arise with outward opening residential doors include the inability to install a screen door and the fact that heavy snowfall could easily pile up against the door, ultimately leaving you trapped inside your own home….. Snow Day!
Look at what the wind did to this fellow Ohioan.
Safety is the number one priority
After seeing the advantages and disadvantages of inward opening doors, you’re probably wondering why don’t ALL public building doors open outwards?
Public buildings bear the same security concerns that homes do, but have a distinct difference. Unlike private homes, public buildings usually have a lot of foot traffic. Required by law, public building exits must open outwards. The idea behind these doors is to flow with the direction of an escaping crowd during an emergency. Next time you leave a public building, pay attention to the wide “panic bars” and how easy they are to use as opposed to a doorknob or handle.
(Not So) Fun Fact: Panic bars came in existence as a result of the Victoria Hall Disaster, where 183 children died in a stampede to redeem their free toys.
Since public doors naturally expose their hinges, engineers cleverly designed them with concealed or protected hinges, lowering the risk of them being tampered with. These doors may cost an arm and a leg especially when considering installation and repair costs but are definitely worth it for commercial buildings and not so worth it for your home.
Something as simple as a door has required incredible ingenuity and quality of thought over the years to reach its optimal design; we so often take this for granted or may not even bat an eye.
These series of blogs are going to tackle the ingenious construction designs and products that we interact with every day but go unnoticed daily.
Stay tuned for more fun construction history and fun facts that shape the world we live in today.
Do YOU have an interesting construction history fun fact??? Please drop a comment to be featured in our next blog!