Why do home doors open inward and public doors outward?

I just noticed this today that doors in people's homes open inward, while doors to public buildings open outwards. How come ?

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Fire safety - in an emergency, you can't have a crush of people in a public building holding the doors CLOSED. In some fires with multiple fatalities, it was noticed that the dead would be literally piled up behind the fire doors.


And private home doors open inwards so that you can answer the door without striking your visitors in the face.
Also, with typical home hardware, it is easier to make an inward-opening door secure than an outward-opening door.
jtobako Kiteman7 years ago
More likely that, before air conditioning, you had a screen door and a storm door. The storm door was the solid one on the inside and had to open inward, the screen door was on the outside and opened out. You had two doors so that the cool breezes could flow threw the house and cool it off in the summer.
Kiteman jtobako7 years ago
Screen doors are not common globally (I know of no UK house with one), but inward-opening front doors are.
Actually until fairly recently 60's or so, all doors opened in. Some older commercial building still do.

Mainly for two reasons.  1.  Doors opening out had exposed hinge pins and anyone wanting to break in just had to knock out the pins to get in.  An inward door had the pins on the inside.  Burglar proof hinges where more expensive when they finally became available.  2.  High winds can catch an outward opening door and literally rip the door off it's hinges.  An inward opening door doesn't have the same problem.
Exactly correct.
M401 year ago

The police, fire dept and feds have a tough time kicking in doors that open outwards.