The majority of the houses, at present, have in-swing doors as they are considered to be safer and more convenient than an exterior outswing door. But, the outward-swinging door isn’t extinct. In fact, you can still find quite a lot of them in old residential areas, and most of the commercial buildings make use of them too.
One of the reasons working in its favor might be that an outswing swinging door is believed to be more durable and better at keeping water and air leaks at bay. It also saves more space, and you get a roomier interior, as well as prevents dust from outside rushing in as soon as you open the door.
So durability, spaciousness, and cleanliness are some factors working for an outswinging door, while one of the major reasons behind its dip in popularity is a security concern. But are outswing doors really not as safe as people tend to believe? If yes, then how to make them more secure?
These are the questions we will be learning answers to right here right now! Read on…
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Are Outswing Doors Safe?
- How Do I Secure my Outswing Door?
- How Do You Lock a Door That Opens Outwards?
Are Outswing Doors Safe?
While outswing doors do present more of a challenge when it comes to ensuring safety according to common perception, they aren’t that vulnerable. I mean, if they had no merit at all, why would people still be using them?
Changing doors isn’t that difficult with the help of a professional. But given the fact that outswing doors, though seen less frequently than inward swinging ones, aren’t uncommon at all, we can safely assume that they aren’t without their own set of benefits.
Some might even hold the opinion that outward swinging doors are actually the safer option! Well, if you think about it, they are impossible to kick in like inward swinging doors and difficult to yank out as well. Moreover, they allow more people to safely get out in cases of emergency and allow more room for moving in and out in general.
As for the concerns like exposed hinges, they might have been a serious issue in the past, but now there are numerous tools one can use to secure them. And just like this, there is a solution for each of your concerns regarding how secure outswing doors are.
How Do I Secure my Outswing Door?
So what exactly are the measures you can take to secure your outswing door? There are dozens, really, but for now, let’s take a look at 7 of the most common and feasible ones.
1. Secure the Hinges
As we already know, exposed hinges are considered to be the Achilles’ Heel of outswing doors, but there are many ways to secure the hinges and avoid them from getting tampered with. One of these methods is to use a hinge protector that won’t give away even if an intruder tries to cut the visible part of the hinges. It effectively prevents unsolicited entry by keeping the door in place.
You can also use special security hinges to secure your outswing door. These hinges include:
- Continuous Hinges
These cover the entire gap between the door and the frame, leaving no gap. So if you have to go through it without a proper key, you will have cut the entire door length and which intruder has so much time on their hands? Continuous hinges are also known as piano hinges because of their design.
- Stud Hinges
These come with built-in studs that keep the doors in place even if the hinge pins are removed. This happens because the stud hinges lock the leaves of the door together when it is closed, and so even after removing the hinge pins, leaves do not separate.
- Set Screw Hinges
These conceal the hinges when the door is closed, making it hard for anyone to remove the hinges. Set Screw hinges are always used in pairs.
2. Invest in Non-Removable Hinge Pins
Also known as fast-riveted hinges, these hinge pins have flattened ends, making them unremovable unless you cut through the door barrel. Hence they are called non-removable or crimped pins and are one of the best and easiest ways to make sure that the hinges of your outswing door do not pose a safety threat. It is a durable and relatively economical method as well.
3. Latch Guard
A latch guard is essentially a steel plate that covers the gap between the door and the jamb, making it hard for intruders to access the latch from outside. Using a latch guard is one of the most effective methods to secure an outswing door, and it doesn’t take much, just a couple of good quality screws in place, and you are ready to go.
Also though these small tools give our doors a massive security boost, they don’t take up much space at all and are wallet-friendly as well. No wonder it is one of the to-go methods when talking about door security.
4. Outswing Doors Security Bars
Security bars are common in use while securing inward swinging doors, but there are a few options that are designed specifically for outswing doors as well.
The difference between the two is that while the security bar for inswing doors are placed horizontally and supported by hook screws on both the sides, the outswing door security bar is placed perpendicular to the lock or handle of the door and supports itself up on the ground.
So anyone trying to open the door from outside will be inevitably disappointed as the door is blocked by the security bar. You can either buy a security bar from the store or DIY at home using a metal bar or even a broomstick. They just need to be longer than the width of the door. But the issue with this is making the setup secure enough. So going for a purchase might still be the best option!
5. Door Barricade
Though door barricades are extremely reliable and boost the safety factor by a lot, you would still need to be careful while choosing one given that most of the door barricades are suitable only for inswing doors. That doesn’t mean there are none for our outswing ones! In fact, there are some pretty good options to choose from.
A door barricade designed specifically for outward swinging doors is one of the most effective tools for securing them. It has three parts (as opposed to two-part inswing door barricade), the door plate which is attached to the door, the floor plate attached to the floor, and finally, a locking handle to connect them both.
A door barricade relies on the floor’s strength to keep the door in place even under immense force. Just slide the locking handle in place, and you are all set!
6. Wide Angle Peepholes
We can’t forget the good ol’ peepholes! A wide-angle peephole can help provide a good vision range outside your door, and you can easily see people, even if they move sideways, and even what they are carrying. So from a security perspective, installing a wide-angle peephole on your door is a simple yet effective method, whether your door is an inswing or outswing one.
7. Security Camera
And finally, having a security camera, though kind of expensive, is one of the most reliable and effective methods to ensure security. No matter what kind of house do you live in or what kind of door you use, if someone sees that you have a security camera, they are much less likely to stir up trouble.
How Do You Lock a Door That Opens Outwards?
When it comes to locking an outward swinging door, things aren’t much different than what you would do with an inward swinging one. The basic mechanism might be different, but at the end of the day, both the doors can be locked using deadbolts and other common locks. However, there are also a few special locks that can be used on outswing doors.
1. Teacher Lock
A teacher lock is really easy to use while being secure. It is mounted directly on the door and can be locked from the inside or outside, in case of an emergency. A teacher lock is fairly easy to put into place as well as to release with just the press of a button.
2. Straight handle lock or Patlock
This one might be perfect for you if you have outward swinging French doors (or simply double doors) with straight handles. You can use a Patlock (straight handle lock) to lock both the handles together, making it impossible to turn and remove the latch. It is pretty easy and convenient to use and ensures that your doors are properly locked into place.
Outswing doors are more secure than most people give them credit for, but that doesn’t mean they have no room for improvement. Thankfully there are a lot of easy and effective methods you can use to amp up the security factor of your outswing door. This includes securing the hinges that are exposed when the door is closed and using a latch guard to fill in the gaps.
You can also make use of security bars and door barricades for extra safety and use special locks to keep the door in place. In the end, everything comes down to your choices and initiative. Stay safe!