Why do doors in different countries open in different directions? At least in USA doors open towards the inside, whereas in Finland they open to the outside?

Common sense suggests that doors that open outside are a lot harder to kick open, since it would be the frame of the door that absorbs the hit, in addition to any locks and bolts that might be present. Whereas door that open to the inside would have to rely on the bolts alone. Now, that may or may not be relevant to everyday-situations but still.

Is there any reason, historical or otherwise why doors open the way they do?


dr witmol said...

My front door opens inwards. You could say that a door opening outwards is harder to kick in but I don't think that was the main consideration with regard to whichever direction it opens. Maybe it's a case of it being easier to invite someone in if you move back within your house holding the door from the inside to let them through.

However, my parents had two doors, a screen door and a wooden front door. The screen door was so you could open the front door to let the breeze through without letting all the flies in. The screen door opened outwards and the front door opened inwards.

Janne said...

I actually heard an explanation that might actually make some sense. As you might remember from your visit, we usually have a tiny room (more like an airlock) between the front-door and the actual apartment itself. Idea being that when you open the outside-door, cold air wont come rushing in to the house. Now, if the door opened inside, it would be inconvenient, since there might not be enough room for that door to open properly.

Anonymous said...

Another thing to consider is security regarding hinges. If the hinges are on the outside they can easily be popped and the door completely removed in a matter of seconds with no tools other than a flat-head screwdriver.

Janne said...

True, the hinges are accessible, but doors are usually security-hardened here. The doors have bolts that go in to the door-frame when the door is closed, so it's not possible to lift the door from the door-frame even if the hinges have been compromised.