The Swinging Life of Doors

February 2, 2009 at 6:06 am | Posted in Swingin' Doors | 3 Comments

Dear Mr. Answers,
Why do residential doors open inward, and the doors of businesses open out? — Sam

Dear Sam:

I actually thought about this one just now while showering. (At this time Mr. Answers formally requests that each and every one of his readers stop imagining him naked and wet. Seriously, people. Stop it. I mean it. I won’t have it.)

Here’s my vote on the door question: What do you do at the door of a residence? You knock and then stand there. What would happen if that door then opened outward? You’d get hit by it. So doors of homes must open inward.

What do you do at the door of a business? You walk right in without knocking. But if that door opened inward, it could hit someone inside the room. So doors of businesses must open outward.

Thankya. thangyaverymuch. Now send me money.



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  1. omigosh! I didnt even notice there was a difference! and that answer mr shore, made perfect sense

  2. Honestly, I wasn’t imagining you naked and wet.. instead I was picturing something more astounding.. you thinking!

    Nah, couldn’t happen


    I’m a big fan of the absence of mental activity myself so I’m with you Shore.

  3. I think the official answer is that doors on commercial buildings open outward because they have to have an emergency exit that’s as quick to open as possible. That’s what my Dad used to say anyway (and he should know, bcoz he was a fire safety inspector).

    Most doors on businesses are made of glass or perspex anyway, so the problem of hitting someone inside only occurs if the person opening the door from outside is blind or not concentrating properly.

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