While most new doors are designed to open inwards for security purposes, some old homes and commercial buildings still have outward swinging doors. When it comes to securing outward swinging doors, you need to be aware of the major flaws that can undermine your home security.
Even though the door frame of such doors doesn’t allow intruders to kick it open, the exterior door hinges can be tackled from the outside. All the intruders need is a screwdriver to pull out the pin and remove the entire door.
On the other hand, the door hinges for inward swinging doors cannot be accessed by anyone from the outside, so they cannot be detached or removed from the door frame.
While you can easily find an efficient door lock for inward swinging doors, you don’t have many options available to safeguard an outward swinging door.
For instance, even if you don’t have a door lock for your inward opening door, with a barricade, you can effectively keep thieves out. Barricades, however, don’t work for outswing doors. So you need to look for alternative solutions. On top of that, a poor door lock won’t be effective to secure your home, regardless of the door type or the direction it opens in.
To ensure outward swinging door security, you can look into the following options:
Buy a Latch Guard
Installing latch guards is one of the most effective methods of securing an outward swinging door.
These are basically plate covers extending from the door’s outer side to prevent forced entry. Although they’re available in various sizes, they won’t harm the aesthetics of your door.
If you’re particularly concerned about not distorting the look of your door, choose a color that suits your door. While latch guards are available both for inward and outward opening doors, our focus will be on options that cater to out-swinging doors.
The most popular option for outward swinging doors includes the Defender Security U 9500 Latch guard, which is a tough item made from heavy-duty stainless steel. It’s also one of the most flexible options that can be used for commercial, residential and industrial outward swinging doors.
Installing this latch guard shouldn’t take more than a few minutes because the package includes the fasteners and everything else required for installation. This latch guard is available in two dimensions— 3” x 11” and 3” x 7”. Both of them come with a ¼” offset.
However, it’s important to know that this product works for doors with a single handle only. If your door has a combination of a deadbolt and a knob, you can’t use this latch guard. Prime-Line, the manufacturer, provides no latch guards for a combination like this.
Install a Security Bar
Another effective way to secure an outward swinging door is to install a security bar inside.
The idea is to position a security bar perpendicularly against the door and right under the door handle. The bar prevents the door from opening if someone tries to pull open the door.
For this method, you can use a metal bar at home or even a broomstick.
All you have to do is stick them onto the doorknob and the floor using tape. However, this doesn’t offer reliable security as the tape can easily fall off or loosen. Plus, taping a broomstick every now and then can be annoying. Thus, you should opt for a professional security bar that is available on the market. These bars are more effective and reliable.
The Exit Security Single Outswing Door Bar should be a rational choice if you plan to buy a professional security bar. This security bar works by placing it in the correct position and removing it based on your requirements.
In order to install this security bar, a permanent square tube will have to be installed onto the door. For this, you will have to drill the area where the main bar and the hooks will fit.
In case you desire a padlock, you should be able to find the holes in the tips of the hooks. However, you need not worry about the installation process because the package comes with an easy-to-follow instruction manual.
You only need to drill two 5/16 holes on the door and the rest of the process is all about screwing it together. Once you’re done installing the bar, you can rest assured about the security of your front door—any unauthorized entry will need at least two trucks to break through the door.
It is a highly impressive security bar that secures an outswing door perfectly, which is why we recommend this product to all those who have a door that opens on the outside.
Tie the Door to a Heavy Object
If you don’t wish to spend on outward swinging door security, find a strong rope, a belt, or a power cord and use it to fasten the door handle with an object such as furniture that is wider and bulkier than the door itself. A work desk, a heavy table, or a closet can be considered.
However, an expert intruder may still be able to open the door if the furniture is moved and the rope is too long. Therefore, make sure that the furniture is so heavy that it can’t be moved. This can also be done by blocking the furniture with another heavy object so that pulling it becomes even more difficult.
Keep in mind that while this method can be useful, it can seriously damage your furniture if an intruder is able to move it and it falls on the floor.
Depending on where the furniture falls, it can also damage other furniture and objects such as those made from glass and the surrounding walls. Hence, if you choose this method, you will need to make arrangements to prevent all the chaos.
Don’t forget to test this method once you’ve tied the door with a piece of furniture. Tell someone in your family or a friend to try and pull the door from the outside and see how effective it seems. This should give you a clear idea about choosing the right furniture as well as the tying rope.
Use Security Hinges
Using security hinges is another way to ensure security. However, you will need to arrange for one of the following options to ensure that they can’t be removed from the outside.
Mostly used for butt hinges to lock their leaves, stud hinges enable the removal of hinge pins. However, when the door is closed, the studs will deter the door’s separation from its leaves. When you close the door, the stud of one leaf will go into the hole on another leaf. This way, if the hinge pins are removed or the barrel is cut off, the two leaves will lock into one another.
Setscrew hinges are often used in pairs on outward opening doors. Choosing this option conceals the hinges upon closing the door. This means that no one will be able to remove the hinge pins when the door is closed.
Also known as piano hinges, continuous hinges cover the entire gap between the door and its frame, leaving absolutely no room for burglars to try the hinge side. In order to break in, they will have to cut the entire door length.
There are two ways to use these. You can either use geared hinges that are linked via two gears enclosed in a casing or use pin and barrel in which the pins are enclosed in the barrel.
Non-Removable Hinge Pins
Non-removable hinge pins are also known as crimped pin fast-riveted hinges. These are often confused with setscrew hinges, but they’re different.
Non-removable hinge pins are designed in a way that will flatten the top and the bottom of the hinge pin, while setscrew hinges lock in the hinge pins. If the door is closed, the flat nature of the non-removable hinge pins makes them nonremovable.
The intruders will need to cut the door’s barrel to remove them.
Use a Door Lock Hinge Protector
Installing a door lock hinge protector is another incredibly useful strategy that makes it impossible to lift up a steel door after removing the hinge pins.
It works well with most commercial steel doors and is a simple solution that doesn’t require any adjustments such as replacing the hinge.
This means that even if an intruder is able to cut the exposed portion of the hinges, they won’t succeed in prying out the door.
Have a look at this amazing Security Door Lock Hinge Protector.
Conclusion: How to Secure an Outward Opening Door
To sum it up, outward swinging door security is typically more difficult than inward opening or sliding door security. Ideally, you should switch to an inward opening door so that you have more options when it comes to securing it. However, if that doesn’t seem feasible, trying one of the above-explained methods to ensure maximum security.
If your budget allows, you can go for options like a professional security bar or a latch guard. You can also choose one of the DIY methods mentioned above if you don’t wish to make any financial investment.
Can an exterior door swing out? Although most new doors are inward swinging to maximize security, some old homes and commercial offices still have outward swinging exterior doors.
Can you change the way a door opens? While it depends on the door type, you may still be able to change the way it opens. For this, you will need to reverse the striker plate hole by cutting the door hinge mortises on the opposite side of the door jamb. The idea is to change the doorstop from left to right-hand swing.
Are outward opening doors less secure? Yes, outward swinging doors are generally considered less secure than other door types, primarily because the security hinges are exposed to the outer side, enabling anyone from outside to manipulate them. Also, there are more locking and security options available for inward swinging doors than outward swinging ones.