In many Florida homes, exterior doors open outward. The reason for this is simple: a door that swings outward is more difficult to breach during a hurricane. The door jamb on the inside provides strength to the door and will make it more difficult for a hurricane to blow debris through it. In addition, an outward-opening door will be less vulnerable to a burglary. Here are some other reasons why Florida doors open outward.
Florida’s building codes were updated following Hurricane Andrew in 1992. These hurricanes caused massive damage and left many people homeless. The revised building codes required exterior doors to open outward in order to provide protection against hurricane-force winds. In addition, the building code stipulated that impact-resistant doors be used, as they were more likely to withstand hurricane-force winds. For these reasons, Florida building codes require exterior doors to open outwards, even if they don’t need to.
In addition to the hurricane-proofing benefits, Florida homeowners need to prove that their doors can withstand the wind from hurricanes. Because Florida has no natural barriers between land and ocean, homeowners must use doors that are designed to withstand hurricane winds. And, unlike many states, Florida’s elevation is low, making it difficult for doors to be installed in homes that are not built to hurricane-resistant standards. A good way to ensure that your doors have hurricane-proof qualities is to purchase doors with Data Sheets from reputable manufacturers.