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The Difference Between Double Acting and Double Egress Doors

Because of the similarity in their names, how they look, and what they do, it’s easy to get double acting doors and double egress doors mixed up. While both are used in high-traffic areas to control traffic flow, they have unique features that set them apart. This makes figuring out what you need for a situation a little easier… if you know the differences, that is!

To the average person, the differences are easy to gloss over. But if you’re looking for extremely effective doors for a restaurant, hospital, or other busy location, then here’s what you need to know:

Double Acting Doors

Double acting doors, sometimes known as double-swing doors, are mainly found in restaurants, shipping facilities, loading docks, and grocery stores. You won’t find rabbets or other stops on these doors. They easily allow two-way movement as they swing in and out.

Double acting doors are often found in kitchens or grocery store storage rooms for their efficiency and ease of movement. Two-way doors allow quick movement, an absolute must in fast-paced environments. This door provides a degree of separation between rooms without impeding traffic. They’re not great for locations that need a sturdier, more secure door to better regulate traffic, however.

Double acting doors can be bought in pairs or as a single door. It all depends on the needs of the specific location and its space restrictions.

Double Egress Doors

Double egress doors, meanwhile, only allow one-way movement. The doors swing one way and one way alone. That’s why they are mostly seen in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and other buildings that need more control over traffic. They’re generally needed for safety reasons in these buildings. Also, unlike double acting doors, double egress doors are always seen in pairs. Each half allows movement in one direction.

The reason behind this? Double egress doors try to direct movement in locations prone to collisions. For example, in a hospital, no matter where you’re heading, you keep to the right of the corridor and use the right-hand door when moving between rooms. This helps prevent collisions in a location where quick movement is a necessity, especially in an emergency.

As you might expect, double egress doors contain stops and rabbets to control which direction a door swings in. No matter what direction you’re heading, though, your door will swing outwards.

It all boils down to what you need the door for. Are you coming and going in a busy kitchen? Or are you rushing through busy corridors? Each door has a function in controlling how traffic flows. It just depends on what you need it to do!

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