Does a Kitchen Need an External Door?

Photo from Wayfair

A door leading to the outside is not necessary for kitchens. The home ought to have a number of different entries or exits that are equipped with fire-resistant doors. Such doors may also be installed in other areas of the house, making it accessible to the kitchen from those locations. This is a significant fact to keep in mind, as it is still crucial to have appropriate kinds of egress installed all over the property. The heightened potential for a kitchen fire is the primary factor that leads to this room not being required to have an exterior door. But if there are sprinkler systems put in the kitchen, the exit must be located elsewhere because there is a chance of a fire occurring there.

What are the Benefits of Having an Exit Door for the Kitchen?

In order to understand the drawbacks of having an exit door for the kitchen, we have rounded up the reasons why you should reconsider. It is important to know how it works and in which situations would it benefit you and the household the most. 

Access to Exterior Spaces

If the kitchen door is just yet another external door, then it does give an additional informal exit option in the case of emergency or even for normal movement to and from the house. If the kitchen door is not some other external door, then it does not. When having summertime lunches with family members and friends, having a kitchen that opens onto the garden can be a convenient way to get snacks and drinks outside for the occasion.

Alleviating Temperature

If you’re using the burner and the stove, the temperature in the kitchen can quickly rise to uncomfortable levels, particularly during the warm months.  It would be wonderful if the kitchen had a door that led to an outside space that could be opened to bring in a refreshing airflow and help shift the heated air that was trapped inside.

Improving Air Circulation

The kitchen will benefit greatly from having natural light and ventilation if you install a door in the space. Cooking creates a lot of oily and pungent odors that are present in kitchens. If the kitchen is the gathering place for your household on a regular basis, having a door that can be opened to the outside can assist to enhance the quality of the air, which is always a plus.

Why are Doors Not Needed for Kitchens?

As much as it helps with accessibility, there are also a variety of reasons why doors are not necessary for a kitchen. Some people would think it would benefit the users of the house considering how groceries can be easily transported to the house and waste out of the house. But, there are a variety of considerations as to why a door is not necessary. We have rounded up a list of all the factors that will help you understand why doors are not needed for kitchens. 

Difficult Access to Other Rooms

You must be aware that a means of escape from a burning building is considered during the construction of a house. This indicates that you do not want a scenario in which one of the principal exits throughout a fire is situated in one of the riskiest areas of the house. Because of the high risk of fire in the kitchen, there should not be the possibility of having an exterior entrance there. It is a bit more prudent to keep it close by but outside of the kitchen as it is more convenient.

In the event of a fire, there is a greater risk of the fire starting in the kitchen, which could leave the exit inaccessible from the rest of the room. In the event that there is a fire in the kitchen, it is not uncommon for individuals to become trapped in adjacent rooms. Because of this, having an exterior door in the kitchen is not a beneficial feature. It is preferable to have it located in a different room that people can readily access without being required to travel through the rest of the kitchen.

Risk of Fire

Inside the kitchen, the elevated risk of a fire is the primary excuse for not wanting exterior access. There are numerous items in the kitchen that have the potential to cause a fire. It is not suggested to get one of your outdoor exits in the kitchen since it could become inaccessible to certain other areas of the room if a fire starts. As a result, the kitchen should have an interior door that leads to an exterior exit in a nearby space. 

Everyone in the house could get out without having to go through a fire in order to do so. This is all about protection and safety, which is why you won’t find an exterior doorway in the kitchen in most houses. The majority of the time, it’ll be close by, but not in the kitchen itself. Suppose you wish to put an exterior door in your kitchen. If this is the case, you’ll need to install a sprinkler system. In the event of a kitchen fire, it will serve as a support system.

Building Code

In the majority of countries, there are restrictions that mandate there should not be an exterior entrance in the area designated as the kitchen. When it comes to preparing an exit route during a fire, it is just neither useful nor safe to do so. This does not mean that you are not permitted to provide an external door there; rather, there are several requirements that must be met in order for you to do so.

It is acceptable to install a door leading outside into the kitchen provided that there is a sprinkler system installed anywhere along with the ceiling in the event that there is a fire. You will be allowed to proceed with the installation of the exterior door if you adhere to these prerequisites. Despite this, it is still a good idea to consider positioning the entrance leading outside some distance from the kitchen. In the event of a fire, it will allow it much simpler to evacuate the home.

What Makes Egress Doors and Exterior Doors Different?

We believe it is essential to point out that there is a distinction here between an exterior door and an egress door. You are permitted to have more than one door leading outside, and only one of them requires to fulfill the requirements of an egress door in order to guarantee a secure exit in the event of a crisis.

You are allowed to have even more than one escape door in your home, and you do not necessarily have to change all of your external doors to be egress doors. The bare minimum is one, though. You almost probably have an entrance door that serves the dual purpose of being both an entrance and an exit to the building.

Consequently, unless such specifics of your layout necessitate the installation of an additional egress door, putting in an egress or just an external door in the kitchen is a decision that you get to make on your own time and is not a prerequisite.

If You Have a Door, How Should it Swing?

Aside from what I’ve already indicated about doors at the top of stairs, the International Residential Code does not include any standards for the swing aspect of an egress door. This rule applies not only to doors that lead to the exterior but to all doors that lead outside; they must not open out across staircases. Nevertheless, there are numerous benefits as well as drawbacks connected to each egress door swinging motion. These positives and negatives are going to be the subject of an entire piece that I will be writing and sharing very soon.