Is Putting a Man Door on Your Garage Door Safe?

Garage Door Installation, Repairs & parts in Kent, Washington

A man door, also known as a pedestrian door, is usually a swing-style door placed inside a garage door as an additional entry point. This door is intended to allow easy access for people to walk through the garage without the need to open the entire garage door.

This is often very common in industrial and commercial businesses; however, it is becoming a lot more common in residential homes. If you are wondering if this is a safe option for your home, this article will help by listing the pros and cons and safety measures to consider.


  • Convenience – Instead of waiting for the entire garage door to roll up every time you need to leave, having a traditional man-sized door can help with convenience and time. It is also beneficial to avoid dredging in trash cans through the whole garage or anything else that is unsanitary or wet. 
  • Better for emergencies or prolonged power outages –  In case of an emergency, when you need to quickly vacate your property or cannot rely on the electric garage opener, having a man door allows for a quicker exit. Provides increased safety and ensures you’ll be able to get in and out of the garage when needed.
  • Less wear on garage door – Being able to walk in and out of a swing door and avoiding the opening of the entire garage door, can help prolong the life of your garage door opener and remote.
  • More privacy– If you’re concerned about others being able to see into your whole garage, it helps to have a smaller access point than the entire rolling door opening every time you enter or exit.


  • Additional cost– The cost of adding in one of these doors and a special safety system required to go along with it is a factor that definitely needs to be considered.  
  • Less energy efficient– The more openings you put into a garage door, the less energy efficient it will be, allowing more airflow to come through. Quality sealing is important to prevent this.
  • Limited compatible door styles– Some garage doors may not be large enough to fit a man door, or some pre-existing patterns may make it difficult to blend in or select a compatible style.
  • Possible damage – It has been common to experience serious damage to the electric garage door when trying to open the door while the man door is left slightly open. It is important to make sure the pedestrian door is permanently properly closed.

Safety Concerns

  1. Door width – It would be wise to make sure the man door is wide enough (recommendations of at least 35 inches) to be wheelchair accessible. This will also allow more space when entering the door while bringing in outside items.
  2. Door thresholds – Pedestrian door thresholds should be no more than three-quarters of an inch for high exterior doors and no more than half an inch for interior doors to allow access to wheelchairs or any walking/transportation aids.
  3. Pedestrian door motion detectors – These will come in handy to ensure that children and pets are safe inside by being notified when a door is being opened.
  4. Safety precautions-As mentioned earlier, to prevent serious damage to the garage door and yourself, always make sure the man door is fully closed before using the electric opener for the garage door.

If this is the right option for your home, hire a professional to make sure it is done properly.

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