Many events can take place at any time that would put us in danger. These events could be weather-related or a harmful attack on your area. In these incidents, a safe room, also known as a bunker or panic room, can help keep you and your family safe.
Many experts advise taking shelter in your basement during certain events, like tornadoes or hurricanes. However, not all homes have basements. Additionally, some basements still have windows or other openings that would make it just as dangerous as in any other area of the home. Safe rooms can help protect you from perils like broken windows, flying debris or flooding, and they can be built in a basement, in-ground or above-ground.
What Exactly Are Safe Rooms Used For?
A safe room could be beneficial to you in several situations.
- Tornadoes: Tornadoes are unpredictable and happen so quickly that you have very little time to prepare. If you have a tornado shelter readily available to you, you won’t be as stressed about finding somewhere safe and protecting yourself and your family from debris. You’ll know exactly where to go, and once you’re in the safe room, you can rest assured knowing you have a thick protection layer around you.
- Hurricanes: Unlike tornadoes, weather experts can usually predict when a hurricane will hit your area at least a few days before it actually hits. However, it may not be practical to evacuate the area or you may not have enough time to do so. Perhaps it is a weaker hurricane at only a category one or two and evacuating is unnecessary. However, the high winds of a hurricane can still pose a danger. Having a storm shelter on hand to stay in during these storms can keep you and your family safe.
- Break-ins or home invasions: A safe place you can go during these events would be helpful anywhere, but especially if you live in a high crime area. Having a place where you and your family can run to safety doesn’t prevent your home from being vandalized or ransacked for valuables, but you can keep your family out of harm’s way.
- Terror attacks: While this isn’t a problem you run across regularly, unfortunately, we could always have another event like the 9/11 attacks. If something so tragic were to happen again, you and your family could use the safe room to hide from any attack going on in your area.
Safe rooms ensure that your family has a safe place to go if anything dangerous were to happen in your area.
Safe Room Structure
Safe rooms can be added to an existing home or included in a new construction home. Additionally, pre-manufactured safe rooms are also available. Since some homes have basements and some don’t, many different designs and floor plans are available depending on where the safe room will be located.
Typically, a safe room is built on a concrete slab with reinforced concrete, reinforced concrete block or wood-framed walls with plywood and steel sheathing. The roofing of the safe room consists of similar construction, and it will be separate from the house structure. One of the few weeks points of a safe room is the door, which is why you need a special safe room door assembly that includes a strong frame and a solid door. You also want to make sure the door opens into the room or shelter rather than out in case anything blocks the exit.
The safe room is anchored down to the foundation to resist the forces generated during tornadoes and hurricanes. The exterior of the safe room will be impact-resistant to protect those people inside the safe room from any debris flying about.
While you may feel that your home is safe enough to protect you during extreme events, you shouldn’t rely on it to protect you from everything. Each year, many injuries and deaths result from catastrophic weather events. Additionally, break-ins and home invasions happen regularly, whether you hear about them or not. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates more than 1 million burglaries happened across the United States in 2019. And while terror attacks aren’t a regular occurrence, they are very real threats that could happen at any time without any warning. A safe room is built to sustain out-of-the-ordinary incidents, while your home probably isn’t.
Room Ventilation, Blast Fumes and Gases
When it comes to a safe room, some people worry about their oxygen supply and how long they can survive before they start to run out of air. However, this isn’t the main issue to worry about. You should actually be more worried about the carbon monoxide in your safe room, as it can easily build to lethal levels.
By purchasing a carbon monoxide scrubber, you can stay in your safe room for several days without ventilation. It is vital that you invest in a scrubber if you plan to use a safe room because you could be trapped in there for long periods, which isn’t something you can always predict. A safe room is tightly sealed to keep whatever is going on outside from penetrating it, which is why a carbon monoxide scrubber is essential.
Additionally, taking in additional people increases your risk of issues with carbon monoxide. While carbon monoxide is dangerous to anyone, older adults, young children and people in poor health are at a higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
A safe room can help protect your family from outside events, but you don’t want to remove people from one dangerous situation and into another. When purchasing a safe room, you must include a carbon monoxide scrubber as well.
TM International, LLC Can Help With Your Safe Room Needs
TM International, LLC is the world’s premier manufacturer for protection against pressure, blasts, debris and catastrophic events. We can help you create a safe room to protect yourself from catastrophic events at home, and we can provide your workplace with blast shields, blast mats or a safe pass — a covered tunnel that provides security-checkpoint blast protection.
In some industries, such as construction, mining, road cutting and the military, certain explosions are very common when performing everyday duties. With TM International, you can protect your workers and limit your liability exposures. Check out our gallery of some of our previous designs, as well as the resources we have available regarding these protections.
If you’re interested in providing this layer of protection for you, your family or your business, contact us to request a quote or give us a call directly at 718-842-0949. Let us help protect you today!