Safe Rooms – A Sanctuary For Your Home In Turbulent Times
Extreme weather conditions resulting from typhoons and tornadoes cause loss to life and property that is directly proportional to the severity of the winds that accompany these weather events. Almost every state in the country has experienced typhoons or tornadoes. Some are more prone to such harsh wind conditions. The one thing that is important for residents of cities that lie in such weather zones is the need to ensure the safety of their family. They provide this haven of safety for those looking for a safe space to retreat to in such emergencies.
Safe Rooms Today
Safe Rooms are vaults or rooms that are designed and constructed to withstand huge pressure; usually 250 miles per hour winds. This protects the residents of the house from forceful winds and heavy wind-blown debris.
Making Safe Rooms Solid
More often than not, solid reinforced concrete is the building material of choice for them that have the ability to withstand the fury of a Rita or a Katrina. Storm damage can often result in leaks and mildew. Solid reinforced concrete offers protections against these. It also offers protection against termites and pests.
Safe Rooms and Energy Efficiency
With energy costs ever inching northward, it makes sense to build them of solid reinforced concrete that maximizes energy efficiency by virtue of its ability to reflect light and having thermal mass.
Safe Rooms and Fire Safety
These are made of solid reinforced concrete are fire and heat resistant and provide greater levels of safety as it does not burn or bend.
Safe Rooms and Environmental Sustainability
Using poured concrete for Safe Rooms generates negligible amounts of waste, thus adding less waste to land fills. This is also a material that is readily available and does not have a long renewable process like wood.
Making Safe Rooms Functional and Aesthetic
Safe Rooms can be made of varying dimensions and poured concrete molds itself into any size or shape, thus providing limitless possibilities in design. Many people build them that can also function as closets, utility rooms or even bathrooms or wine cellars. Putting these to functional use helps maximize the use of space in homes and helps residents be more comfortable while taking shelter in such rooms as there is a sense of familiarity.
Securing your Safe Room
Once you decide to build a Safe Room in your home, it is important to keep in mind some critical points to ensure that yours is really a secure place to be in an emergency.
Ensure that you use a design and building material that will make them fire and water proof. The structure should be tested for impact resistance by firing 15 lb objects that are 2 inches by 4 inches at 100 miles per hour at walls while testing. Objects of similar dimensions should be fired at 67 miles per hour to test wind resistance of ceilings and roofs.
Safe Rooms can be in residence or in the basement. In-residence ones are favored over cellars and community shelters as they are within seconds of reach and can also be put to other daily uses.
It is critically important to ensure that the structure is free of cracks, leaks and other vulnerabilities so that it provides solid protection against floods and fire. Similarly, the ground on which the foundation is laid should be examined for soil stability and not be prone to landslides and earthquakes. A best practice for doors would be to have them mounted on solid hinges that allow it to be opened inward so that the exit is not hampered by accumulated debris outside the door. Ease of access also ensures protection from wind-blown debris. Needless to say, it should be able to withstand the pressure of strong gale force winds and heavy flying debris.
In conclusion, consult reputed and qualified experts before you begin building your home or retrofitting an existing home with a Safe Room.