When we use the term “safe room”, we have to understand that safe room ideas vary significantly mainly by function.
Banks have safe rooms, as well as many residential premises, which provide a safe place for our valuables – money, jewelry, documents, even guns. There are people who use the term “safe room” to describe a panic room and although there is a resemblance in the goal – to provide safety and protection – the two types can be very different. You may see a bunker room used as a safe room, so as you can see – safe rooms can feature a variety of ideas. We shall focus your attention on tornado safe rooms, how to build a safe room and the equipment that you need.
Safe room ideas – what is a safe room?
By definition, a safe room is a reinforced structure in a private house or a business building, designed to provide shelter from potential danger and occupants can retreat in the room in the event of thread. Safe room ideas include tornado or storm shelters, shelters that will secure the safety during an earthquake, but the general idea is that the room is to be used for a limited period of time. Many homeowners wonder if they need a safe room? Well, it depends on many factors, for example – how often tornadoes and hurricanes happen in the area where you live, what is the chance of a tornado hitting your property, etc. A safe room has to meet certain criteria and despite that we often see such rooms in movies, it doesn’t have to be a luxurious place. It has to protect you. Here are some of the most important things you need to consider if you think that you are in need of a safe room:
Location of the safe room – a major decision that you need to make is where to build your safe room. You can either build a safe room from scratch or adapt an existing structure in your home but it is best if you avoid upper floors. The garage and the basement are a better option. However, when you consider a flood thread, you should choose a location as high as possible.
Access to the safe room – you have to consider not only the location but the access to the safe room. It has to be convenient for children or disabled people. Make sure that your safe room is accessible quickly and easily. Consider the location so that you and your family members are not exposed to airborne debris while evacuating to the shelter.
Size of safe room – this is strictly individual and the size of the safe room will depend on the available space in your house, but make sure that it provides enough room for all the family members so that you feel comfortable. People who experience hurricanes and tornadoes are aware of the fact that they may spend hours or a day in a safe room.
Equipment and supply – With reference to the above, a safe room has to provide essential equipment and supply so that you can survive in an emergency situation. One of the most important things that you will need is fresh air supply. This is something that you need to consider at the planning stage. Further to that, you may want to consider an emergency exit or an egress exit in case the safe room door is blocked by debris. A first aid kit is an absolute must. Water and canned or packed food, batteries and a small radio, a flashlight – these are essential for your safe room. Consider toys or activity books for your children, a cell phone charger as well as some hygiene products. Plastic bags, toilet paper, buckets – make sure you have all of these. Sleeping bags, blankets and pillows should be included in the supply list as well as you never know how long you will need to stay in your safe room. Garage storage cabinets are a good way to organize your supplies.
Safe room ideas – underground safe room vs above ground safe room
The variety of safe room ideas features two main types – underground safe rooms and above ground safe rooms. Each of these types has its supporters but having in mind that safety is always a prime concern, we shall look at the advantages of both above ground and underground safe rooms. Either way, windows should be avoided as they are a potential thread for the safety of the people in the safety room.
Underground safe room ideas are a very popular option in private residences as you could customize your safe room in a way to provide maximum comfort. Basically, underground safe rooms resemble a bunker equipped with a security door and can be accessed from the inside of the home. The size of an underground room will depend on the plan and there are many companies which offer safe room designs suitable for underground construction. It is a good idea to trust professionals as they are acquainted with the requirements, regulations and safety standards and will offer you a construction which will keep you and your family safe. As we mentioned earlier, underground safe rooms are not recommendable for areas with potential flood danger.
Above ground safe rooms can be a freestanding structure in your yard or placed inside your home. The market offers many pre-fab options and, of course, you can have it custom built, if you wish. With above ground safe rooms you have to make sure that it is securely anchored and will withstand severe winds, hurricane or tornado. It is best if above ground safe rooms are equipped with security door which opens to the inside to prevent entrapment.