When severe weather threatens, individuals and families
need advance warning and protection from the dangerous forces of extreme winds
and life threatening events. Individuals and communities in high-risk tornado
and hurricane areas need structurally sound shelters and early alert systems.
general, residential safe rooms may be built onsite, in a new or existing home,
or may be manufactured units delivered to the site and installed. A safe room
may be built or installed anywhere in a house with a sound concrete foundation
for anchoring. For maximum strenght against high winds, it must be a "room
within a room" (a self supporting structure). It's walls, ceiling, and floor
must be structurally separate from the rest of the house or building so that even
if the surrounding structure is destroyed, the safe room will be left intact.
If design, construction and anchoring is done correctly, the results after a direct
hit from a larger tornado should look like the photos below. It's obvious from
the pictures below, one can clearly see that both of these strutures have done
there duty, and performed structuraly exactly what they were designed for.
photo) Tuscaloosa, AL January 11,2001 -- This vault is all that remains of a bank
that took a direct hit from an F-4 tornado that hit Tuscaloosa in December. The
vault is an excellent visual image of how a safe room in your home is designed
to work. Photo by Jason Pack/ FEMA News Photo
right) In this May 26,, 2011, photo, a safe room is one of the few things remaining
in Piedmont, Okla., after a deadly tornado moved through the Falcon Lake neighborhood.AP
In the event of severe weather, the occupants
of a house equipped with an internal safe room is able reach the shelter without
having to leave the house and risk exposure to high winds, flying debris, lightning,
or other storm conditions. For those reasons, the occupants of a house equipped
with an internal safe room are more likely to protect themselves adequately.
are examples of what are called 'pre-construction' or 'drop in safe rooms. These
units may be integrated into the floorplans of new construction. All electrical
and A/C and heating ducting are figured into the design. This type of structure
will look like a normal closet when finished out. Whether it be a simple safe
room equipped with a FEMA 320 rated door, or firerated with a vault door, it'
just a matter of adopting the design to fit the individuals needs.
As weather patterns change, an increasing number of homeowners
are building safe rooms to protect their families from the extreme wind events,
and personal safety.
Having a secure room in a home can provide a family
a place to go when severe weather hits, and also provide a place to secure valuables
and keep any number and type of firearms out of site from curious eyes.
specializes in custom sizes and can build a safe room or security vault to fit
into an existing space, in a existing home or business. Safe rooms and Vaults
must be anchored to a sound concrete slab to provide FEMA rated high wind protection.
This is achieved by using high strength wedge type anchors along the bottom anchoring
flange along to bottom of each safe room and vault.
safe rooms are generally equipped with 3 heavy duty ball bearing hinges with commercial
grade deadbolts (2 or 3 that are keyed alike) or internal sliders and one commercial
locking entry handle.
vault door like the one pictured above may be added to any of our safe rooms and
vaults. All of our doors have an internal release, including vault doors. We can
also install electric keypad locks or specialty locks to our entry devices that
may be installed in our saferoom doors.For our
safe rooms and vaults, electrical outlets, lighting, secure venting, communication
line conduits, and other types of options may be added at customers request. Venting
may also be put into the door for more air flow if needed.
Our drop-in safe rooms are generally installed using 6 ton
machinery skates (3) giving the installation process a low foot print. No scarring
is evident after the Installation which only takes only a few hrs on a new slab
if access is permitting. A crane or boom truck is only used where location and
/ or access is an issue. This keeps the cost of installation to a minimum.
bolt together systems may be designed and built for a larger building or designated
area of your home or business. The height of our vaults usually have a minimum
6" drop down.
valuables or guns need secure storage, a customized vault door may be added to
the inside of the room like the one below along with furring strips to attach
UL fire rated sheetrock to. We also may use ceramic fiber in some of the vaults
more media and higher fire ratings.
The nice thing about the modular units
is that once purchased it may be taken with you (re-locatable). So if you ever
decide to relocate, you can grab a few friends and break it down, transport it,
the build it in its new location. We can do this work for you also for a fee and
is rated on mileage.
The ability to re-locate a vault is great for businesses
that have a lease on a building. Since all the connections are done from with
in the structure using 1/2" bolts, there is no need for welding, just a few
picture above shows a pre-built drop-in security vault for sensitive electronic
safe room above has an electronic keypad and three deadbolts.
of our safe rooms and vaults are built to the specific size and security needs
of the customer. Whether it's a standard wind rated safe room or a vault for guns
or valuables we can design and construct a room that will fit your needs.
on the side of the one pictured directly above is for greater lateral and horizontal
loads that may be applied during extreme wind events. The tubing is welded to
the plate steel, thus strengthening the room for maximum protection. Kind of like
a additional protective cage.
Not all safe room companies do this, but we
think it helps the overall design. If smooth outside walls are desired, where
the exterior of the vault wll be seen, garage, warehouse, etc., the tubing may
be placed on the inside.
Sheetrock may also be attached to the inside or
outside of the shelter using these structural 'ribs' to attach to. They are usually
space 24" @ center horizontally where possible.
an example of a 7.62 NATO round shot multiple times against ballistic armor.
can manufacture doors and safe rooms with this material. For commercial applications
a non-ricochet material is used. This type of hardened steel plate has excellent
anti-drill properties and is very tough against many hostile intrusion and forced
Individuals and communities in high-risk tornado and hurricane
areas need structurally sound shelters and early alert systems. A small interior
room above grade is the best location for a safe room. Safe rooms are often used
for other non-emergency purposes. Bathrooms and large closets are a frequent choice.
Because warning times for tornadoes can be very short, quick access to the safe
room is important in choosing location. If the owners have any special accessibility
needs these should be considered in the location and design of the safe room.
TO BE AWARE OF DURING SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS
to changing weather conditions.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial
radio or television newscasts for the latest information. Look for approaching
Look for the following danger signs:
Dark, often greenish
Large hail A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If you see approaching storms
or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
safe rooms built primarily protect personel from dangerous weather events, the
best protection from severe weather is to pay attention the conditions, keep a
'heads up' and pay attention to your local meterologists and news stations. Tornadoes
may form rather quickly when the conditions are right, giving you less than ample
warning and catching families off guard. Be aware of rain wrapped tornadoes which
are almost impossible to see. Using your smart phone or the internet to access
doppler radar sites is also a great tool.
ROOMS AND PRODUCTS:
Our stand alone safe rooms for new construction
may be manufactured to the size of the closet or room of new, or exsting home.
If your in the process of building a home we can design our safe rooms around
your floorplan design. It is always more cost effective to build a drop-in safe
room other than a modulare one. The build time is generally 40% faster for a drop-in
as compared to a modular system. This is due to the labor invoved in designing
and constructing the connections.
For better quality control of the products
we design and manufacture, RhinoVault fabricates its own safe room doors, safe
rooms and vault products in our own facility. From there we can either ship the
units crated or palleted, or as in many cases as a kit. We also have installation
crews that may travel to install in many areas of the United States.
PROTECTIVE SAFE ROOMS (PANIC ROOMS).
protection against firearms ous safe rooms may be built out of ballistic rated
panels or armor hardplate for resistance against both low and high caliber projectiles.
This type of safe room is used primarily against forced entry and may use existing
wall studs to attach security panels to. The difference between this type of safe
room and the ones described above is that this type of safe room is not designed
for wind. Although a safe room can be designed for both wind and entry protection,
the design for just entry and firearms may be different.
picture on the left, show a safe room that was built onto the concrete slab prior
to the framing of the house. After the all the home interior finishing was completed
we installed a secure door that was designed to fit into the opening and wall
Remember to use a good door for the opening of your safe rooms.
Check the thickness of the skins and total weight of the doors before you order.
The heavier the better. Don't make the opening of your safe room the weak link.
an 8,000 lb. safe room / walk-in vault is achieved by a few people and machinery
skates located on three points under the shelter. The cord on the door is an extension
cord that is plugged into a wall oulet for the lighting until it is hardwired
in to the building.
Lighting and electrical are included in most of our
safe rooms and vaults.
Once the anchoring of the structure is finished,
these safe rooms and vaults are ready for use.
Many of our doors are custom
built for asthetics. Wood overlay and taller 8ft doors may be constucted to match
the existing design of the home.
windstorms in many parts of the country pose a serious threat to buildings and
their occupants. Your residence may be built “to code,” but that does not mean
it can withstand winds from extreme events such as tornadoes and major hurricanes."
you know the weather conditions are ripe for severe weather, make it a household
rule to tune in to your local radio or tv station. Severe weather can turn deadly
in minutes. Track the direction of the storm and make a plan for your family.
Remember to keep batteries up in your flashlight and if you can purchase a NOAA
radio. Check Radio Shack or Walmart . It's a great investment.
your are in the following:
(e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping
center, high-rise building)
to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar,
or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an
interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners,
windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and
the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and
neck. Do not open windows.
vehicle, trailer, or mobile home
out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm
shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
outside with no shelter
flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware
of the potential for flooding. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are
safer in a low, flat location. Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested
areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities
Natural gas leaks and explosions are
responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters. It is vital
that all household members know how to shut off natural gas.
there are different gas shut-off procedures for different gas meter configurations,
it is important to contact your local gas company for guidance on preparation
and response regarding gas appliances and gas service to your home.
When you learn the proper shut-off procedure for your meter, share the information
with everyone in your household.
Be sure not to actually turn
off the gas when practicing the proper gas shut-off procedure. If you smell gas
or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly.
Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company
from a neighbor’s home.
CAUTION - If you turn off the gas
for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to
turn the gas back on yourself.
Extreme windstorms in many
parts of the country pose a serious threat to buildings and their occupants. Your
residence may be built “to code,” but that does not mean it can withstand winds
from extreme events such as tornadoes and major hurricanes.
purpose of a safe room or a wind shelter is to provide a space where you and your
family can seek refuge that provides a high level of protection. You can build
a safe room in one of several places in your home.
-A top a concrete slab-on-grade foundation or garage
-An interior room on the first floor.
Safe rooms built below ground level provide the greatest protection, but a safe
room built in a first-floor interior room also can provide the necessary protection.
Below-ground safe rooms must be designed to avoid accumulating water during the
heavy rains that often accompany severe windstorms.
its occupants, a safe room must be built to withstand high winds and flying debris,
even if the rest of the residence is severely damaged or destroyed.
Consider the following when building a safe room:
safe room must be adequately anchored to resist overturning and uplift.
The walls, ceiling, and door of the shelter must withstand wind pressure and resist
penetration by windborne objects and falling debris.
between all parts of the safe room must be strong enough to resist the wind.
of either interior or exterior residence walls that are used as walls of the safe
room, must be separated from the structure of the residence so that damage to
the residence will not cause damage to the safe room.
Your Risk And Have A Safe Place To Go…
with time to get there when severe weather threatens, individuals and families
need advance warning and protection from the dangerous forces of extreme winds.
Individuals and communities in high-risk tornado and hurricane areas need structurally
sound shelters and early alert systems.