Q. What happens if the house falls on the top and we can’t get out?
A. All of our shelters have ball-bearing sliding doors which allow you to roll the lids open easily instead of lifting them against debris. And in most applications, the shelters are covered and protected by a vehicle, except for two feet on the end to slide the door back. Also, The shelters are registered after installation so the emergency personnel know who has them and where you are located. Lastly, we include an 16,000lbs hydraulic jack to aid with escape in case debris is blocking the entrance.
Q. How do you breathe?
A. All of our flush-mounted models now come with our exclusive, battery operated forced-air ventilation. On our standard lid models there is an inch air gap all the way. Our shelters meet and exceed FEMA’s requirements for ventilation. In fact they have about 8 to 10 times more than required.
Q. Does the installation of your shelters harm the foundation?
A. Safe Shelters storm shelters have been installed in up to 800 homes per year since 1999 with no issue of structural damage to foundation . Our process is certified by a structural engineer to be sound.
Q. How long does it take to install?
A. Unless we hit some rock or something else that might cause a delay, it normally takes only one day.
Q. Does it make a lot of dust to install it when you jackhammer our slab?
A. There is some dust, but we do our best to minimize it. We use a water saw to cut the slabs with very minimal dust. There is some dust when mixing and applying concrete, but even then, we work to minimize the amount of dust created. We only use jackhammers if we encounter large rock below the slab.
Q. I am very claustrophobic. I don’t think I can go down into a small hole in the ground and close that door.
A. With our new forced air ventilation claustrophobia should be greatly helped or eliminated, however there are several ways to overcome most of that. First of all, be the last person in and leave the door open until you hear a tornado coming. You won’t have a problem shutting it for a few minutes. Most people feel better if they are in charge of the door. Generally speaking, people are only in their shelter about 15 minutes anyway and remember to tell your neighbors that you have a shelter and make sure you have registered it with the local authorities. We also offer a 16,000 lb. escape jack to lift any debris off of the top.
Q. Does the job leave a mess for us to clean up?
A. We train our crews to try to leave your garage cleaner than they found it and we want you to be happy with the results.
Q. Do I have to move my car out of the garage to get into my shelter?
A. No. The shelters are covered and protected by a vehicle, except for two feet on the end to slide the door back. This way you don’t have to worry about moving a vehicle when you might not have time to.
Q. Is there electrical power in these units?
A. No. But we do include a battery powered ventilator and light. We also include a battery operated weather radio with every installation. We also have a battery powered backup solution which you can add to your purchase. These battery backup units give about 1.5 hours of AC power continuously running a laptop or similar device, or they can be used to charge batteries, cell phones, or other handheld devices in the event of a longer term power outage.
Q. What are the units made out of?
A. The storm shelters are built with 10 gauge steel coated with coal tar-epoxy to prevent leaks, and 1/4 inch steel sliding lids. They include two carpeted benches.