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Shelter Information & Frequently Asked Questions

The first thing anyone in the market for a shelter should establish is “what type of shelter am I looking for”. We basically offer every type shelter normally produced in steel and have available by special order custom sizes with any of our standard models. If you have no real preference for a shelter type, and have a garage or carport, we will always suggest the underground garage/carport shelter. The following information will explain why the underground garage/carport models are favored by the majority today, along with benefits of the other types as well.
Our exterior steel safe rooms have an excellent, user friendly design and work very well for clients who do not have a garage or carport, or those who want a shelter with more space and need to protect more people. Our flush exterior shelters are designed to be installed on flat ground and are completely underground, other than the top of the door and the air vent. Unlike most other exterior shelter designs, when installed, our shelters do not protrude out of the ground or out of the side of a hill. Our completed exterior shelter is safe, user friendly, and appealing to the eye.

The benefits are:
  1. These shelters are very spacious and roomy.
  2. The steps have hand rails, non-slip steps, and are very wide and easy to use.
  3. Unlike most other models, our designs allow the steps to each shelter to be built within the shelter frame. This does not require an extra section to be added to contain the steps as most fiberglass models require. This takes less room to install and is much lighter than most other steel models.
  4. These shelters are standard in three sizes:
    • 4’ wide x 6’ long x 6’ tall
    • 6’ wide x 8’ long x 6’ tall
    • Hillside, 4’ wide x 6’ long x 5’ tall
    • Custom sizes available upon request
    • capacity based on FEMA criteria for residential shelters of 3 sq. ft. of shelter space per person
  5. The exterior shelter has a steel flush door that is assisted with a cylinder shock. This allows the heavy steel door to be opened and closed very easy.
  6. The 6x8 shelter has seating on all four sides and the steps are in the center of the shelter. The 4x6 shelter has seating on three sides as the steps are on one of the 4’ ends of the shelter.
  7. Our exterior shelters have an excellent record against leakage. We take great precautions to avoid a leak because once installed, these shelters are not intended to be taken up for any reason. Once fabricated, every welded seam in the shelter is tested with a two-part dye process. The dye is applied to every welded seam, on both the inside and outside of the shelter, and sits for 24 hours with the dye on it. If the welds are not complete and solid, the dye turns a color in that area, telling the fabricator that the weld is not solid in that area. Once the welds are proven to be solid and consistent, the exterior coating is applied to the shelter. This is a very high tech, two-part blend of epoxy and tar. It is the best coating for metal currently available and is the exact same blend that the Army Corps of Engineers requires that submersed bridges and oil wells be covered with. This is an excellent and proven water barrier and it prevents water penetration and corrosion.
  8. The interior of our exterior shelters has a two-part finish process. Most companies simply spray an industrial grey primer on the walls of their shelters. We take it a step further and apply a second coat of white enamel paint. Not only does it look much better than a shelter with a primer finish, it is much easier to keep clean. It also brightens up the inside of the shelter, and makes it easier to see when inside it.
  9. Our exterior shelters have a 20-year warranty against leakage.
  10. The exterior shelters are installed typically in 4-5 hours and are backfilled with concrete and dirt. The shelters are held in place and anchored with 18” steel outriggers which are built on each end of every shelter. Concrete is poured around the bottom part of the shelter, to cover the outriggers. The remainder of the shelter is backfilled with dirt on site from excavation.
  11. Exterior steel shelters are built from 11-gauge steel with steel tubing reinforcements along the sides and in the floor of the shelter.
  12. Standard with battery powered fan and LED lights.
  13. Lock adaptor standard on the flush door.
  14. Tested at Texas Tech University to meet or exceed FEMA 321/360 and ICC-500 criteria.
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