How To Be Safer in a Safe-Room

Optional Box SeatEvery home should have a safe-room inside or on the premises where people can go to in times of crisis. Whether it’s a storm or a home invasion situation the worst feeling in the word is feeling unprepared and helpless. Fortunately you don’t have to wait around for trouble to come your way, by investing in a safety room you can ensure that you have somewhere to turn when trouble rears its ugly face.


As you start looking at safety rooms and storm shelters you’ll quickly learn that they can be much more than just four sturdy walls plus a roof and floor. Depending on the type of danger you’re planning for, you can equip these rooms with a wide range of features to provide you with extra safety, comfort and peace of mind. Here are some of the most effective safety room features to look for:

At Huntsville Storm shelters: Rhodes Construction we have standard sizes and custom sizes for all your needs. Call us 256-464-3736

Storage Space


It’s always good to have your room well stocked with a variety of supplies. Food and water are important, and a first aid kit filled with the medication your family needs might save lives. Once you stock up on whatever you need the question becomes where you’ll store it.

The difficulty is managing the limited space available. These rooms can get crowded so you’re quickly left without floor space. The temptation then is storing things high on shelves but if there’s an tornado or a similar disturbance you might have falling supplies that can cause further injury. That’s why there are designs that take this into account, which include storage spaces that can be safely secured like cabinets with strong latches.


Cameras and Displays


While there is comfort in being safe within your shelter there’s still the stress that comes from feeling trapped, or simply dealing with the unknown right outside your door. This is an especially difficult problem if you’re in a panic room during a potential break-in. No one wants to feel like a hostage in their own home, blind to the world outside. That’s why people install camera systems that allow them to keep track of what’s happening outside from the comfort of their safety room. It may costs more than a basic model but for many it’s a worthwhile investment.


Power Source


In case of an emergency you have to account for the fact that you may lose power. There are a few different ways to get around this problem, you can use battery operated devices and keep extras in your safe-room or invest in some sort of built in power source. This can be anything from a generator to a battery charger depending on how much you want to spend and how much power you think you’ll need. Just remember that you want to discuss these options with the people installing your room rather than putting one in later without their input because many power options can become health hazards in the wrong environment.




Another safe-room feature that’s in high demand in sound-proof insulation. You don’t want any intruders to hear you inside your room and there’s little good that can come from allowing criminals to communicate with you and your family. Insulation that keeps sounds from going in or out will allow you to communicate in peace with your family and the local authorities.


Ventilation Systems


If you’re going to be locked down in a room for an extended period of time it’s important that the air inside is properly ventilated. Too many people forget this and end up trapping themselves without a proper air supply. Well-built shelters allow air to flow in and a fan that can keep air flowing throughout the shelter. The vents should also have debris covers that will protect them from being blocked.


Debris Lift


Many people are afraid to purchase an underground shelter because of the possibility that they will be trapped underground by debris. This isn’t a fear that should be discounted but it can be dealt with through engineering. Hydraulic lifts or jacks can be built into your shelter that will help get rid of debris that lands on top of your shelter so that you can get out from underneath. Options vary based on cost and the weight that can be lifted but it’s a worthwhile investment if you’re looking to build your shelter underground.


Balancing Budgetary and Safety Concerns


In an ideal world every safe room would come fully equipped with all of the top of the line safety features you could ask for. In reality you have to deal with the fact that all of these features cost money, and when you add in the cost of the room itself and the labor needed to install everything you are looking at spending a decent amount of money.


Only you can decide what you need to spend to feel safe. You have to compare the risks you are likely to face with the costs of each individual feature. In the end you might have to settle for a little less than what’s ideal but as long as you have the basics of safety covered you’ll likely do just fine. The important thing is that simply having a safe room leaves you incredibly safer than you would be otherwise, even if it’s just equipped with the basics.

All Rhodes Construction Safe Rooms are 1/4 inch Steel. They Meet and exceed FEMA 320/361 and ICC-500 guidelines. Call (256) 464-3736 or come in to see our line up of storm shelters