What is a Safe Room?

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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 February 2020
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A safe room is a room inside a home designed to withstand heavy winds from hurricanes or tornadoes. People inside the home can seek shelter within the safe room in order to receive protection from violent storms. The room can be built inside a basement, on a site with a concrete floor, or within a first-floor interior room.

The safest rooms are built below ground, but interior safe rooms can also provide sufficient protection during a serious windstorm. If the room is located below the ground, it should be designed so that it does not collect water that will try to enter the building during severe weather.

A safe room needs to remain intact even if other parts of the house are destroyed by strong winds. It should be firmly attached so it cannot be lifted or overturned. The ceiling, walls, and doors of the safe room must be able to stand against strong winds and objects flying through the air. The room should also not share walls with other sections of the house so that it does not suffer damage when interior and exterior parts of the home are damaged or destroyed.


Before deciding on building this particular type of room for the home, a homeowner should determine if there is a need for the structure. If a person lives in an area that is often struck by severe weather and the home does not have a safe area that can be reached quickly during a storm, she may want to add a safe room to the home. Designing such a room can offer the family protection from the devastating effects of hurricanes, tornadoes, and violent wind storms.

The cost of building a safe room within a new house varies depending on where a person lives. On average, a person living in the United States can expect to pay between $2,500 US Dollars (USD) and $6,000 USD. An existing home can have a safe room installed by adding another room or a detached room. A safe room can also be designed with a basement or garage if a proper foundation is already in place.

Homeowners skilled in construction can build their own safe rooms, but most people will need to hire an outside contractor. For those who wish to build their own rooms, they can often find pre-fabricated rooms available for purchase. Many times, safe rooms are often used for another purpose within the home. Some double as bathrooms, closets, storage spaces, or other types of rooms.


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