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Monday, February 19, 2018
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"So...How Do I Breathe In Your Safe Room?"


According to mental health professionals claustrophobia is experienced by about 1 in 10 people. For those afflicted, stepping inside a safe room or climbing down into a storm shelter can be a traumatic experience in itself. Claustrophobic people are pretty easy to identify, and they always ask the same two questions:

1. How do I get out?

2. How do I breathe?


Enough Air For You and 23 of Your Friends.

Our safe room includes an unblockable, debris-protected and hidden fresh air opening that when summed up is about the same diameter as a basketball! Most people can't find it, but it's there...built in to the door design of every safe room.

With an opening that large, no one inside has to worry about running out of oxygen or taking turns breathing. Our design provides enough continuous air supply for 24 people just in the door alone. 

Plus, the door invalidates the need for the "cross-ventilation" touted by many as a good feature in safe room design. Do you really want to be sand-blasted inside your safe room with 250 mph cross-ventilation air flow? We think not.



How It Works

Our door and door frame design includes flanges that point in opposite directions. The door flange turns inward toward the safe room, and the door frame flange extends outward toward the door. The door is wider than the opening in the door frame. When closed those two flanges overlap, with the door flange covering the door frame flange all the way around the perimeter. 



The Secret of "Air" Success

We've engineered the door hinges and latch points to position the door over the frame so that the fit maintains a 1/4 inch gap between the door flange and the door frame flange all the way around the door. The total area of that small gap, plus a small shielded perforated grid in the lower part of the door, when added all together equals an opening roughly the same area as the cross section a basketball.

The shielded and perforated grid referred to above was included in the door design specifically for people with claustrophobia. We've found claustrophobic people find comfort in being able to see something that actually looks like an air vent, and the perforated grid fills the bill. The grid itself provides only enough air opening area for about four occupants. It's primary purpose is to reduce the anxiety of being in a confined space.


Air can flow freely through the tortuous path between the flanges but debris can't.


A Final Word About Ventilation

One other question we hear about our door is "Won't the tornado's suction just rip the door off the safe room?" Not even close. First, the typical pressure drop in a tornado's vortex is only about 10% below the surrounding atmospheric pressure. In everyday terms, that's only about 1.4 psi pressure drop...not much...and that happens over a minute or more as the tornado passes slowly by. With a ventilation area approximately equal to a hole the size of a basketball, air will flow freely in and out around the door, and the pressure inside and outside the safe room will reach equilibrium in a fraction of a second. If the pressure is the same on both sides of the door, there is no outward force trying to push or pull it open. So breathe easy, you're safe!


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