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Tornado Alley Armor AwesomeBlog!

Your Comprehensive Guide to Severe Weather Protection! Safe Rooms, Tornado Storm Shelters, FEMA Standards & Grant Programs, National Storm Shelter Association News, Site Selection, Installation Guides, Tips from the Pros....and more!
Leslie is the CEO and co-owner of Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms, an entrapment proof NSSA verified safe room design that delivers EF-5 tornado safety. Tornado Alley Armor offers Texas Tech Impact Tested safe rooms with proven EF-5 protection. Leslie has a background in small business, and her husband Monty is also her business partner.

Get in the Survival Zone for this season’s worst Tornadoes

Get in the Survival Zone for this season’s worst Tornadoes
Get in the survival zone and survive any storm, even EF-5 tornadoes, with a safe room from Tornado Alley Armor. Take a look at our new models and let us help you find the perfect fit for the location you want. Survive a storm and even tornadoes with Tornado Alley Armor. If you don’t have room in your garage have a look around your home and as long as it is on a standard slab foundation our safe room can be installed in any room. Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms. The leader in EF-5 tornado protection. http://www.tornadoalleyarmor.com/safe-rooms/models/239-model-14056   
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Deadly tornadoes hit the south in January

Deadly tornadoes hit the south in January
Tornadoes can spin up in any month of the year in the United States when the necessary atmospheric ingredients come together. In winter months such as January, when cold air is abundant, they are not as common, but that doesn't mean you can let your guard down. Since early morning on January 21, 2017, a preliminary 30 reports of tornadoes have been tallied up from Louisiana to southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and southern Georgia, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. A deadly EF3 tornado touched down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, early Saturday, which caused considerable damage and killed four people. Early Sunday morning, at least 12 people were killed by a likely tornado or multiple tornadoes in southern Georgia. During the 20-year period of 1996 through 2015, the first calendar month of the year has averaged about 40 tornadoes annually. It's the third-least-tornadic month, along with December and February. The number of tornadoes in January has ranged from a record 212 in 1999 to zero in 2003 and 1986. A single outbreak produced 129 of the January 1999 tornadoes during a two-day period. This year, dozens of tornadoes touched down in the South on Jan. 2. That has propelled the preliminary tornado count to 50 through the midpoint of the month, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. The deadliest January tornadoes on record both occurred in Arkansas. Fifty-five people were killed in Warren on Jan. 3, 1949, and 55 lost their lives in Fort Smith on Jan. 11, 1898. Deadly tornadoes have occurred in January in 5 of the past 10 years through 2016. While these facts may seem like a history lesson the main purpose is to reiterate that tornadoes don't wait until spring to strike. They can occur at any time of the year and you should always have a plan for safety. ...
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Do you recommend below ground storm shelters?

Do you recommend below ground storm shelters?
We recently had a customer ask us about underground tornado storm shelters. Here's our reply:   We neither recommend nor sell below ground shelters due to the many hazards they pose, such as entrapment, flooding, floating, getting hit with debris while trying to reach safety, critters, leaks....the list is quite long. Plus, from a practical standpoint if you ever move the in ground shelter isn't going with you...it stays with the new owner who won't pay you a dime extra for your investment in the shelter. Our modular design can go with you from home to home so you'll never be without a severe weather and home invasion plan again. You have the added benefit of indoor installation, keeping the unit comfortably climate controlled or at least protected from the elements while accessing it if you locate it in your garage, carport or patio. You can view our safe rooms rated for 5 occupants here. Those two models are called the Defender and the Sentry. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We're here to help. You can call toll free 855-552-7667.
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Do you have benches inside your tornado storm shelters? Where do we sit?

Do you have benches inside your tornado storm shelters? Where do we sit?
We don’t include benches in our storm shelters. The simple reason is that if you were to be sitting on a bench and leaning against the storm shelter walls when an EF-5 tornado came through your home, causing impacts against your tornado storm shelter, there would be a grave possibility of major injuries. FEMA tells us that you should not be leaning against the safe room walls during a tornado and this makes perfect sense to us. If you were sitting on a bench you would tend to lean against the storm shelter walls for back support. Those same safe room walls could take an impact causing you injuries. At Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms we recommend using folding card table chairs, bag chairs, or some other type of chair that has a back. With a chair that folds or collapses you would be able to store them inside your safe room ready to use. If you had family or neighbors visiting when the tornado sirens sound you would be able to fit more people inside your storm shelter for tornado protection. If you don’t need the extra room then the chairs would be handily available to open up and sit down on. Find more information at www.tornadoalleyarmor.com, or call us toll free at 855-552-7667.                                                                             
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Tornado Alley Armor’s safe rooms are relocatable. You can take our storm shelters with you when you move!

Tornado Alley Armor’s safe rooms are relocatable. You can take our storm shelters with you when you move!
                                      Are you considering buying a tornado storm shelter but hate the idea of having to leave your investment behind when you move? Never fear! With Tornado Alley Armor you make a LIFETIME investment. Our safe rooms are relocatable. In other words, you’ll never have to purchase another storm shelter for the rest of your life. How does it work? Well, our customers handle it a few different ways. If you DIY (Do It Yourself) to start with you’ll already know how to unassemble your safe room when it’s time to move. All you need to do it stack in on a small trailer or in the bed of a pickup truck. If you didn’t DIY but had us provide installation we are happy to come out and take it apart, stack it, drive it to your new house, and reassemble/anchor it once we arrive. The 3rd scenario we often see is customers hiring us to provide professional installation when they purchase their tornado shelter the first time and watch as it is assembled and anchored. This can help give confidence to do-it-yourself when it comes time to move. Otherwise, we are still happy to come out and take care of that for you. How much does it cost? We charge 1½ times the normal installation charge for the size safe room you have, plus any mileage if you’re outside of 50 miles from any of our showrooms. This is quite a bargain because in reality it’s two complete installations, just one of them is in reverse.  In these pictures you see an example of relocating and resizing. Oh yes, you can resize your Tornado Alley Armor safe room as well. The Dochney...
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I'm worried that I'll get trapped inside a tornado storm shelter if the door gets blocked. What can I do?

I'm worried that I'll get trapped inside a tornado storm shelter if the door gets blocked. What can I do?
Q: I’m extremely claustrophobic and am scared to get in an above ground tornado shelter or underground garage floor shelter because I’m afraid I’ll get trapped inside. What do you suggest?   A: You don’t have to worry about getting trapped inside a Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room. Even if something blocks the door, our safe rooms can be totally disassembled from the inside, rendering them guaranteed entrapment-proof regardless of door swing. We include two wrenches with every safe room, zip tied inside for emergency egress. No hydraulic jacks, no hoists, no come-alongs. If you can use a wrench to loosen a nut you can get out. You won’t have to wonder if and when someone will come along to help you from the outside. With our safe rooms you can help yourself from the inside. Plus, since it bolts together it’s totally re-locatable if you decide to move. The disassembled unit fits easily in a van, small utility trailer or pickup bed.  Questions about exactly how it works? Give us a call toll free 855-55-ARMOR or click here for even more information.  
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What is Tornado Alley? Tornado Alley interesting facts

What is Tornado Alley? Tornado Alley interesting facts
Tornado Alley is an area of the United States that is prone to experience tornadoes. Tornado Alley is also the name we at Tornado Alley Armor get called by quote often. Because our name is so long a lot of the time people leave off the word "Armor" and simply call us "Tornado Alley." Just be sure you are talking to who you think you are talking to when you make that phone call. We get called "Tornado Alley" so often that we decided you shouldn't need to add the word "Armor" when you type in our website address. You can now get to our website by typing either www.tornadoalley.com or www.tornadoalleyarmor.com. There are several other storm shelter companies out there going by Tornado Alley ... and they aren't even members in the National Storm Shelter Association. Basically, that means they aren't truly FEMA Compliant because if they were they would be allowed to join the NSSA. Be careful and make sure you are dealing directly with us and not some guy making storm shelters in his back yard with no regard for your safety.  Call 855-552-7667 (855-55-ARMOR) to speak with us directly. Or start with our home page www.tornadoalleyarmor.com.        
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Tornado Safe Rooms don't have to be boring white.... spice yours up with a custom color!

Tornado Safe Rooms don't have to be boring white.... spice yours up with a custom color!
      Heather in Parker, TX decided to have us powder coat her Rampart 7 person safe room grey. This way her tornado safe room coordinates with shelving in her garage. It was a great idea and looks wonderful in her garage. With Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms you get choices. From the size you want your safe room to be, to where you want it installed, and even with the color you want it to be. We always use powder coating to cover the steel. You don't have to worry about think coats of spray paint... our powder coating is a baked on finish that will withstand the test of time, even if you install your storm shelter outside. You can follow this link to see all the different color choices we have. Questions? Give us a call and we can help you decide which color will match the closest to your house, cabinets, favorite sports team, etc. Toll free 855-55-ARMOR.  
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DIY Do It Yourself Tornado Safe Room Customer Install

DIY Do It Yourself Tornado Safe Room Customer Install
[embed=gallery]   Before and After. We delivered the Gutierrez family their Rampart 7 person safe room. They took care of the assembly themselves, then had Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms come back to do the anchoring. You don't have to completely DIY if you're unsure about the anchoring, or simply don't have access to a rotary hammer. You can still save some cash by doing part of it yourself.   Call us toll free at 855-55-ARMOR if you have any questions. 
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Guest — DonnaHudspeth
I can find no information on tying down the structure to an existing slab. I read that a rotary hammer is used, but not anything a
Thursday, 01 December 2016 6:06 PM
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I'm looking for an above ground tornado storm shelter that I can take with me when I move. Can you help me?

I'm looking for an above ground tornado storm shelter that I can take with me when I move. Can you help me?
With Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms your storm shelter investment can travel when you do. With Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms, a couple of wrenches is all that’s needed to disassemble your tornado safe room and take it with you. The individual panels are easy to handle, easy to move, and easy to reassemble at your new home. No need for forklifts, contract labor or heavy duty trailers to move our storm shelters. And underground storm shelters…you can kiss them goodbye when you leave. Make a life-long investment in your storm shelter… a Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room.   Call us at 855-55-ARMOR or visit www.tornadoalleyarmor.com for more info!
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I see videos on tornado shelters going through impact testing, but what about going through 250+ simulated winds?

I see videos on tornado shelters going through impact testing, but what about going through 250+ simulated winds?
I see all the videos on tornado shelters going through the impact tests, but what about your storm shelter actually going through 250+ simulated winds?  Impacts are the greatest threat to your survival...small, javelin-like objects travelling at high velocity, not wind. That's why they physically check that at Texas Tech University during impact testing and not put them in a wind tunnel or drop heavy objects on them. The energy found in small missile debris is much more critical than larger, slower moving objects with much greater surface area, and certainly much more than just wind. In reality, the Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room anchor system is engineered with a safety factor of 10x the maximum wind force you'd experience in an EF5 tornado.   Follow this link for more information and to see the actual debris impact test: http://www.tornadoalleyarmor.com/f5-missile-impact-testing-at-texas-tech-university  
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How can the bolts in your bolt together tornado storm shelter actually hold together in high winds since it's not welded?

How can the bolts in your bolt together tornado storm shelter actually hold together in high winds since it's not welded?
Physics. Unlike virtually every other safe room manufacturer we use only Grade 8 hardened fasteners, much harder than standard bolts and fittings. It's the same grade of hardness used when constructing bridges and high rise buildings. They are actually much harder than the steel panels used in the safe room, and that's by design. Our panels are designed to be malleable to act like Kevlar...absorbing the energy by deflection, allowing the impact energy to be dissipated over time while the steel is deforming slightly. That's why 2x4's just bounce off our safe rooms rather than splinter into pieces....which is bad. Splintering 2x4's make great "wow" effect video, but it demonstrates the thicker, non-tempered steel has very limited malleability. If it is struck by an end-long piece of steel, like a piece of pipe or sign post, there's actually an increased likelihood it will be penetrated easier than our thinner, malleable panels because we soften the blow over time. So....the bolts will never fail before the panels because they're much harder, and the storm shelter panels won't fail because they're tempered to absorb and transfer energy with the greatest efficiency. That's the same principle used in the "crumple zone" of your car...softening the blow by extending and dissipating the impact energy over time.  
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DIY Do-It-Yourself Above Ground Safe Room Customer with Closet Installation

DIY Do-It-Yourself Above Ground Safe Room Customer with Closet Installation
We love hearing about our customer's experiences with our NSSA verified EF-5 Rated Safe Rooms. Read on to hear what Frank O. had to say about his Tornado Alley Armor DIY installation... Name Frank O Message Very nice innovative product that can be installed in a existing space within a existing home interior without any major modifications, removing walls, doors etc. I would purchase this product over a pre-constructed one piece shelter due to the options of getting out of the shelter, the fact that it can be relocated easily to another location within the residence (or moved to another residence) and even relocated/expanded in size at a later date if desired. The sales persons were very helpful, courteous and patient in assisting me with the size of the unit for my particular needs and application. The installer team did a superb job with a perfect finish product installation with no issues. They were professional, courteous, timely - it doesn't get any better than this. I thank you all for such a positive experience,     CUSTOMER RATINGS   1(worst) - 7(Best) Design and Quality  7 Price  7 Website  7 Helpful Sales Staff  7 On Time Delivery  7 Documents  7 Installer  7 Final Product  7 Support after sale  7
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What is a tornado watch?

What is a tornado watch?
Do you ever get confused when the meteorologist starts talking about tornado watches and tornado warnings? It can be hard to tell the difference if you aren't used to hearing either one mentioned. A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area. Their size can vary depending on the weather situation. They are usually issued for a duration of 4 to 8 hours. They normally are issued well in advance of the actual occurrence of severe weather. During the watch, people should review tornado safety rules and be prepared to move a place of safety if threatening weather approaches. A Tornado Watch is issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma. Prior to the issuance of a Tornado Watch, SPC will usually contact the affected local National Weather Forecast Office (NWFO) and they will discuss what their current thinking is on the weather situation. Afterwards, SPC will issue a preliminary Tornado Watch and then the affected NWFO will then adjust the watch (adding or eliminating counties/parishes) and then issue it to the public. After adjusting the watch, the NWFO will let the public know which counties are included by way of a Watch Redefining Statement. During the watch, the NWFO will keep the public informed on what is happening in the watch area and also let the public know when the watch has expired or been cancelled.  
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Do you have pictures of a safe room after a tornado? Have any of your tornado storm shelters been through a tornado?

Do you have pictures of a safe room after a tornado? Have any of your tornado storm shelters been through a tornado?
We get that question quite a bit. The short answer is none yet. We've had several near misses but no direct hits yet. However, many of the pictures you see of shelters that are in tornado debris have likely not experienced F5 forces, otherwise they're be nothing standing but the shelter and the slab. Standing walls and lots of debris indicates the forces and velocities experienced by the pictured shelter were less than F5, even though the tornado itself may have been classified as such.  It depends on exactly where the shelter was in relation to the most violent part of the funnel. Most images I've seen have standing walls and lots of debris around the safe room, indicating it was closer to the edge of the path of destruction, not the center where the most violent winds are. You can see the exact same effect with hurricanes, whether you're located to the left, right or center of the eye when it makes landfall. For that reason, although it's a valid question there is a lot more than goes into the equation rather than just a straight thumbs up or thumbs down. What you get with our safe rooms is verification that we do, in fact, meet or exceed all design and performance criteria published by FEMA, ICC-500 and the NSSA. Tornado Alley Armor is a Producer Member in the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA), meaning that all our safe rooms have been not only impact tested successfully, but also that our entire design package has passed a mandated 3rd party engineering peer review to ensure we're not cutting corners. That's why there are so relatively few members in the NSSA vs. the other organization....because the required independent peer review knocks many of them out of contention to be members...
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I can’t climb stairs anymore. Will I be able to get in your storm shelter?

I can’t climb stairs anymore. Will I be able to get in your storm shelter?
As we get older stairs get to be an issue for lots of us. It’s just a fact of life. We will all age and eventually stairs could be hard to go up and down. With Tornado Alley Armor you don’t have to worry about being able to climb down stairs into a cramped storm cellar. All of our tornado storm shelters are above ground with easy access. If you have a spot inside your home (As long as you have a standard reinforced foundation) we can even install your safe room in a closet or spare bedroom for even quicker access. If you aren’t sure where you might have room to put a tornado shelter just give us a call and we can help you figure it out. We even have a small 3 adult safe room that is only 30” deep and 4’8” wide. This one is really popular in closets. Call us today! Toll Free 855-55-ARMOR.
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Trying to compare the difference between the NSSA certification Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms has and the ATSA certification seen on other tornado shelters and storm shelters?

Trying to compare the difference between the NSSA certification Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms has and the ATSA certification seen on other tornado shelters and storm shelters?
 I'm trying to compare the difference between the NSSA - National Storm Shelter Association- certification you have and the ATSA - American Tornado Shelter Association- certification I have seen on other safe rooms. Can you explain the differences? The National Storm Shelter Association's Executive Director is Dr. Ernst Kiesling P.E., Ph.D, from Texas Tech University's Wind Science and Engineering Research Center. Dr. Kiesling is recognized as one of the premiere authorities in the world on wind energy research and safe room design protocols. Ernie and his staff at TTU worked extensively with FEMA in the late 90's to develop what is now FEMA's Publication 320, 360 & 361 guidelines for small group and community safe rooms for tornadoes, as well as hurricane shelters. Dr. Kiesling does not own an interest in any storm shelter company. His primary concern is for public safety and integrity in the storm shelter industry. As we understand it, there is no one associated with the ATSA executive committee who has anywhere near the reputation, professional training, knowledge or experience of Dr. Kiesling when it comes to wind energy and shelter design. The ATSA was formed primarily due to a new FEMA requirement for rebate participation. The new requirement was put in place due the large number of sub-standard manufacturers that were jumping into the business every time a major tornadic event would occur. They would start up a business, crank out storm shelters with little regard for FEMA's design recommendations and prey on the general lack of public knowledge of their design compliance.  FEMA's new requirement was intended to protect the public by mandating that for any purchaser to be eligible for a FEMA rebate reimbursement, the manufacturer of that shelter had to be a member of a professional association. The NSSA was the only association at the time,...
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When searching for Tornado Alley Armor use all 3 words in our name to pull up the correct website

When searching for Tornado Alley Armor use all 3 words in our name to pull up the correct website
Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms is a NSSA Verified 100% FEMA Compliant storm shelter company with proof of being 100% FEMA Compliant. Some will SAY they are FEMA compliant but not really be, and if you ask them for independent proof they won’t be able to provide it. The real reason is that they are NOT FEMA compliant but are deceiving the public by making false claims that they are.  There is a storm shelter company using part of our name that meets this description. Be careful when comparing tornado storm shelter companies on the internet. You may find a company that is using part of our name but not the entire name. Their customers have called us by mistake with complaints of leaking storm shelters and poorly made safe rooms. Don’t be fooled like these people were. Make sure you are pulling up THIS website: www.tornadoalleyarmor.com. Don’t accept anything less for the protection of your loved ones. Look for the entire 3 words in our name: Tornado Alley Armor. We’re honored to be entrusted with your family’s severe weather protection. We won’t let you down!
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Cinderella was one of replica watches my own claimed favorites if I was growing up. I accept absent calculation of the amount of t
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NCTSR North Central Texas Safe Room Rebate Program Recipients Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms Can Help!

NCTSR North Central Texas Safe Room Rebate Program Recipients Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms Can Help!
If you were lucky enough to sign up early and have been accepted into the program then congratulations! Tornado Alley Armor will be happy to help you through the details, and also with selecting which safe room is best for your family. As a Producer Member in the NSSA, or National Storm Shelter Association, Tornado Alley Armor is proud to participate in the North Central Texas Safe Room Rebate Program. The North Central Texas Safe Room Rebate Program offers residents living or developing in one of the sixteen counties in the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) region an opportunity to qualify for a safe room rebate.  For the year 2016 NCTCOG is awarding participants twice a year. The first notifications are sent out in January and then again in July. At this time the NCTSRRP waitlist has been closed and they aren't accepting any new applications. I wouldn't hold your breath on getting selected because the waitlist currently has over 10,000 people on it.  Each round of the program provides around 20-140 rebate opportunities for each county in the NCTCOG region. Contingent on program funding, eligible waitlisted applicants will be notified of the opportunity to submit documentation for acceptance into the program during July and January of each year.  We are happy to help you with selecting which safe room is best for your family. Give us a call toll free at 855-552-7667 or simply visit our Online Cart and build yourself a quote from the convenience of your own home. We do have a showroom in Richardson, TX at 630 South Central Expy where you can check out 5 of our different safe room sizes in person. Mark is our store manager there and would be happy to help you in person!   
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I'm looking for a Safe Room Showroom in Dallas Texas to check out tornado storm shelters in person

I'm looking for a Safe Room Showroom in Dallas Texas to check out tornado storm shelters in person
Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms showroom is one of the very few tornado shelter showrooms in in the Dallas, TX Metro area. While we do have complete information along with pictures and pricing on our website, if you are in the North/East part of Texas you can take a short drive to our storm shelter showroom in Richardson, Texas, and check out our 5 most popular storm shelter sizes on display. We have from our smallest 3 adult safe room- the Champion, the Defender 5 adult safe room, the Rampart 7 adult safe room, the Guardian 10 adult safe room, and the Reliant 14 adult safe rooms all on display all the time. Our physical address is 630 S. Central Expressway in Richardson, TX. We're easy to find- across from Pappasito's on Hwy 75.  Our hours are 10:00 - 6:00 Monday through Friday, 10:00 - 2:00 Saturday, and we're available by appointment on Sunday and evenings. If you'd like to schedule a time after hours just give us a call at 469-429-7889 and we'd be happy to meet you here. www.tornadoalleyarmor.com. You can also call toll free 855-55-ARMOR. Phones are answered Sunday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. 
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Guest — Richard
Can the Champion be installed in the backyard up against the house on a properly poured slab?
Monday, 25 April 2016 9:09 PM
Leslie
Richard,Yes, it sure can. If it isn't going to have a cover over it we recommend adding on our weather control package. Just follo
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 1:01 AM
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