Building a safe room

Our little house will have a closet that also doubles as a safe room. We’ll put Sunshine’s gun safe in there to keep them from blowing away if a tornado hits or anything like that. It’s also a back-up plan in case some severe weather sneaks up on us, leaving us no time to get to the underground storm shelter.

Sunshine has built all kinds of stuff for the military that gives him the unique skillset necessary to build safe rooms. He helped build a brig for the navy, and he has helped build blast-proof arms vaults. He is using the same principles for our safe room. Cinderblock walls, with rebar in every cell, and concrete in every cell, with a concrete ceiling.

side note: the military uses those specifications for blast proof arms vaults. they just build three of those walls in sequence, with ballistic gel filling in the voids between the walls. We don’t have space to build three walls around our safe room/closet, but what we are building should withstand up to an EF3 tornado easily, and potentially limit damage and loss of life should something bigger roar through.

He got the cinderblocks laid 7 courses high (with the door frame set in the wall) before the rain set in, with rebar in every cell. (please ignore the view down the front of my shirt.)

There is also rebar running horizontally at the top of the seventh course, and they bent rebar for each corner as well.


Today, he and Biff have filled it with concrete and added the rebar, preparing to lay the next five courses of cinderblocks.

concrete filled blocks

After that is done, they have to build a wooden structure to support the concrete  when they pour the ceiling. Eventually, the door frame will be filled with a steel door, and the wooden structure will be removed. (The rebar inside the concrete in the ceiling will provide the support for the cured concrete ceiling.)

Ultimately, this is a little bit of piece of mind for me, what with all my weather-related PTSD. Anything to alleviate some anxiety, right?

final note: I’ll post up the pictures of the ceiling pour when they get around to that, which probably won’t happen for a couple of days since there is rain in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow.


4 thoughts on “Building a safe room

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