Safe rooms are an essential feature for any home or business in Tornado Alley. Fort Worth and Dallas are two hard-hit areas in Texas where residents need to have a checklist of SOPs ready to go in case of a tornado emergency. However, tornado preparedness doesn’t end with installing a safe room. You also need to take the extra steps to ensure they’re well maintained. Here are some of the things to schedule as part of regular safe room maintenance.
Inspection and Cleaning
This is the most obvious element on the list, but no less crucial. One of the most important aspects of safe room maintenance is regular inspection and cleaning. At least once a month (or every other month), inspect all components of the safe room, including the door, walls, ceiling, and ventilation system. Look for any signs of structural damage. Clean and disinfect all surfaces in the safe room to prevent the buildup of bacteria, mold, or other health hazards. Be particularly mindful of mold if your environment is damp and you have an underground shelter.
Checking Electrical and Mechanical Systems
If you’ve planned ahead for storm and tornado-caused power outages by making arrangements for backup power sources in your safe room, then be sure to test them regularly. This includes ensuring the generator is working and that all battery-operated appliances are charged and ready to go.
Be sure to also test the ventilation system to ensure that it is properly circulating air and that the air filters are clean. Finally, test all communication systems (radio, phones) installed in the safe room to make sure that they’re working.
Maintaining Supplies and Equipment
One of the essential items on a tornado checklist is to have an emergency kit on hand in your safe room. This includes non-perishable food (enough to last a few days for everyone in your household); medical equipment, especially first aid supplies; water, certain tools, sanitary supplies, and more. You need to check on this to make sure it’s intact (and that nothing has expired/run out).
Also, check the expiry date on any fire extinguishers stored in the safe room, and make sure your alarm systems (smoke) are functional.
While cleaning the interior is essential to ensuring that your tornado shelter is ready to accommodate you during an emergency, checking the exterior for damages is also crucial to make sure the room is structurally intact.
Check for any signs of structural damage or shifting, which can compromise the safety of the room. Also, make sure that access to the safe room isn’t blocked by debris or overgrowth. When a tornado hits, you need to be sure you and your loved ones can safely and quickly reach the storm shelter.
Installing Storm Safe Rooms in Dallas, TX
While maintaining your safe room is key to protecting its function, you should get safe room experts to install them, customized to your needs and the dimensions of your property. US Safe Room Tornado Shelters has been installing sturdy, affordable, custom safe rooms for over 25 years in 19 locations across Texas and Oklahoma. Our shelters have been tested to withstand the intensity of an EF5-level tornado. Reach out today to book a no-obligation, no-cost consultation with our experts.