Tornado doors are the hottest specialty product in the business right now. The biggest factor may be that tornado shelters can now look and function as part of the normal use of the space rather than only as shelters. Another reason may be that the greater number of high-profile tornadoes over the last few years has significantly increased public awareness of the need for properly designed shelters.
The testing footage in SDI’s Tornado Door video demonstrates how tornado doors can prevent harm to people and property. Here are a handful of tips concerning tornado doors and the shelters they protect.
Code Change Is Coming
The International Building Code (IBC) 2015 requires that new school construction in areas susceptible to tornadoes with winds of 250 mph or higher must have storm shelters. Check out the map in ICC 500, and you will see that this zone ranges from Texas to Alabama up to New York.
Any new K-12 structure with the capacity to hold 50 or more people will be required to have shelter space to house the structure’s maximum occupancy. And it’s not only educational facilities that are affected by this change. Emergency operation centers, 911 call stations, and fire, rescue, ambulance and police stations are also included.
While some regions may wait years to adopt IBC 2015, others have already chosen to implement shelter construction requirements in advance of IBC 2015. Local codes could even require some existing facilities to be retrofitted with storm shelters.