Tornado Doors and Frames

About one thousand tornadoes occur in the United States every year. Most of them wreak havoc in “Tornado Alley”, which runs from Texas to Alabama up to New York. However, tornados have occurred in every state.

Steel is the most prevalent door material to pass FEMA P-361 and ICC 500. No wood door, with or without metal sheathing, has successfully passed FEMA P-361.

While tornado doors are similar in appearance to standard steel doors, they are highly engineered products and cannot be substituted by heavy gauge standard steel doors. The video below shows the difference in performance between a standard door and frame assembly and a tornado assembly.

tornado door

Do not mix and match tornado door components unless they have been approved and certified as an assembly. More tips on specifying tornado doors can be found in SDI’s article in Door & Hardware magazine. For information on the testing and certification of tornado assemblies, please see Intertek’s tornado webinar or our Windstorm FAQ.


The SDI members below offer tornado doors and frames through distributors nationwide. Click their logos for more information.