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underground storm shelters

Installing an Underground LS-6 Lifesaver Storm Shelter

storm shelter

As you’re likely aware from our Lifesaver Storm Shelter Models & Benefits page, we offer a wide range of both underground storm shelters and above-ground safe rooms, from our smallest 4-adult storm shelter to our largest tornado safe rooms that protect up to 100 people (10 x 50 foot tornado safe room).  I wanted to put together a quick post to show some of the differences between the smaller Lifesaver storm shelter models (vs the bigger LS-8, LS-10, LS-12 or LS-20 models) in how they are installed to address a few questions that people have had about they are installed.

On the Lifesaver Storm Shelters Models & Benefits page, you’ll see an unedited storm shelter install video shot of us installing an LS-12 storm shelter, from digging the hole, to pouring the concrete pad underneath the shelter, to strapping down and back-filling it to complete the storm shelter install.

Since we haven’t yet filmed one of the smaller units (LS-4 or LS-6) being installed – and since they have a slightly different install process due to their smaller volume, size and shape and therefore differing buoyancy factors – I wanted to go through the process of installing an LS-6 Lifesaver shelter and show some pictures to help you better understand the process for those interested.

tornado shelter install

LS-6 Storm Shelter Install Process

The first step is for the customer to call their call-before-you-dig number (in Alabama it’s usually 8-1-1).  They will then come out at no cost to mark where underground utilities, etc are in proximity to the location of the storm shelter so that there are no surprises when we start digging the hole. 😉

Then we begin digging the hole, approximately 10 feet by 12 feet (depending on the location) some 6 feet deep.  We shoot grade to make sure the bottom of the hole is the right depth and prepare the tornado shelter to be lowered into the hole (bigger models require bigger, deeper holes).

The Main LS-4 & LS-6 Lifesaver Storm Shelter Install Differences

storm shelter install
storm shelter installFor the LS-4 and LS-6 underground tornado shelter models, this means threading 9-foot long, 2-inch steel pipes through the bottom of the tornado shelters as you can see in the photos.  This is part of the anchoring system which is engineering and designed to have 2 fiberglass panels on either side of the shelter sitting on top of the steel pipes to help anchor and keep the shelter in it’s installed location (so it doesn’t float up or move around).

The larger Lifesaver storm shelters (LS-8 and above) require a heavier anchoring system which is why we use an 8-inch thick concrete pad underneath the shelter or preformed 2000 and 3000 lb concrete blocks with straps or chains as their buoyancy factor is greater.  That concrete would be overkill and unnecessary for the smaller LS-4 and LS-6 Lifesaver storm shelters however and would also unnecessarily increase the cost for the customer.

storm shelter install

So once the fiberglass panels are in properly, the tornado shelter is level and correctly in place, we backfill the dirt into the hole to bury the underground storm shelter, leaving the dirt around it a few inches high in order to compensate for some of the dirt that will settle (it will take a few rains to really compact and settle the dirt; the shelter does not settle or move, only some of the dirt on top).

Lifesaver Storm Shelters Lifetime Warranty

Lifesaver storm shelterTo ensure each Lifesaver storm shelter is properly installed so we can issue a lifetime warranty on the storm shelter, we include installation in the prices we quote for our tornado shelters, like our LS-4 model (4 adults) which for purchase and normal install is $3500.  The LS-6 as pictured in this post for a normal install is $4500.  If you have any other requirements, like hauling off dirt, removing trees or shrubs or anything else, feel free to give us a call at 256-258-WIND and we’re more than happy to answer your questions and provide you with more information.

Also be sure to visit our facebook page for the latest news and information at http://www.facebook.com/HuntsvilleTornadoShelters

 

Tornado Safe Room Vs Underground Storm Shelters

With as great a product as the underground Lifesaver storm shelter is, why would we now be promoting another storm shelter/safe room product?

Great question.

Lifesaver storm shelter

First of all, if you’re searching for a product that can keep you safe from severe weather underground, the Lifesaver Storm Shelter is exactly the underground shelter you’re looking for.  It exceeds all FEMA guidelines and has a lifetime warranty so you know it’s safe; it’s comfortable and clean on the inside thanks to it’s fiberglass build and brilliant-white epoxy gel coating; it’s flat and doesn’t stick out in your yard like a sore thumb like some other storm shelters; it’s easy to open, get in and secure and it’s also very affordable, starting at $3,500 for our LS-4 Lifesaver storm shelter INSTALLED!

So you can’t go wrong in choosing one of our Lifesaver underground storm shelters for sale.

But what if you’d prefer to be in a storm shelter above ground?  What if you have some extra space in your garage suitable for a sturdy, solid, steel tornado safe room?

  • What if you have difficulty moving around or have a wheelchair, walker or cain that you rely on?
  • What if in addition to providing protection and shelter from the storm for you and your family (from a Huntsville tornado or a Tennessee tornado for example), you’d also like to store your valuables and important possessions?
  • What if you’d like the option to have protection from fire, theft or even bullets?

tornado safe room

If any of these scenarios have run through your head, perhaps you should also look into one of our All Weather Safe Rooms (which happen to be primarily designed as a tornado room or tornado safe room, also exceeding FEMA guidelines and testing requirements).

You see, an above ground safe room is like a big safe AND a storm shelter all in one.  For the majority of the time you can store your guns, weapons, precious metals, jewelry, family heirlooms, important documents and computer data, etc to protect them from burglers, bullets and fire.  However, when severe weather approaches and your [email protected] custom alert service notifies you that a storm is headed directly toward your home, YOU can also take shelter from the storm in your safe room (enter your information into the form on the top right of this page to get [email protected] for FREE as a visitor to our website).

tornado safe room

This tornado safe room can be installed as a hidden room as well (for new construction homes) where most people will not even know about it, hidden behind a fake wall or door.  Most installations however are done after the home has been completed (requires a slab foundation for anchoring the tornado safe room to your foundation and enough access to place the safe room in it’s place to be installed).  For this reason, we install most safe rooms in the garage or even on the back concrete porch if there’s too little room in the garage (safe rooms start at 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet tall – visit our tornado safe room page for full details).

Some of our customers who desire extra protection and peace of mind have chosen to even install both an underground shelter with one of our All Weather tornado safe rooms over the entrances to their underground storm shelters.  Now, as far as protection from severe weather like tornadoes, this is overkill.  One or the other would protect you from a storm.  But if you wanted the additional space underground and the advantage of being protected from bullets and fire and having a place to store your valuables, you’ve got it all in one place.  Again, for most people this is not necessary, but it something we can do if you like (see photos below).

storm shelters safe rooms

To learn more about our tornado room or tornado safe room, the All Weather Safe Rooms, just click on the following link to learn how they can keep your family safe today: Tornado Safe Room

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