It's a common myth that a steel "storm door" with three deadbolt locks is good enough for a storm shelter. It is not. When a "storm door" like this goes through debris testing, it fails every time. It fails by tearing off the hinges, by collapsing when being struck by debris, and by breaking and bending around the deadbolt locks. And a door that fails when hit by debris makes the entire storm shelter virtually useless.
In April of 2014, a Safe Shed storm shelter door was struck by an airborne pickup truck that was slammed against it by an EF4 tornado with winds of over 200 mph. The back axle, wheel, and bed of the pickup hit the center of the door between the two top locks. Although there is a small indentation left, the door held firm and all seven people sheltering inside survived with no injuries.
Had that same pickup truck struck a home-improvement-store "storm door" with added deadbolts, the truck would have been thrown into the storm shelter, severely injuring the people inside. A piece of wood, much smaller and lighter than a pickup truck, was driven into this type of door during a tornado in Arkansas and killed someone. The door failed, was propelled into the storm shelter, and struck the woman hiding inside, killing her instantly.
So what's the takeaway? Your storm shelter must have a tested and approved door, specially designed for storm shelter use. It must have heavy duty hardware, multiple locks, and a reinforced door frame. If you're interested in learning more about the door we use at Safe Sheds, Inc., please feel free to give us a call. Our testing results are also published on our web site.