Click on Images
below for a better view of vault layouts and design configurations.
Steel and Concrete
Vaults may be installed above Ground or Below Ground. In many cases
structures are below a house, or next to it underground, with access
to it from the house itself or a secure door located just outside, located
in a concrete slab.
The ceiling of the shelter is made of thick reinforced concrete and
steel which, in the event of the house collapsing, a severe storm or
fire should support the load and be fire resistant enough to avoid being
affected. Multiple access is a consideration on larger below ground
There are above-ground,
below-ground, dedicated, dual-purpose, and potential vault designs.
Dedicated blast shelters are built specifically for the purpose of blast
shelters are existing structures with blast protective properties that
have been modified to accommodate people in their seeking protection
from a blast or fallout.
Generally, fallout shelters are much deeper than typical storm shelters.
The basic plan
is to provide a structure that is very strong in compression and fire
resistant. The actual strength specification must be done individually,
based on the nature and probability of the threat.
It is safe to say
if a shelter has a covering of 14" or more of soil and is built
of concrete with reinforced steel with a ceiling thicknessof 12"
or so of concrete would be considered 'safe' for most security considerations.
Adequate venting is a priority for a below ground structure.
below ground vault may be located below a house in new construction
homes. Door and stairwell entry would be located so after the house
is built entry would be in a closet or a hidden room. A special hidden
door may be used, then one may go down stairwell into the shelter via
a secure safe room door."
A secret passage,
hidden door or a secret tunnel may be inside a home or building leading
to a secure room located below or just outside underground. Hidden passages
are a common feature of fiction, but have also served a variety of purposes
throughout history. Hidden Rooms have helped people evade capture or
carry out illegal religious, political, or smuggling activities.