Storm shelters double as panic rooms, keep families safe from criminals

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A tool used for protecting you from storms can also keep your family safe from criminals.   

Many storm shelters are built to withstand an EF5 tornado, but the owner at the Safe House told News 2 it can also be used as a panic room to protect your family from a burglar.    

RELATED: Clarksville man seeks shelter in panic room during attempted robbery

“If someone came in your house and you got in your storm shelter and they don’t have a gun they aren’t going to get into that,” explained Safe House owner Mark Brasfield.   

He said he sells many of his storm shelters specifically for that purpose.   

“I sell a ton of them for panic rooms and to store valuables in because the construction of this is comparable to some of the safes that I sell,” he said.

Brasfield showed News 2 a unit made of seven-gauge steel, about the thickness of three quarters stacked together.  

“It’s got a roll cage type frame inside of it, so you could drop over a 100,000 pounds on top of it like if a car was picked up in a storm thrown down on top of it you are still going to be protected.”   

There are five standard sizes starting with at 4 by 6 feet, but the rooms can be custom built to hold a large family.   

“We have people that put living areas in a panic room, and they’ve got their TVs and places to sit.”  

The door has several one-inch locking bolts on it, so Brasfield said it’s unlikely anyone is getting in.   

“If someone’s trying to kick it in, beat it in with a hammer something like that they are not getting into it. If you try to cut into it you know it would take an extended amount of time to cut into this and most people that break into your home or try to come in and get something, they don’t want to stay there a long time, I mean they are smash and grabbers. They want to come in and get stuff and leave.”   

A man in Clarksville told News 2 his panic room saved his life while a burglar ransacked his house.

Brasfield said you never know what you may have to use it for, but it’s best to be prepared.   

“It’s like insurance,” he said.    

Brasfield said storm shelter sells fluctuate from anywhere around 75 to 150 a year. The starting price is around $6,000.  

He added that he is seeing more people build a concrete room in their homes, then they buy vault doors for extra protection.  

For more information on the Safe House in Nashville, click here

Click here to read more stories in our “Protecting You and Your Family From Crime” special.   

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