Title:
Storm shelter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An economical, prefabricated, above ground “storm shelter “or “safe room” for personal protection from hurricanes, tornadoes, and other high wind events. The structure meets all FEMA guidelines for providing resistance to winds in excess of 250 mph and preventing missile penetration through the walls from airborne debris. The shelter can be installed inside of an existing room on concrete slab such as a garage or outside on a concrete slab constructed specifically for the shelter. The storm shelter walls are constructed of steel C-Channel components stacked and bolted in a horizontal configuration. The roof consists of angle iron for supports or rafters, and flat plate for the outer sheathing. The door is made from an assembly of flat steel plate, bar grating, flat bar cross members, hinges, and locking brackets bolted together. The locking mechanism consists of three locking pins attached to a locking bar for single action panic proof locking capability.



Inventors:
Hudson Jr., Melvin L. (Prince George, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/193898
Publication Date:
12/01/2005
Filing Date:
07/30/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/648.1
International Classes:
E02D27/00; E04H9/14; E04H12/00; (IPC1-7): E02D27/00; E04H12/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080190064HURRICANE PANEL CLIP AND HOOKAugust, 2008Craig et al.
20040221532Prefabricated concrete support mechanism for a railroad track with integral rubber boot and method of manufactureNovember, 2004Shillington et al.
20070175127Shearing force reinforced structure and memberAugust, 2007Tanaka
20020100239Wire tie and hardware systemAugust, 2002Lopez
20040068953Seismic clip for ceiling panelsApril, 2004Sauer
20070245657STRUCTUAL STUDOctober, 2007Valle et al.
20070193165Insulating concrete form system with fire-break tiesAugust, 2007Stokes
20080098690Bamboo Framework SystemMay, 2008Wang
20070256379Composite panelsNovember, 2007Edwards
20090229193Archable FlashingSeptember, 2009Ellingson
20050066612Quick-set, full-moment-lock, column and beam building frame system and methodMarch, 2005Simmons



Primary Examiner:
FRANKS, RYAN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Melvin Jr., Mr. Hudson L. (4913 Old Logging Circle, Prince George, VA, 23875, US)
Claims:
1. A pre-fabricated steel “storm shelter” or “safe room” built of steel C-Channel, configured in a horizontal arrangement, angle iron, and steel plate. Components are designed for assembly and installation on location to include the following: a. Steel C-Channel bolted together at the flange to form the wall sections whereas the web of the C-Channel function as the sheathing of the wall and the flanges of the C-Channel function as studs for the wall. The C-Channel components are arranged in a horizontal configuration stacked vertically, and assembled with ⅝″ bolts b. Bolting the web of the side wall C-Channel to the web of the end wall C-Channel with anchor brackets; fastening 3″ angle iron to the outside web of the side wall and end wall components to form the corners of the room. c. Specifically designed C-Channel parts arranged in a vertical configuration where the flange on one side is bolted to the web of the side wall components to construct the front corners of the structure and where the opposing flange constructs the frame of the door.

2. The “storm shelter” or “safe room” of claim 1 built with a solid steel frame and steel door with bar grating and specially designed locking mechanism. a. A door constructed of steel plate and bar grating with crossbars, hinges, and locking brackets bolted together. b. A locking device with three specifically designed dead bolts attached to a locking bar for single action panic proof locking capability. A locking device with dead bolts that insert through the locking brackets and C-Channel frame. c. Dead bolts or locking pins that have smooth steel on each end and threads in the middle, with one end having a smaller outside diameter than the opposite end. d. A section of square tubing fastened to the inner side of the door that rotates and is designed in such a manner to hold the locking device in place.

3. The “safe room” or “storm shelter” of claim 1 with angle iron roof supports and steel plate bolted to the flange of the top C-Channel of opposing side walls, end wall, and door header to form the roof of the shelter. a. A roof design with angle iron bolted to the flange of the top C-Channel of opposing walls for rafter support and lateral wall support. b. A roof design with flat steel plate bolted to the top flange of C-channel wall components, the angle iron rafters and door header.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Int. C1.7 EO4H 9/12; EO4H 9/14; EO4H 1/00; EO4H 7/00; EO4B 1/32; FO2D 29/00; EO2O 27/00; EO2D 27/32

U.S. C1 52/79.1; 52/79.4; 52/79.5; 52/79.6; 52/79.9; 52/79.12; 52/169.1; 52/169.6; 52/82; 109/1 S; 52/86; 52/88; 52/244; 52/245

Field of Search 52/79.1, 79.5, 79.9, 79.12, 169.1, 169.6, 745..02, 745.13, 745.16; 109/78, 79,80

REFERENCES CITED

U.S. Patent Documents

U.S. Pat. No. 6,415,558 July, 2002 Cherry 52/79.1

U.S. Pat. No. 6,161,345 December, 2000 Hope 52/169.6

U.S. Pat. No. 6,151,841 November, 2000 Green 52/79.4

U.S. Pat. No. 6,131,343 October, 2000 Jackson, Jr. 52/86

U.S. Pat. No. 6,085,475 July, 2000 Parks & Boles 52/169.6

U.S. Pat. No. 6,061,976 May, 2000 Willbanks, Jr. 52/169.6

U.S. Pat. No. 5,953,866 September, 1999 Poole 52/169.6

U.S. Pat. No. 5,930,961 August, 1999 Beaudet 52/169.6

U.S. Pat. No. 5,829,208 November, 1998 Townley 52/169.6

U.S. Pat. No. 5,813,174 September, 1998 Waller 52/79.1

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO A SEQUENCE LISTING

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Endeavor

The present invention relates in general to the field of shelters, more specifically, to above ground shelters for hurricanes, tornadoes, and other high wind events that meet all FEMA guidelines.

2. Description of the Related Art

Each Year the United States is affected by Hurricanes and Tornadoes that cause millions of dollars of property damage, and kill or severely injure hundreds of people. Over 1,000 Tornadoes touch down in the U.S. each year and approximately 2 hurricanes per year reach U.S. landfall impacting several thousand square miles of property. As a result of severe hurricanes such as Hugo, Andrew, Isabel, and Ivan along with the devastating Tornadoes in the Midwest of 1999, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recommended that residential occupants build shelters in their homes to protect themselves and their families from severe injury or death caused by the dangerous forces of extreme winds.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has several publications relating to the field of storm shelters that provide information and guidelines for proper construction of shelters for high wind events up to 250 mph. The following is a list of FEMA publications:

    • FEMA 320 Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your House
    • FEMA 342 Building Performance Assessment Report: Midwest Tornadoes of May 3, 1999
    • FEMA 361 Design and Construction Guidance for Community Shelters
    • FEMA TR-83B Tornado Protection: Selecting and Designing Safe Areas in Buildings

FEMA also provides a list of internet web sites for reference in the field of design and construction of shelters:

    • FEMA: Safe room Site
    • http://www.fema.gov/mit/saferoom
    • FEMA: National Performance Criteria for Tornado Shelters
    • http://www.fema.gov/library/npc_ts.htm
    • FEMA: Taking Shelter From The Storm: Building a Safe Room inside Your House
    • http://www.fema.gov/mit/tsfs01.htm
    • FEMA: Taking Shelter from the Storm Plans
    • http://www.fema.gov/mit/shplans/index.htm
    • Wind Engineering Research center, Texas Tech University: Tornado Safe Room
    • http://www.wind.ttu.edu

Department Of Civil Engineering; Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.

    • The NOAA Site on Tornadoes
    • http://www.outlook.noaa.gov/tornadoes
    • The NOAA “NWS “Service Assessment: Oklahoma/Southern Kansas Tornado Outbreak of May 3, 1999”
    • http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/omdis.html
    • Center for Disease Control, Website on Mortality Information
    • http://www2.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwr.html

FEMA 320 provides several designs for shelters constructed of various materials that include CMU concrete, wood frame-plywood with CMU infill, wood frame-plywood with steel panels, and insulating concrete form. The designs provided by FEMA require knowledge and experience in the construction industry, and require extensive labor to build.

Inspection of Prior Art in the Field of Shelters Reveals the Following:

U.S. Pat. No. 6,415,558 B1 for a Tornado Shelter issued to Charles W. Cherry in July, 2002 discloses a tornado shelter meeting FEMA criteria constructed of 10 gage steel C-channel assembled in vertical orientation from the inside. This structure has components that require welding as part of the fabrication and recommends welding in part of the final assembly or installation. This structure designed by Charles W. Cherry also has a large quantity of components and holes that adds to the cost of the structure and complicates the assembly and installation for the average home owner.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,813,174 for a “Closet Vault” issued to James E. Waller in 1998 discloses a strong lightweight steel structure which consists of individual tubular and bent-plate channel modules which packaged and shipped loose and which are assembled by the user or a contractor to form a vault or enclosure, preferably rectangular in shape, with a lockable access door. This structure invented by James Waller also has welded components which adds to the cost and complexity of the invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,131,343 for an “Apparatus and Method for Storm Shelter” issued to Andrew W. Jackson, Jr. in 2000 discloses an apparatus and method for a storm shelter, which can be used aboveground and below ground, and, may be skin supported.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,151,841 for a “Prefabricated Portable Tornado Shelter” issued to Thomas H. Green in 2000 discloses an inexpensive, prefabricated portable tornado shelter is disclosed. The shelter is assembled from four equilateral triangular sides, a base frame, and a floor, to form a square pyramid-shaped enclosure with latched doors and Plexiglas windows.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,161,345 for a “Tornado Shelter” issued to Ted C. Hope in 2000 discloses a tornado shelter having a rectangular horizontal top and bottom, vertical forward and rear ends connected transversely to the top and bottom, and equipped with a simplified sliding door arrangement.

From review of prior art, it is the object of the present inventor to design a shelter to protect people from injury or death in high wind events, that is most economical, simple & inexpensive to fabricate, easy to assemble and install, and provides adequate square footage for occupants in accordance with FEMA guidelines. These objects were accomplished in the present invention to be described herein.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present shelter invented discloses a steel structure installed on concrete slab outside or in an existing room such as a garage. The safe room includes four walls, a roof, and a door. The present invention is arranged in rectangular fashion but can also be designed to be square in shape and of various heights. The walls are constructed of steel C-Channel arranged in a horizontal configuration that are bolted together at the flanges. The corners of the safe room are formed by bolting C-Channel components perpendicular to one another with angle brackets. The C-Channel walls are anchored to the concrete with wedge anchors. The roof is constructed of steel plates, which are bolted to angle iron rafters that are bolted to the inner flanges of the C-Channel. The door is constructed of 3/16″ thick steel plate and 1″ bar grating. The door assembly is connected to the frame of the door with three heavy-duty hinges and three heavy-duty latches.

The structure can be fabricated in various dimensions of length width height, and thickness of steel. Minimum steel thickness must be 3/16″ thick. The design of the C-Channel that constructs the walls will provide resistance to uplift; however, the components are light enough that assembly requires no more than 2 people. The invention disclosed can also be disassembled and reassembled at a different location thus providing an advantage to the homeowner who may have to relocate. The simplicity of the size, shape, and design of the steel C-Channel requires a minimum amount of labor to fabricate which lowers the cost of the materials and makes the present invention more economical for the consumer to purchase as compared to other shelters currently on the market. The design of the safe room disclosed requires less labor to assemble and is a stronger unit than the wood-frame and plywood with steel plate or CMU infill units presented in the FEMA 320 guidelines. Furthermore this design does not require extensive knowledge in the construction industry to assemble and install.

The safe room disclosed can be made in various sizes. However, in the detailed description of the present invention, the outside dimensions shall be 96″ long by 48″ wide by 60″ high.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the attached drawings.

FIG. 1 is a detailed view of the C-Channel components part # 1 that form the side walls.

FIG. 2 is a detailed view of the C-Channel components part # 2 that form the end wall.

FIG. 3 is a detailed view of the corner brackets part # 3.

FIG. 4 is a detailed view of the side braces part # 4.

FIG. 5 is a detailed view of the latch side door frame part # 5.

FIG. 6 is a detailed view of the hinge side door frame part # 6

FIG. 7 is a detailed view of the door header part # 7.

FIG. 8 is a detailed view of the roof panels part # 8.

FIG. 9 is a detailed view of the roof support brackets part # 9.

FIG. 10 is a detailed view of the center roof support bracket part # 10.

FIG. 11 is a detailed view of the anchor brackets part # 11.

FIG. 12 is a detailed view of the door bottom seal part # 12.

FIG. 13 is a detailed view of the door side seals part # 13.

FIG. 14 is a detailed view of the steel plate for door assembly part # 14

FIG. 15 is a detailed view of the door assembly with steel plate and bar grating part # 15.

FIG. 16 is a detailed view of the door crossbar for door assembly part # 16.

FIG. 17 is a detailed view of the door hinges part # 17.

FIG. 18 is a detailed view of the locking brackets part # 18.

FIG. 19 is a detailed view of the dead bolts for the door part # 19.

FIG. 20 is a detailed view of the locking bar for the door part # 20.

FIG. 21 is a detailed view of the latching bar for the door part # 21.

FIG. 22 is a detailed view of the door handle part # 22.

FIG. 23 is a detailed view of the air vents part # 23.

FIG. 24 is an inside view of a wall assembly with C-Channel bolted together horizontally

FIG. 25 is an inside view of the front latch side corner with door frame and side wall.

FIG. 26 is an inside view of the door, door frame, and door header

FIG. 27 is an outside view of the front of the shelter with door and door frame.

FIG. 28 is a top view of the shelter with roof plates, supports, angle brackets, and side braces

FIG. 29 is a 3 dimensional view of the wall assemblies with roof supports and door header.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following is a list of components with assigned identification numbers for reference to the drawings.

1. C-Channel components for side walls

2. C-Channel components for end wall

3. Corner brackets 3″ angle iron

4. Side braces 3″ angle iron

5. Latch side door frame

6. Hinge side door frame

7. Door header

8. Roof panels—flat steel plate

9. Roof support brackets 4″ angle iron

10. Center roof support bracket 4″ angle iron

11. Anchor brackets

12. Door bottom seal

13. Door side seals

14. 1″ bar grating for door assembly

15. 36″×54″ steel plate for door assembly

16. Door crossbar for door assembly

17. Door hinges

18. Locking brackets for door

19. Dead bolts for door assembly

20. Locking bar for door

21. Latching bar for door

22. Door handles

23. Air vents

Applicant's invention is understood by reviewing the following description in conjunction with the attached drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts.

As seen in FIG. 1, FIG. 24, and FIG. 29, ⅝″ diameter anchor bolts are used to fasten 15″×90″ C-Channel 1 three inches into the concrete slab foundation on the inner side of the safe room. Three additional 15″×90″ C-Channel 1 components are stacked horizontally and bolted to together to form a side wall as seen in FIG. 24.

As viewed in FIG. 2 and FIG. 29, 15″×54″ C-Channel 2 is bolted to the concrete perpendicular to the side wall to form a corner of the shelter. Three more 15″×48″ C-Channel components are stacked and bolted in a horizontal configuration to construct the end wall.

As seen in FIG. 2, FIG. 24, and FIG. 29, a 15″×90″ C-Channel part 1 is bolted to the concrete perpendicular to the end wall. Three more 15″×90″ C-Channel 1 components are stacked and bolted in a horizontal configuration to construct the second side wall.

As viewed in FIG. 3 and FIG. 28 and FIG. 29, 3″ angle iron is bolted to the 90″ long C-Channel part 1 and the 54″ long C-Channel part 2 to connect the corners of the shelter.

As seen in FIG. 4 and FIG. 28, 4″ angle iron part 4 is bolted vertically to the 90 C-Channel part 1 for side braces to the side walls.

As viewed in FIG. 5 FIG. 25, FIG. 26, FIG. 27, and FIG. 28, a 60″ long C-Channel with 7¾″ web a 3″ leg and a 4½″ leg part 5 is bolted in a vertical position to the side wall part 1 to form a front corner and door frame on the latch side of the door.

As seen in FIG. 6 and FIG. 26, FIG. 27, and FIG. 28, a 60″ long C-Channel with 4″ web a 3″ leg and a 4½″ leg is bolted in a vertical position to the opposing side wall part 1 to form the other front corner and door frame on the hinge side of the door.

As viewed in FIG. 7, FIG. 26, FIG. 27, and FIG. 28, the door header part 7 is bolted to the door frames part 5 and part 6 in a horizontal alignment.

As viewed in FIG. 8 and FIG. 28 the roof panels part 8 are placed on top of the side wall C-Channel part 1, the end wall C-Channel part 2, and the door header with the holes in the panels aligned with the holes to the connecting parts.

As seen in FIG. 9, FIG. FIG. 10, FIG. 28 and FIG. 29 the 4″ angle iron roof supports part 9 and part 10 are bolted to the top legs of the side wall C-Channel part 1, the top legs of end wall C-Channel part 2, the top of the door header part 7, and the roof panels part 8.

Part 12 the 1″ angle iron door bottom seal will be bolted to the latch side and hinge side door frames on the ground in a horizontal configuration (not shown). Part 13 the flat plate door side seals will be bolted to the latch and hinge side door frames in a vertical position as viewed in FIG. 13 and FIG. 27.

To assemble the door as viewed in FIGS. 14, 15, 16, and 26, a 54″ high×36″ wide piece of bar grating part 15 is bolted to a 54″ high×36″ wide steel plate 3/16″ thick part 14 and to part 16 three crossbars made of ⅜″ flat stock 36″ long×2″ wide.

As viewed in FIGS. 14, 15, 17, and 29 the door hinges part 17 are bolted to the steel plate part 14 through the bar grating part 15. As viewed in FIG. 18 and 29 the locking brackets part 18 are bolted to the steel plate part 14 through the bar grating part 15.

As viewed in FIGS. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 28 the dead bolts part 19 are inserted through the holes on the legs of the C-Channel locking bracket part 18 and bolted to the locking bar part 20. The latching bar part 21 is bolted to the steel plate door part 14 through the bar grating part 15. The door handles part 22 are bolted to the steel plate door part 14 through the bar grating part 15.

As viewed in FIGS. 5, 23 and 27 the air vents part 23 are bolted to the latch side door frame part 5.

As viewed in FIGS. 11 and 28 anchor brackets part 11 are bolted to the corners of side wall and end wall C-Channel components part 1 &2. Anchor brackets part 11 are also bolted to the latch side door frame part 5 & hinge side door frame part 6 and secured to the concrete with wedge anchors.

To attach the door to the frame the hinges 17 of the door assembly 15 are bolted to the C-Channel frame 6 as viewed in FIGS. 6, 17, 15, and 26.