Does it matter which way a storm shelter door swings? Can I get trapped inside?


Does it matter whether an above ground tornado shelter door swings inward or outward?


With virtually every other tornado shelter door on the market, the door swings inward. In theory it’s supposed to make it more difficult to have your egress blocked. But…that’s one, and only one door meaning one way in and one way out. If a car or wall or debris comes to rest against the door opening it doesn’t matter which way it swings…you’re still trapped inside.

Our door swings outward, which means full contact door-to-frame protection around the entire door perimeter when debris missiles impact the door. An inward swinging door is only as strong as the hinge and latch points holding it to the frame and they must absorb the entire impact. I’ll take full perimeter impact protection any day over hinges and bolts only.

With a Tornado Alley Armor storm shelter you have as many options for escape as you do panels. For instance, our model 10030 has 8 panels and 1 door, giving you 9 potential escape routes. All you need to do is keep a couple of 9/16” end wrenches inside (which we provide, by the way, zip tied neatly up high where little ones can’t reach them) and if the door gets blocked, you just pick any panel and it’s as simple as unbolting a few bolts to free yourself in a matter of minutes. It is absolutely entrapment proof! You can totally disassemble the entire safe room from the inside. No other safe room offers that kind of fool proof escape system.

Our latch mechanism is also designed such that it is impossible to get locked in by someone from the outside…intentionally or otherwise. Our interior latch mechanism works completely independent from the outside handle, so even if the outside handle is totally immobilized you can still flip open the latch from inside with one finger and step right out. Plus….you still have your two escape wrenches as a backup plan!

We haven’t even discussed the advantages of being able to disassemble and move your safe room with you for the rest of your life. That selling point alone is enough to make us the logical choice for your severe weather defense strategy. Or…the ability to assemble it anywhere you have a standard 4” reinforced concrete slab of adequate geometry.

Questions? Call us toll free at 855-55-ARMOR or email us at

About Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms

Our F5 certified above ground safe rooms are entrapment proof, re-locatable, and can be installed on any standard concrete slab of adequate mass or geometry. They can easily be installed in a walk--in closet, spare bedroom, or the garage. Since they bolt together they can be totally disassembled from the inside, rendering them entrapment-proof regardless of door swing. We include 2 shiny 9/16” end wrenches with every storm shelter, zip tied inside for emergency egress. You CANNOT get trapped inside a Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room. Plus they are totally re-locatable and fit entirely in a van or pickup. Easy D-I-Y or Professional Installation available. We ship nationwide!
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