Spring has finally arrived, and we are grateful for the relief from winter’s chill! But warmer weather also ushers in a not-so-welcome season: Storm Season. Building owners and facility managers need to understand the door-specific needs of their region, to keep occupants and property safe. With the help of Larry Coenen, LaForce’s Hollow Metal Office Manager, we will explore the differences between tornado doors and hurricane doors in today’s blog.
Storm doors, commonly known as tornado doors, are designed to protect people in a designated area or space, such as a tornado shelter or school safe room. They are intended to tolerate sudden impacts, such as strong wind gusts and flying debris. Hurricane doors are designed to protect the people and property for an entire building. Instead of protecting against a sudden impact, hurricane doors are constructed to withstand a steady wind force.
Both types of doors need to follow particular specifications in construction, testing, and installation. These doors’ components are carefully designed and tested to meet rigorous standards – however, they are not interchangeable.
Code change in IBC 2015: IBC 2009 includes the standards for constructing storm shelters, but it does not specify where they are required. IBC 2015 now defines areas of the United States where storm shelters are required, and in which types of facilities. The building types that now require storm shelters are new schools and public safety facilities. For more information, see IBC 2015, Section 423.
Facilities can minimize disaster damage with weather-appropriate products. For questions related to a specific building design or application, contact your LaForce Representative today! You may also find the following links useful for further reading:
- Hurricane Simulation Testing Shows Storm’s Impact (Underwriters Laboratory)
- Product Testing Video (demonstrates differences between tornado doors and hurricane doors)
- Hurricane Intensity Scale (animation)
- Wind Zones in the United States (FEMA)
- Tornado Resistant Products (Ceco Door)
- Tornado Selection Guide (Curries)
- Tornado Resistant Approvals (Steelcraft)
- Tornado Systems (Republic)
- Hurricane Resistant Products (Ceco Door)
- Windstorm – Hurricane Guide (Curries)
- Storm-Resistant Products (Steelcraft)
- Windstorm-Hurricane Products (Republic)