Study Says Tornado Safe Room Adds Value to Your Home

There are a number of things homeowners can do to add value to their homes like updating their kitchens and installing good quality windows. But few provide the return on investment that homeowners receive by installing a tornado safe room, according to a study by Dr. Kevin Simmons, Professor of Economics at Austin College, a Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® partner.

As preeminent tornado scientists gather this week in Norman, OK for the 2012 Severe Weather Workshop, Dr. Simmons, who studies natural disaster mitigation, says he
found that as a mitigation device, tornado safe rooms rank high with consumers — increasing the sale price of a home by 3.5 percent or an average of $4,200.

Dr. Simmons’ study was conducted in central Oklahoma, located in the heart of “Tornado Alley” where disproportionately high frequencies of tornadoes occur.

This finding is significant in that it means that anyone who installs a tornado safe room in their home is able to recoup almost all of their investment when they sell.

The average cost to build a safe room is $4,000 to $5000 depending on its size and built-in amenities. A $5,000 tornado safe room will provide an 84 percent return on investment.

The only home improvement that yields a higher recoup value is replacing a front-entry door with a steel door for which you’ll recoup 98 percent of your investment.”

Homeowners seeking information about building a safe room in their homes should visit There, they’ll find the FLASH program, Give an Ordinary Room an Extraordinary Purpose, with instructions for building or retrofitting bathrooms, closets, wine cellars or other rooms with a tornado safe room. They’ll also find a cost calculator, animation and links to important safety and structural details.

According to FLASH, tornado safe rooms built using the International Code Council/National Storm Shelter Association 500 standard or FEMA 320/361 guidance can provide the ultimate life safety protection from severe winds.

If you are in the planning stages of a new build or renovation project of a room such as an interior bathroom or walk-in closet, it’s the perfect time to consider installing a tornado safe room. There are also a number of pre-built safe rooms that can be easily installed into a home.

To watch a video on the proper construction and installation of a safe room, click hereor call the toll-free FLASH consumer helpline at (877) 221-SAFE (7233) for free information and assistance.