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City of Frisco Question and Answer Board » Frisco Q & A » Tornado Shelters - above ground / garage mounted? « Previous Next »

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New member
Username: Jackson88

Post Number: 47
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 09:26 am:   

We are looking to install one of the above ground tornado shelters in our garage. Are there any city codes that we need to be aware of and/or that would prevent this? Is there anything we can ask to make sure it is a "reliable" vendor like certain specs they have to adhere to by law, standard, etc.?

Steve Covington, Chief Building Off
Username: Steve

Post Number: 85
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 - 11:55 am:   

The Zoning Ordinance requires two parking spaces within the building for each residence. Installing a safe room in the garage could compromise the minimum required parking of 18'X20' unless you have an oversized or three car garage.

I can be contacted at 972 292-5330 if you have any questions.

Safe rooms or shelters should be constructed to FEMA 320 or International Code Council/National Storm Shelter Association standards. National Storm Shelter Association is a good resource for verification of vendors. FEMA also has some good information on their website.
I can be contacted at 972 292-5330 if you have any questions.


New member
Username: Jackson88

Post Number: 63
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 03:31 pm:   

Following up to the earlier post, what are the ordinances related to outdoor storm/tornado shelters? We are considering both above ground as well as underground shelters. How do we determine the ordinances (e.g., distance from foundations, easements, mounting restrictions, etc. etc.)? Thanks!

Ben Brezina, Assistant to the City Manag
Username: Ben_brezina

Post Number: 419
Registered: 06-2010
Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 09:18 am:   

An in-ground storm shelter is a below grade structure and should be a minimum of three feet from property lines and outside of any easements. Distance from the foundation is recommended at a ratio of 1:1 based on the depth of the excavation; i.e.: 5 feet away for a 5 feet deep excavation.
Two parking spaces are required in the garage by the Zoning Ordinance. An above grade safe room mounted in the garage would need to be located so that the required parking is not compromised.
Standards for the construction and installation of storm shelters/safe rooms have been established by FEMA, the International Code Council and National Storm Shelter Association. It is best to make sure that any contractor is certified through the National Storm Shelter Association or American Tornado Shelter Association.

Steve Covington
Chief Building Official
Development Services
City of Frisco
Tel: (972) 292-5330

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