The installation of prefabricated, above-ground safe rooms will provide participants with the fastest approval process. However, other types of safe rooms are eligible under this program.
All safe rooms will require a building permit and must comply with current codes.
Program participants will not be allowed to self-build or self-install a safe room.
Under this program, a safe room:
- Must be outside of the 100-year floodplain per FEMA's effective or preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). See the property eligibility section above for more details.
- Must be located above ground on a first-floor elevation or below ground. Safe rooms built or installed on a second floor are not eligible.
- Must have a maximum occupancy rating of sixteen (16) occupants. The minimal useable floor area per safe room is three (3) square feet.
All safe rooms must comply with guidance contained in the following publications:
Builders and installers of residential safe rooms under the Rowlett program must certify compliance with the specific standards of the publications listed above dealing with doors, foundations, anchoring, buoyancy and other technical requirements including:
- Door assemblies of the safe room must pass ICC 500 to meet or exceed FEMA safe room criteria
- Above ground safe room foundations must meet ICC 500, Section 308.1.1.1.
- Post installed anchors must comply with ICC 500 and Chapter 17 of the American Concrete Institute standard ACT 318-14
- Underground safe rooms meet ICC 500 Section 303.3; designed to resist buoyancy and hydrostatic loads.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management Certificate of Installation and Inspection form is required to provide proof of compliance with all FEMA and ICC standards.
- The certificate must be signed by the builder of safe room or the installer of a prefabricated safe room and notarized.
- No other certification of installation is acceptable
Rowlett OEM reserves the right to contact contractors and installers of residential safe rooms to request documentation of design and testing standards of any certified safe room.
If you are unsure about where to install a safe room, please email .