Safe Room Doors

Steel ballistic door for a safe room

This is the safe room door that the cheap “vault door” outlets don’t want you to see

  • It features a steel envelope door panel that you fill with concrete after the door is installed on the wall.
  • A thousand pounds of concrete cannot be cut with a torch and it has an engineer certified blast rating of 50 PSI!
  • Ballistic resistance – 7.62 NATO ball ammunition makes it about half way through the door panel.
  • The three rotating cam latches are slaved together and are operated by one lever.
  • Each of these massive latches are engineer certified to hold over 14,000 pounds. That means it will take TWENTY-TWO TONS of force to make the latches fail. This is way beyond what the cheap ornamental “vault” style doors will hold – no matter how many pins they claim to have. The thin sheet metal shroud holding the pins always fails first.
  • An encrypted electronic keypad on the outside is connected to a deadbolt mounted on a rotating hard plate on the inside.
  • This unique rotating hard plate allows for a mechanical release lever on the inside that ensures you will always be able to ex-filtrate your safe room!

   

   

Double leaf sliding ballistic door
Double leaf sliding ballistic door

   

Strength

This safe room door starts with our proven concrete filled blast door leaf. We’ve supplied these doors to the US military, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Space X, Blue Origin, and several American nuclear power plants. You can see some of these doors here.

We’ve had this door independently engineer certified to hold 50 PSI in the seated condition and 14.5 PSI in the unseated condition.

All true blast doors have the door leaf overlap the frame. This prevents the shock load from a nearby detonation from knocking the frame out of square and wedging the door into the frame. A vault style door that nests into the frame can trap you inside your safe room.

Our rotating cam latches engage the cam plates and draw the door leaf toward the frame, compressing a closed cell EPDM door seal. We have a calibrated spacer that gives a steel on steel stop to the door leaf so the door seals do not get over-compressed.

Cast in place ballistic gun port
Cast in place ballistic gun port

Security

This door features an electronic keypad on the outside that operates a deadbolt lock on the inside of the door. There is a wire that goes from the keypad to the deadbolt. The code to open the deadbolt is stored in firmware in the deadbolt box on the inside, not in the keypad.

The inside deadbolt box is mounted on a rotating hard plate that is offset from the outside keypad. Drilling out the small shaft the wire goes through will miss the inside deadbolt and all other internal mechanisms. This floating hard plate has a handle that allows you to rotated the deadbolt out of engagement with the lock bar. This is a mechanical release that prevents you from getting trapped inside your safe room due to electronic failure.

The cam plates cannot rotate unless the deadbolt retracts from a correct code entered into the keypad (from the outside) or the release handle is rotated (from the inside). 

The 3/4″ solid steel shaft that goes through the door and links the inside and outside cam handles. It is mounted in a machined steel barrel that has oil impregnated bronze bushings and a stainless steel grease fitting.

This shaft has a machined shear point that will break if a cheater bar is put on the outside handle to force it open. The shear point will snap before the deadbolt gives way. There is also a shoulder machined on the shaft that prevents punching out the remaining part of the shaft after it shears off.

Every little detail has been thought through to ensure your safe room door cannot be breached!

Threshold of a ballistic door

Inward swinging

This is the inside of an inward swinging safe room door in a gun room. It is anchored to the inside of the 12 inch thick concrete wall with engineered fasteners that are rated by the manufacturer for a total of over 60,000 pounds of pull-out force.

Threshold of a ballistic door

   

Outward swinging

This is the inside of an outward swinging safe room door. It is anchored to the outside of the concrete wall with the same engineered fasteners.

It features weld on wall capture brackets that attach to the frame and wrap around to the inside of the wall to keep the frame in place if the fasteners on the outside are attacked.

There is also an interlock on the inside of the door leaf that engages two lugs in the frame so if the bad guys manage to cut off the massive hinges, the door leaf will stay in place on the frame.

The frame stays on the wall, the concrete filled door leaf stays on the frame, and you stay safely inside!

   

pour-in-place-blast-door-02

   

Pour in Place Frame

The pour in place frame is an option that locks the frame into the wall. We form a channel on a press brake and then fabricate it into a frame that forms the opening. Then we weld sections of rebar between the flanges. You can integrate these stiffeners into the rebar in your wall.

This is the inside view of a 48″ x 96″ outward swinging safe room door with a pour in place frame made for an 18″ thick wall. It features a 5″ thick door leaf cavity which will put the leaf weight at over 3,000 pounds when filled with concrete. We added an extra hinge and thicker cam latches to secure all of this mass to the frame.

   

pour-in-place-blast-door-01

This is the outside view of a 36″ x 80″ inward swinging safe room door with a pour in place frame made for a 12″ thick wall.

It has a topcoat of hammered metal black paint and a flat threshold. We turn up a leg of the flat threshold to form a stepover so we have a place to extend the door seal on the bottom for 360 degree sealing.

With the hinges on the inside, there is not a lot to attack from the outside. The encrypted keypad is sacrificial and will not allow the door to be breached if it’s attacked. It has a flexible wire connection through a pipe to the deadbolt box mounted on the offset floating hard plate on the inside of the door.

The latch operating handle has a shaft with a machined break point. If the handle is forced with a jack or a cheater bar, the shaft will shear off inside the door leaf. The attacker will be left holding the operating bar with half the shaft welded to it. The other half will be captured in the machined steel barrel going through the door leaf. Access denied!

Ballistic door manual

Prices, availability, and ordering

The best safe room door comes in two standard sizes:
32 x 72 inches – $5,775 – plus shipping and options
36 x 80 inches – $6,175 – plus shipping and options
Custom sizes and options available – please contact us

These prices include a durable shop coat primer finish. The door in these pictures has the optional hammered metal gray topcoat.

Option – inward swinging door leaf – $325
Option – pour in place frame (up to 12″) – $900
Option – additional fire rated door seal – $175
Option – topcoat of hammered metal paint – $255

Special order item: we usually need four weeks of build time. You arrange a 50% deposit at time order, we build your door, you arrange payment for the balance due, and we ship it right out and send you the tracking number. See our policy page for the full set of terms.

Inside view of a double leaf sliding ballistic door
Inside view of a double leaf sliding ballistic door
Inside view of a double leaf sliding ballistic door
Inside view of a double leaf sliding ballistic door

      

The hall of shame

What happens when you do real world testing on the cheap ornamental doors that are called “vault” doors by online marketing outlets?

All those shiny pins get deflected and wrinkle up the thin sheet metal. It does not matter how many or how big the pins are, the usual mode of failure is the tinwork that is supposed to hold them in place. It fails and the door is breached.

These doors are assembled from imported parts that are spot-welded into ornamental doors with nice paint jobs and fancy placards. Then they are marketed as “vault” doors for your safe room.

The pins have no way of drawing the door into the frame to compress the seals. That’s why most of them use bulb seals – to fill the gap between the door leaf and frame.

Here are some common terms used in the ornamental “vault” door business:

  • “composite door” – sheet metal over plywood
  • “gypsum fireboard” or “fire rock” – drywall
  • “relockers” or “relocking devices” – spring loaded internal devices that lock you inside your safe room when the door is damaged
  • “step system door” – the door leaf is nested into the frame where it can trap you inside your safe room as a result of a nearby detonation or a malicious person prying on your door

See our dedicated blast door website: www.AmericanBlastDoor.com

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