|steel furniture bomb shelters_370.(Photo by: IDF Spokesperson's Office)|
New line of steel furniture doubles as bomb shelters
By YAAKOV KATZ
Steel-enforced secure furniture will allow people to huddle in safety during rocket attacks.
Some houses offer a bomb shelter in the basement while others are built with
fortified secure rooms. But soon, homeowners with neither will be able to seek
safety in their beds or closets.
Part of a new line of protective
furniture made of steel, these out-of-the-ordinary closets or beds can withstand
shrapnel and proximity explosions.
The IDF Home Front Command recently
conducted a series of explosive tests to simulate the effect of a Scud missile
explosion on various protective materials, or different types of concrete,
windows and furniture.
During the series of tests – held on a military
base in southern Israel – the HFC checked the quality of the specially-designed
closets and beds, in which people can hide if an air siren sounds warning of an
incoming missile attack.
“25 percent of Israeli homes do not have
adequate protection - neither a bomb shelter or a protective room,” a senior
Home Front Command officer explained. “This furniture could be the
solution for these people.”
One of the tests involved a bed which springs
from the back and folds shut, allowing enough space for a few people to seek
shelter. Another product is a closet made of steel, which people can sit
“These products are made of steel and are not penetrated by
shrapnel, protecting the people inside from injuries," the officer
All homes built since 1991 are required to be constructed with a
secure room but many still lack one today.
The HFC’s requirements are
based on the assessment that the secure rooms will withstand potential damage
from a proximity attack but not a direct hit – which would likely destroy the
secure room and its furniture.
According to the officer, the protective
furniture will cost around NIS 20,000, a sharp discount in comparison to the
estimated NIS 100,000 construction of a protective room.
The HFC is also
moving forward with a program aimed at reinforcing stairwells in apartment
buildings that do not have or cannot build bomb shelters.
program, the HFC serves as a consultant for owners of apartment buildings that
are interested in strengthening their stairwells.
The staircase is an
ideal place to seek shelter in the event of a rocket attack and in absence of a
proper bomb shelter.
According to HFC recommendations, one of the first
steps that should be taken is to replace the entrance to the roof with a steel
trapdoor. In addition, all doors acting as the main entrance to an apartment
should be replaced with heavyset doors like the Israeli Pladelet, which includes
multiple bolts, and will likely stay in place even if there is a blast in the
apartment. Another option is to replace windows in the stairwell with