Home Front to boost stairwells in homes lacking bomb shelter

Stairwells are the ideal place to seek shelter in the event of a rocket attack and in absence of a proper shelter.

June 23, 2010 05:49
1 minute read.
Sderot graffiti

Sderot graffiti 311. (photo credit: RON FRIEDMAN)

The IDF Home Front Command (HFC) has launched a pilot program aimed at reinforcing stairwells in apartment buildings that do not have or cannot build bomb shelters.

The program began several weeks ago in three buildings in Ashkelon, which until the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip last year, frequently came under Hamas rocket fire.

Under the program, the HFC serves as a consultant for owners of apartment buildings that are interested in strengthening their stairwells which are the 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 fiberglass.

“The best place to go in the event of a missile attack and if there isn’t a bomb shelter is the stairwell,” a senior HFC officer said. “This is because stairwells are usually built with more concrete and most importantly are in the middle of the building. Missiles usually hit the sides which means that it is more dangerous to stay inside the actual apartment.”

The HFC has also launched a new program to train all local council workers how to continue operating in a state of emergency.

Under the year-long plan, the HFC will hire two workers from each local council, pay them a part-time salary, and will then assign the rest of the workers in the council jobs that they can do in the event of a war or state of emergency.

“A worker who usually gives parking tickets will be able to deliver food to bomb shelters if needed,” the officer explained.

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