Storm Shelters and Safe Rooms in the
City of Jenks
INFORM YOURSELF BEFORE SEEKING TO CONSTRUCT AN INTERIOR OR EXTERIOR STORM SHELTER OR SAFE ROOM FOR YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS WITHIN THE CITY OF JENKS. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION CAREFULLY.
Note: “Permit refers to a City of Jenks Residential Permit for Accessory Use.
Definition of safe rooms and storm shelters:
The City of Jenks defines a storm shelter as an outdoor shelter, above or below ground, which meets the standards of FEMA P-320 and/or ICC-500 guidelines and is intended for use in dangerous weather events. This shelter may be prefabricated or built on site.
The City of Jenks defines a safe room as an indoor room, above or below ground, which meets the standards of FEMA P-320 and/or ICC-500 guidelines and is intended for use in dangerous weather events. This safe room may be prefabricated or built on site.
Which types of safe rooms and storm shelters require a permit?
All outdoor storm shelters, as defined above, require a permit to ensure compliance of the location, construction and installation with the local codes and the guidelines established by FEMA P-320 and/or ICC-500.
All indoor in-ground safe rooms require a permit to ensure compliance of the location, construction and installation with the local codes and the guidelines established by FEMA P-320 and/or ICC-500.
Indoor above-ground safe rooms do not require a permit if they are prefabricated to the standards of either FEMA P-320 or ICC-500. Homeowners should verify this information with their chosen safe room company.
Indoor above-ground safe rooms that are constructed on site will require a permit to ensure compliance of the location, construction and installation with the local codes and the guidelines established by FEMA P-320 and/or ICC-500. These types of constructed safe rooms fall outside of the scope of this F.A.Q. and will require additional inspections and information from the contractor. Please contact the City of Jenks if you want to construct this type of safe room.
Does the City of Jenks allow storm shelters and safe rooms to be installed for residential purposes?
The City of Jenks allows the installation of any storm shelters or safe rooms that meet the standards of either FEMA P-320 or ICC-500. Some types of storm shelters and safe rooms require a permit from the City of Jenks before installation. A permit is required to ensure compliance of the location, construction and installation with the local codes and the guidelines established by FEMA P-320 and/or ICC-500.
Can I have a safe room installed in the floor of my existing home in a garage, closet, etc.?
Yes. However, there are a few restrictions and considerations that must be examined with this type of shelter.
In homes located within the floodplain, FEMA P-320 requires that the safe room need only be elevated to the minimum lowest floor elevation identified by the floodplain ordinance of the community. If you are located in the floodplain within the City of Jenks and want to install this type of shelter, you must provide documentation that your home is elevated to this standard. Contact the City of Jenks for more information.
The best possible location for an in-ground safe room within a garage is in a no parking area. It is our recommendation that you place your safe room in such a way that it is unlikely that a vehicle would need to be moved to access the safe room.
Homes with a post-tension cable reinforcement system in the slab require an additional step in installation and an additional inspection. A post-tension slab has cables in the slab instead of traditional steel rebar. These cables are stressed to high levels of tension after the slab is poured and cured and provide support to the slab and protection from settlement of the foundation. The spacing of these cables is such that a safe room installed in a slab will require the removal of a portion of two to four (2-4) cables typically. In order to protect the integrity of the cable system, cables that are cut must be re-stressed. This process requires overcutting the slab on two sides of the intended installation area and installing hardware on the cut cables that will allow them to be re-stressed. A new section of concrete is then poured, allowed to cure, and the cables are then re-stressed. It is imperative that a homeowner with this type of slab contact a professional post-tension company, such as Stresscon or Oklahoma Post Tension, to perform this work. An inspection of this process is required and will be made by a City of Jenks inspector before new concrete is poured or a safe room placed in the ground. Homes with traditional rebar slab systems do not require this process or inspection, and a portion of the slab can be cut away for the installation of a safe room with minimal adverse effect to the foundation.
Who acquires the permit?
A permit can be issued to either the homeowner or the shelter/safe room company/contractor, but both parties will need to be involved with the permit process. The permit application requires information on construction, installation, zoning, and location. The City of Jenks permit processor may call the homeowner or shelter/safe room company to request more information
How long does it take to get a permit?
Once a permit application has been turned in to the City of Jenks at Jenks City Hall, 211 N Elm St, Jenks OK 74037, a minimum of three (3) working days is required to process the permit. This process may be delayed if more information is requested by the permit processors or due to an increased volume of applications. Once a permit is complete and ready to be issued, we will contact the person or company that has submitted the permit application.
Where do I get a permit application?
Applications can be picked up in person at Jenks City Hall, 211 N Elm St, Jenks OK 74037 on the second floor, or printed from the City of Jenks website at Jenks.com/Protective Inspections. Storm shelter and safe room permits are processed as a Residential Building Permit.
Why does the permit application require a site plan?
The City of Jenks requires a site plan for both outdoor and indoor shelter and safe room installations.
Outdoor shelters cannot be placed within the setbacks from property lines required by the zoning code, nor can they be installed within easements on the property, such as utility or drainage easements. These easements can typically be found on a copy of the mortgage plat, or by contacting the City of Jenks. The Jenks Zoning Code also requires that all shelters be placed in the rear yard of homes. The site plan for outdoor shelters must show property lines, the home, and the intended location of the shelter, with accurate dimensions from the shelter to the property lines and any easements related to your lot. This is usually accomplished by sketching the information onto a copy of the mortgage plat, but can be drawn or printed on paper by the applicant as well.
Indoor safe rooms require a site plan showing the intended location and size or dimensions of the safe room, along with dimensions to the nearest walls on all sides. This information can be drawn onto a copy of construction blueprints or sketched accurately by the applicant on paper.
What if I don’t know all this information that the permit requests?
The City of Jenks recognizes that some of the legal and technical information that the permit requests might be confusing or unavailable to the homeowner. Our permit processors will help to acquire this information on any missing portions of the permit, with the understanding that this may delay the process slightly. Legal descriptions of your home can usually be acquired from a mortgage plat. Please work with your chosen shelter or safe room company/contractor to acquire as much information from them as possible. Some information, such as technical specifications, will need to be supplied by the shelter or safe room company.
What inspections are required during the installation of my storm shelter or safe room?
Outdoor in-ground shelters require an inspection after the ground has been excavated, but before the shelter is placed. An additional inspection prior to digging may be requested to verify the shelter is out of all easements and setbacks. As with any outdoor digging, the contractor or homeowner should call OKIE to locate all utilities and buried lines.
Outdoor above ground shelters require a site inspection before placement to ensure zoning and easement requirements are met. An additional inspection will be required for any new foundation that is installed for the shelter.
Indoor in-ground safe rooms require an inspection if the slab has a post-tension cable system (see above) or if re-routing of plumbing lines or mechanical systems is performed.
Who calls in the inspection?
Inspections requests should be called in to Jenks City Hall at 918-299-5883. Requests may be made by the homeowners or the contractors. Many shelter and safe room companies require that the homeowners handle all permits and inspection requests. Homeowners should verify with the company or contractors who will be responsible for scheduling inspections.
Why are inspections needed?
Inspections are a necessary part of any construction process, to ensure that structures comply with construction and zoning codes. These codes are designed with the health and safety of both the community and individuals in mind. It is imperative that shelters and safe rooms are placed and installed properly. Failure to comply with the required inspections, zoning code, or building code is a punishable offense under local and state law.
What else should I do when having a shelter or safe room installed?
The City of Jenks has created a registry of storm shelters and safe rooms within Jenks. This registry will be used by Emergency Responders in search and rescue operations if the need arises. We consider it very important that all shelter owners register so that their shelter or safe room and occupants can be located if the shelter or safe room was to be obstructed by debris. The registration form may be obtained at the Jenks Police Department or online at Jenks.com, at the bottom of the page. Please fill out the form and return it to the Jenks Police Department as directed on the form.
Summary of required inspections:
· Indoor in-ground safe rooms:
Post-tension hardware inspection (if applicable) BEFORE pouring new concrete.
· Outdoor in-ground shelters:
Site inspection after excavation but BEFORE placement of shelter.
· Outdoor above-ground shelters:
Site inspection BEFORE placement of shelter.
Inspection of any new foundation (if applicable) BEFORE pouring new concrete.