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Baxter Institutes Tornado Fastener Guidelines

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Baxter Institutes Tornado Fastener Guidelines

Baxter will ask that new homes will be built with fasteners developed to withstand EF1 and EF2 tornadoes.

Building Inspector Bob Lane said this is a county-wide effort after he and other inspectors took part in a hands-on class. Lane said this will only cost builders 50 cents a square foot and could provide home owners a sense of security.

“EF1, EF2 it’s proven that if this house is built in this certain way with these type of fasteners that the house will stay together,” Lane said. “There will be some damage but the house will stay intact.”

Lane said contractors are on board with this method and will help with advertising the safety of new homes in a tornado region.

“We’re gonna start asking everybody to do this, we’ll kindly phase it in,” Lane said. “It’s just something that needs to be done, we’re in a tornado region here pretty bad, of course you know what happened in March.”

Lane said these fasteners were developed by Simpson Strong-Tie and fasten the roof to the wall, and wall to the foundation. He said “the proof is in the pudding” when he saw them demonstrated.

“I was pretty astonished, we actually got to see some demonstrations with a press,” Lane said. “They actually had a device there in the classroom, they could actually put that kind of pressure on it and how much these things held.”

Lane said the area codes only call for a home to be able to withstand a 90 mph wind for three seconds. Lane said that is much less than the winds a tornado would bring.

The March tornado was an EF-4, which destroys most types of structures.


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