Safe Zone, a manufacturer of bombproof modular structures and building components, has earned success in some of the more hazardous parts of the world. Twenty years ago in Northern Ireland, the company made its reputation building blast-resistant police stations and "hardening" embassies against terrorist attacks. Now the company envisions a huge potential market for its products here in the United States.
According to company spokesman Don Culver, "We fabricate everything, put it on a truck, and two days later you've got it in your house. Our only competitor is poured concrete, which is very expensive by comparison. We offer the same kind of protection in a much less-costly installation." Safe Zone modular systems also can claim to be more environmentally friendly, he says, "because we don't pour any wet stuff down at the bottom of the foundation."
While Safe Zone's sales here to date are mainly in commercial construction, particularly to companies worried about attacks, "we're also going after residential contractors, especially in high-end areas," says Culver. "We're really seeing that market take off."
Safe Zone's products include $5,000 exterior doors that can withstand sledgehammer attacks, and reinforced glass windows that can survive explosions of up to 1,100 pounds of TNT. Culver says homeowners in areas threatened by tornadoes, wildfires, and hurricanes would benefit from such impervious structures, but the company's primary focus, for now, is builders and owners seeking protection from "intrusion, not natural disasters."