How Safe Are Shipping Container Homes?

Container home out in the woods

Shipping container homes are ideal for living in a very affordable and unique place. However, it is common for people to have concerns over how safe these container homes are. If you were in the marketplace for a shipping container home, these are some things that you would want to know before buying your shipping container home.

Are Shipping Container Homes Safe?

Shipping container homes are becoming more famous, but they’re still a rare sight. Most people who have heard of them wonder if they’re sturdy and safe to live in. The short answer is yes.

The cargo containers used for shipping are all made to the same specifications, and they have to withstand a lot of stress during transport, often by sea. They’re held down with strong straps and chains, and they endure weeks of constant motion on the ocean waves. They also have to be built to handle the weight of several similar containers stacked on top of each other as they travel overseas.

Shipping companies regularly inspect their containers, so you can be confident that any new or refurbished container you buy will be in good condition if you maintain it properly.

Can a shipping container home withstand a tornado?

A shipping container home does have the ability to endure the powerful effects of a tornado. Shipping container homes are built to be strong and sturdy, able to withstand even the most extreme of climates and conditions. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. It can cause considerable damage and injury, but it cannot enter a shipping container home because the home has been built to withstand this type of weather event.

Residential home destroyed by a tornado

The shipping container’s walls are made from 14 gauge steel or thickness of just under ΒΌ inch. A metal box sitting on top of the foundations is typically more than enough support for the house. Shipping container homes are built to be strong, sturdy, and resistant to natural elements such as weather changes. According to the FEMA guidelines, Shipping container homes can withstand winds up to around 250 mph before meeting their end. To put that into perspective, the strongest recorded wind speed on Earth was 231 mph in 1934, which is well below FEMA’s estimate needed for a shipping container home to remain standing.

Are Shipping Container Homes Earthquake-Proof?

Container houses are safe from earthquakes. The containers were originally designed as transportation units for heavy cargo on the high seas, where they are subjected to a lot of movement.

Standard home shifted off foundation after earthquake

If you are designing your container home in an area that is prone to earthquakes, you can take several steps to ensure that it is built in such a way as to withstand seismic movements without sustaining any structural damage or putting your family at risk.

Steps to make earthquake-resistant home

Stabilize the building: The first step is to ensure that the building is up to code and is stable enough to withstand the shock of an earthquake. It can get done using a mixture of concrete, steel rods, and beams. This process is known as reinforcement.
Anchor heavy equipment: Heavy equipment must be anchored to the floor or walls using metal fasteners. For instance, water tanks should not be placed on roofs during an earthquake as this may cause major damage to life and property.
Separate different sections: The building must be separated into different sections so that if one part gets damaged, the other parts do not get affected.
Improve roof strength: Roofs should be made strong to not collapse during an earthquake. They can be strengthened by fixing steel bars and beams on the ceiling of each room, which will help prevent any damage caused due to falling debris.
Use lightweight materials: Lightweight materials are more resistant to earthquakes than heavier ones. Steel and wood are good examples of lightweight materials that provide greater stability and strength during earthquakes.

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