An outdoor or smoke shelter serves as a place for people to smoke without endangering the health of non-smokers through secondhand smoke. Many commercial properties, including offices, buildings, businesses, and universities, have invested in this option to provide smokers with a designated smoking area.
Whether it is windy or rainy, smokers do not have to stand out in the cold, all huddled together, to smoke. Instead, they can go to the enclosed smoke shelter for a smoke. If several people at your office smoke, having an outdoor shelter will benefit you and your team.
The Benefits of Installing a Smoke Shelter
Following are some reasons to invest in an outdoor shelter:
Offers Protection from Inclement Weather
Smoking shelters offer people protection against inclement weather and protect them from the sun’s harsh UV rays. Giving smokers their own area to smoke ensures no cigarette buds lying around and no complaints from non-smokers. If you want to keep your building smoke-free, installing an outdoor shelter can help keep it that way as it is built for that purpose.
Comply with Smoking Legislation
Property owners need to comply with the smoking legislation of their state and ensure all the occupants in the building do so as well. For instance, Maryland has enacted the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007, which prohibits people from smoking in public meeting places, indoor places of employment, and public transportation vehicles. Businesses and other institutions can avoid this problem by installing an outdoor shelter.
More Safety and Accountability
You should place trashcans in the outdoor shelter space to prevent people from littering the floor with cigarette buds. Since they are smoking in smoke shelters that are built for them, they will likely not discard their cigarette buds in a careless manner. Having trashcans around also reduces the risk of a fire on a hot and dry day due to a carelessly misplaced cigarette bud.
You can even have a built-in ashtray and trash collection system set up in your outdoor shelter. With the benefits of installing an outdoor shelter clear, the next step is to learn how to protect it from bad weather.
How to Protect Outdoor Shelters from Bad Weather?
The type of weather your area experiences influences the construction and design of the outdoor shelter. Most often, you are presented with two choices — aluminum shelters and steel shelters. Some of the choices for the design of the outdoor shelter you may come across include a smoking shelter, smoker’s shack, smoking hut, or smoking enclosure, depending on the usual weather conditions of the area.
In short, the type of outdoor shelter you choose, along with the type of material used to construct it, is how you protect it from bad weather.
Does It Snow a Lot in Your Area?
Areas that witness heavy snowfall each year should choose outdoor shelters with hip roofs and gable roofs. Take into account snowdrifts as well. Snowdrifts refer to the potential of other buildings to push snow on your building’s roof due to heavy snowfall and high winds. If your building is close to a building that can throw snow on your roof, the outdoor shelter’s design should reflect that.
How Windy is It in Your Area?
You need to consider the wind conditions of your area when choosing a design for your outdoor shelter. The amount of wind your area receives will also influence the cost of the outdoor shelter. High winds can damage a smoke shelter. Therefore, the shelter’s design should include wind loads to withstand the pressure the wind places on it.
Does It Rain a Lot in Your Area?
If it rains quite frequently in your area, you may consider building a fully enclosed area with ventilation and exhaust systems to your outdoor shelter design. You can also have a fully enclosed outdoor shelter if it is a personal preference.
It is perfectly okay to be unsure of the type of outdoor shelter that is best suited for the weather conditions in your area. You can select a design and let the company you hired to suggest features for your outdoor shelter to combat bad weather.
If you want to get an outdoor shelter installed for your employees, but you do not whether you should go for an enclosed area or an open area, ask your employees. You can narrow down your choices and hand out a survey to your employees so that they can make the decision.
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