Pulowski: Nuclear protection on a budget!

Pulowski Preservation shelters are coin-operated, one-person fallout shelters found on street corners throughout the more urban areas of the Capital Wasteland, the Commonwealth, and Appalachia constructed by Pulowski Preservation Services.


Advertised as a "sensible" and "affordable" alternative to the vaults, they were intended for use as a last-minute resort in the event of a nuclear attack.[1] The shelter itself is firmly secured to the ground, and ventilation piping is attached to the rear of the booth. Some models have a luminous sign on the front of the shelter indicating whether or not it is occupied.

Pre-War useEdit

Though the shelters can shield against explosive force, they do not seem to shield against radiation. The installation of so many booths may have been due to the climate of fear before the Great War began. The shelters only had an air supply, no food or water, so the occupant's survival was dependent on what they were carrying at the time. Whether any occupant survived through the use of these shelters is unknown, though many are filled with skeletons or feral ghouls, suggesting the majority of occupants died inside.

The last-minute nature of the booth meant that ill-prepared occupants were likely resigned to die from starvation if they survived the high radiation levels. Considering the blood splatters within several booths containing handguns, it seems that some occupants committed suicide after losing all hope of survival. The only advice offered after entering the booth is: "Wait for radiation to clear. Enjoy your stay."

The risk of nuclear devastation pre-War may have been underestimated by the general public. It's possible that they were a scam of sorts, intended to cash in on panic and false alarms while not being able to keep occupants alive during a real nuclear event.

Post-War useEdit

Some of the shelters are in disrepair when encountered. Though apparently coin-operated, the player character can enter by pressing on the coin-slot (no money will be taken). Two centuries later, Pulowski shelters have found a new use in protecting citizens of the wasteland from its dangers; at least one non-player character (Bryan Wilks in "Those!") hides in a Pulowski shelter. Conversely, in Paradise Falls the shelters are used as punishment cells; a Pulowski shelter at the far end of the settlement is used to detain unruly slaves, and is named "The Box." This shelter is unique in that it has also been modified to be lockable, imprisoning the slave (in this case, Rory Maclaren). The key to this shelter is in the possession of Forty, typically nearby sitting on a bench or patrolling around the destroyed car wall.


Fallout 3Edit

There are a total of 18 Pulowski preservation shelters located throughout the Capital Wasteland, including "the Box" at Paradise Falls, with a 19th being found in the same G.E.C.K. cell as the game's intro. A normally inaccessible 20th shelter is added by the Point Lookout add-on.

Fallout 4Edit

Fallout 76Edit


  • Pulowski shelters do not protect their occupants from radiation after the war. This can be seen in Fallout 3, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76. In Fallout 3, if a car explodes next to the player character while standing in a shelter, they will take damage and radiation. In Fallout 4, if the player character enters a shelter during a rad-storm, they will still take radiation damage, and in Fallout 76 the player character will still take radiation damage from Scorchbeast attacks, and if the shelter is in a I.C.B.M. blast zone. However, it is unknown whether or not the shelters were incapable of shielding their occupants as intended, or if the shelters have degraded over time following the Great War.

Fallout 3Edit

  • Once the player character has closed the shelter door, no NPC will be able to open it.
  • While standing in the shelter, Bryan Wilks might ask "What's this funny suction hose for?" with no indication given to its purpose. If the player character is under attack by fire ants while next to (or close to) Bryan Wilks while he is in the shelter, one can hear him complaining about the heat and wondering why it is so hot.
  • The fan in the back of the shelter only moves if the shelter is occupied.
  • Despite the sign telling users to "wait for the radiation to clear," there is no Geiger counter or any other form of radiation measurement, meaning that if residents had survived, they would have to guess at when they could leave.

Fallout 4Edit

  • The shelters are a brighter shade of blue, and also feature pre-recorded ads for pre-War goods and services. They are also much larger, possibly allowing for one more person. Unlike their Fallout 3 counterparts, they claim to protect their occupants against explosions.
  • A Novice locked preservation shelter in College Square is occupied by a live feral ghoul. It is unknown when the feral ghoul or former human entered the shelter.
  • The shelters contain face masks and a fan, serving as ventilation.
  • There are several buttons inside of the shelter for the occupant's use.
  • Going inside one during a radiation storm still gives the player character rads. It is unknown whether or not this was the case at the time of the Great War, or if the shelter has degraded in the following centuries.
  • Unlike in Fallout 3, non-player characters can now open a shelter.
  • The shelters will generate light when opened, potentially illuminating the player character for enemies in a dark area.


Pulowski Preservation shelters appear in Fallout 3, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76.

Behind the scenesEdit

In Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, the Pulowski Preservation shelters are voiced by Elmarie Wendel.



Fallout 3 - Those Other Guys

Fallout 3 - Those Other Guys


  1. Fallout 3 Advert: Pulowski Preservation Services
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