A safe room, more commonly known as a panic room, is exactly what it sounds like, an entire room that serves as a safe or vault.
It used to be that only the wealthy could afford this type of safe. However, building a safe room it is just as affordable as building or renovating any other room currently. If it’s not feasible to build an addition for whatever reason, you can just as easily convert an existing room. Each will cost you some money, but the designs are similar.
A safe room will be built with fortified walls and ceilings, and obviously, the door should be impenetrable. The room can also be equipped for habitation and communication as well.
The standard 2 x 4 skeleton with drywall construction is not sufficient for the walls of a safe room. If you can afford it, steel lined walls will make for good fortification. A less expensive option is cement or brick reinforcement. Just like any construction project, local building codes and zoning regulations must be observed.
Cement or brick reinforcement is not suitable for ceilings due to weight bearing issues. Sheets of tin or heavy wood is also used at times to reinforce this section. In most cases, the ceiling is less of a concern, unless there is a skylight or some other reason that the roof may be easily accessible.
Obviously, the door should be given the greatest consideration. It should be as close to impenetrable as you can make it. Many office buildings are equipped with double core metal doors that should work for this purpose. Finish by adding a heavy duty deadbolt lock system.
In the event you need to use the room as some type of shelter in the future, there are a few other things to consider. A water supply and a toilet, as well a small amount of food should be added in case you have to spend several hours there.
Other things to include are a telephone, for sure, and possibly a video camera system to see what’s going on outside. The telephone is essential for keeping in contact with local authorities, as well as family and other loved ones.
In addition to the uses mentioned above, a panic room can also provide shelter form a house fire in the event there is no way out. It will only be effective if you have built our room in the right manner. These rooms can basically serve as a vault for storing valuable and important items of any size. The panic room is capable of doubling up as a shelter against natural disasters like tornadoes.
While one does not wish for it to happen, your panic room can act as a place of refuge against dangers such as trespassers and intruders if you can make it inside in time. The FBI reports that a forcible rape takes place every five minutes in this country. Unfortunately, a fairly high percentage of these occur inside the home. Even worse is that out of these, many are committed by people you know or live with.
It’s not as expensive as it sounds to create a room like this. You should take a look at one and it might make you reconsider setting up such a room.