How to Build a Safe Room/Panic Room

How to build a Safe Room in an Existing Home

A safe room is a vital part of good home security and something that should exist in every household.  Safe rooms are easy to create and can be the difference between life or death in the event of a home invasion.  Here is a quick and easy guide on how to set up a Safe Room in your house.

What Room Should a Safe Room Be In?

If you have a house or apartment building a Safe Room/Panic Room is relatively simple.  Your first step is to establish what room you’d like to put the Safe Room in.  You should be looking for a place that:

  • Has one doorway
  • Has an escape area (such as a window)
  • Has access to a phone (if you don’t have a cell phone)
  • Is quick and easily accessible from all areas of the house
  • Can fit your entire family
  • Has room for provisions
  • Has limited glass windows
  • Gets cellular reception
  • Safe Room Doors

When creating a Safe Room, you should be most concerned with the door separating the room from the rest of the house.  You should select a solid core metal or wood door.  These are available from your local Home Depot and are reasonably easy to install.  Next select at least two locks.  We recommend a deadbolt and a chain lock.  Chain locks are great because if the assailant kicks your door, it can break the deadbolt, however, it will most likely be stopped by the chain lock.  Also, Slide Locks can be attached to the top and or bottom.

Install a Home Security System

Having a security system installed in the house is a great way to help strengthen your saferoom.  A good idea is to install one of the security system panels in the saferoom so you can alert the authorities from the safety of the room.  While there are a lot of great security companies out there ADT probably has the best reputation at the moment and mainly because they are the largest in the nation.  Our top recommended home security systems are:

  1. ADT
  2. Protect America
  3. Life Shield
  4. Guardian Protection

Building Your Safe Room

  • Select the best room for your Safe Room
  • Install a solid core door with locks
  • Add a first aid kit
  • Add a form of self-defense (gun, taser, pepper spray, etc.)
  • Install shatter resistant windows or antitheft window film
  • Install a good security system and put the security system panel in your room
  • Install security cameras throughout the house with the viewing monitor in your safe room
  • Safe Rooms for Tornados/Hurricanes

Safe Room Criteria for home invasions tends to differ a bit from Safe Rooms from Tornados and Hurricanes.  In most cases, a Safe Rooms for home invasions will be a bedroom.  In many cases, a bedroom is located on upper levels of multistory houses.  In the event of a tornado, you will not want to be found on the second floor of a home but rather the first floor or basement.  These rooms should have a strong stone, brick or concrete wall and ceiling.  You will want to stock the room with ample supplies of water, food and first aid.  In addition, your room should have a radio that can transmit to local EMS (in the event of a big hurricane or tornado cell phones will most likely not work. Your safe room should also be out of a flood zone area, especially in the event of a hurricane.

Ideas of what to put in a Safe Room

When prepping your safe room for a tornado or hurricane, you will want to think a little more long term.  Prepare yourself to wait out the storm and then to wait days if not weeks until EMS can get to you.   You should be prepared to leave your safe room and walk to safety if needed.   Assume that the rest of your house will be destroyed and the only things you have in that room will be available to you to survive on.

  • Food and water (5-7 days worth)
  • Food for pets
  • Medical Supplies
  • Extra prescribed medicine for anyone in the house
  • Radio equipment
  • Battery charger for cell phone
  • Axe/pry bar (if you need to break out of your room)
  • Warm Clothes and Blankets
  • Hepa Filter Masks
  • Extra set of clothes and shoes for everyone in the house
  • Life jackets (if in a hurricane/flood zone)
  • Rain Jackets
  • Gloves
  • Extra boots for everyone in the house
  • Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Multitool/knife
  • Rope

 

 

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