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.

Our top recommended home security systems

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

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 safe room.  A good idea is to install one of the security system panels in the safe room 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.

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 sound 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, 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 durable stone, brick, or concrete wall and ceiling.  You will want to stock the room with ample supplies of water, food, and first aid.  Also, 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.

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

The Fastest Way to Learn a Language

So far in my life I have studied and or learned: Russian, German, Indonesia, Spanish and French.  I say studied and or learned because studied German and Russian at the same time for four years but never really learned how to speak the language.  However, one thing that studying all of these language has done is give me a great idea of what it takes to actually learn a language.  The quickest language I ever learned, French, was three weeks.  After that time I was proficient enough to hold a decent conversation, read and comprehend a newspaper and listen to the news and understand 70-80% of what was being said.  While actually mastering a language can be very tough, there are a few things you can do to be able to converse in a language and get around in a host country.  With that being said, here are a few tricks:

  1. Immerse yourself:

    Most people who learn languages well are fully immersed.  Anything less and you will be greatly prolonging your ability to learn.  I spoke better french after 3 weeks of immersion training with the military than I did after the first two years of high school.  The biggest thing was that we sat in a class room 8 hours a day learning the language.  I also listened to French tapes in my car on the hour long drive to and from class.  I then went home and did homework for 1-2 hours after class.  The full immersion allowed my brain to get used to actually hearing the language and learning the language.  In the end this was the only reason I was successful.

Want to learn a new language? Read our blog to find out the easiest language to learn

  1. Use a good language learning software:

    While you can’t learn a language by a learning software alone, you can help aid your learning with a good language learning program.  The reality is that no-one has ever learned a language from a computer program alone.  However, it does help you pick up the language a lot faster.  These programs are great at focusing on key phrases and then pounding them in your head so that you never forget them.  While there are a lot of great language programs out there I would recommend the following:
    1. Rosetta Stone
    2. Pimsleur
    3. Rocket Languages

  2. Watch TV, Read a Newspaper, Listen to the Radio:

    Again, immersion is huge.  And getting an ear for a language is even more important.  One thing that helps me is to take an article in a magazine or national newspaper like La Razon and translate it.  The process of seeing a word, looking up the word and then translating a word helps me to remember it.  Also, an article will often have the same word over and over which helps you remember that word.

  3. Get a Good Dictionary/Training Aid:

    There are some great training aids out there for almost any language.  I used a Spanish Grammar Quick Study when learning Spanish and the Quick Guide to Learning French when learning French.  Both are great for quickly reminding yourself how to remember conjugation or simple words.  Usually if you know everything on those guides you are doing pretty well.

  4. Learn the verb “to be”/present simple tenses:

    The verb to be is “I am, you are, he/she is, they are, we are”.  This is the most common verb that is used in pretty much any language and the building block of any language.  If you want to learn any language, start here.  After that focus on the other tenses of the verb “to be” such as past simple (I was, you were etc.), past participle (been), present perfect (has been), past perfect (had been).  The sooner you can master this, the faster you can start to put together sentences.

  5. Learn the most common verbs:

    The 20 most commonly used verbs (in english, although it tends to be the same for most languages) are:

    1. to be
    2. to have
    3. to do
    4. to say
    5. to go
    6. to get
    7. to make
    8. to know
    9. to think
    10. to take
    11. to see
    12. to come
    13. to want
    14. to look
    15. to use
    16. to find
    17. to give
    18. to tell
    19. to work
    20. to call
  6. Lean the most common nouns:

    The 30 most common nouns of a language tend to vary based on the region of a language.  For example Prime Minister is a very common noun in one language and President is another common noun in another because of the country’s different political systems.  However, these do tend to be some of the most common nouns:

    1. time
    2. year
    3. people
    4. way
    5. day
    6. man
    7. thing
    8. woman
    9. life
    10. child
    11. world
    12. school
    13. state
    14. family
    15. student
    16. group
    17. country
    18. problem
    19. hand
    20. woman
    21. boy
    22. girl
    23. mother
    24. father
    25. number
    26. place
    27. house
    28. morning
    29. afternoon
    30. evening
  7. Learn how to count to 100:

    Obviously learning to count higher is essential, however, if you can at least count to 100 you can get by in almost any language.

  8. Learn these questions:

    There are a lot of questions that will help you but I have found memorizing these common questions will help you out a lot, especially if you’re using the language in real life:

    1. Where is the…
    2. How do you say…
    3. How much for….
    4. How far
    5. When
    6. Where
    7. How
    8. Why
    9. Who
    10. Do you speak English?
    11. Can you help me?
    12. How are you?
    13. Are you?
    14. Am I?
    15. Are they/we?

While the above is not a definitive guide it is a great place to get you started.  Generally if you know the above you are well on your way to learning a language.  The biggest thing missing from here is conjugation.  However, if you know how to conjugate the verbs above into at least the present tense you will be able to converse fairly well.

Can you learn a language at home?

I do have a lot of people ask me how to learn a language at home.  The answer is it’s really not possible.  You actually need that human interaction to actually learn a language.  I’d highly recommend taking classes if you’d like to learn a language.

Interested in learning a new language? Read our blog and find out how long it takes to learn a language

Methods of learning a language

There are a lot of different methods to learning a language.  Some people try to learn a language through a language software program while others go to a class.  The quickest way to learn a language is to take an immersion course in a country.  You can learn a language in 3-4 weeks by going to a country and taking a language class in that actual country.

Best Custom Sticker Company

We are proud to announce that we now have the ability to make custom stickers!   Our large format printer has the ability to print stickers, posters or high resolution photos up to 58″ x 300″.  We keep a number of materials on hand to meet your custom printing needs.  All of our stickers are printed in Denver, CO by veterans.  Our goal is to offer a quality sticker solution that helps provide jobs to our local veteran community.

If you’re looking to get quoted on customer stickers please email, info@refactortactical.com.

We only require a 100 piece minimum and we can create your stickers in as little as one day.  In addition we can custom design your sticker with our in house design team.  Our profession staff of designers can take your idea and create a sticker that meets your needs.

All of our stickers are made with a high quality UV resistant coating that offers a long lasting sticker.

FAQ:

  1. Can I put these custom stickers on my car?
    A: Yes- All of our stickers are printed on a weather resistant, UV coated material that offers a long lasting sticker
  2. Can you print a die cut sticker?
    A: Yes- we can do die cut or any other cut you like!
  3. I already have my own sticker file, what format should I send you?
    A: We can accept any file as long as it’s high resolution. PDF or vector files are our preferred file. If you only have a low resolution file that we will need to work into a printable high resolution file we charge a small prep fee.
  4. How much for 1000 custom stickers?
    A- This is one of our most commonly asked questions!  Stickers will range in price depending on quantity and size of the sticker.  Please email info@refactortactical.com to get a formal quote!
  5. What do you need to custom design my sticker?
    A- Just a general idea!  We charge $50/hour as a design fee and most custom designs take around an hour to complete, depending on the complexity.
  6. What is your minimum order quantity for custom stickers?
    A- Our minimum order quantity is just 100 stickers!
  7. Why shouldn’t I choose one of the other million online sticker companies?
    A- a large number of sticker companies online are made overseas and by underpaid workers.  In addition, these one stop shop companies find the cheapest materials to print your stickers on to help save money and increase profits.  Our goal is to offer a competitive price that helps keeps jobs in America.  Our stickers are 100% printed in the USA by Veterans.

7 Inexpensive Ways to Make Your House More Secure

Securing your home can be a daunting task but it’s actually a lot easier than you think.  Many people spend tens of thousands of dollars getting their house secured by professional companies and in many cases those additions only add a sense of security rather than something that’s going to be effective.

At the end of the day if someone really wants to break into your house, they probably will.  But your goal should be to create a house that is a visual hard target as well as impenetrable as possible.  It’s expected that 1 in 36 homes are broken into every year, so your goal should be to make your house the least desirable to break into.

So here are 7 inexpensive ways to drastically increase security at your house.

  1. Light it up- Motion lights and solar lights are relatively inexpensive and are huge when it comes to making your house undesirable to break into.  Your goal should be to brighten any dark areas at least some sort of light.  The biggest reason for this is that it allows you or your neighbors to potentially see anyone who might be lurking about.  Thieves also know that light is their enemy and will always tend to stay away from well-lit houses.  Motion lights and solar lights are available from almost anywhere and can range from $25-50.
  2. Security Cameras- Most people see security cameras and automatically think expensive.  However, several companies now offer very affordable cameras such as the Nest Camera or the Ring Camera which go for around $250-300.  If you aren’t wanting to spend that much you can always invest in fake security cameras which go for around $15-30.  In reality, the mere appearance of a security camera can be just much of a deterrent as a real one.
  3. Get a Security System Sign– If you don’t want to invest in a security system, you can always spend a few dollars and buy the sign.  Just like the fake camera a security system sign can make an intruder think you have a security system and not want to bother with a break-in.  Again, the goal here is to appear as a hard target.
  4. Get a home security system- If you have the money we strongly suggest actually getting a home security system.  In fact, homes without a security system are 300 times more likely to be broken into than one without. There are a lot of affordable plans and for around $40-50/month you can have your house covered.  According to the FBI, a large majority of break-ins actually happen between the hours of 6am and 6pm when people are at work.  A home security system is the only way to alert authorities that someone has broken in if you aren’t actually home.  If you are looking for a good recommendation of security system companies we recommend:
    1. ADT
    2. Protect America
    3. Life Shield
    4. Guardian Protect
  5. Make a safe room- While there are plenty of things you can do to keep someone from breaking in, it’s always a good idea to have a plan in the event that someone actually does. Safe rooms are typically a bedroom with one entryway with a possible method of exit (like through a window).  The door to your safe room should be a solid core door.  Ensure you emplace some sort of deadbolt system to help prevent the door from being kicked in.  The room should have a phone as well as a first aid kit.
  6. Install antitheft film on your glass- There are many aftermarket films that you can install on your glass to prevent someone from shattering it to break in.  This is a good idea especially if you have glass next to your front door that can be broken to access your doorknob.
  7. Get a dog- Original… I know.  However, if you don’t want to invest in a family pet, signs and fake dog noise machines actually do a great job too.  Dogs are a great way to prevent intruders from wanting to have a shot at your house and in many cases the breed of the dog doesn’t matter.

What to Put in a Signal Kit

Signal kits are essential for anyone going on a mission but they are also extremely useful to have on hand for everyday life.  From car crashes to being lost in the woods, signal kits can be a life saver.  If you want to set up a signal kit here are a few items that are great additions.  Our recommendation for a solid signaling kit is redundancy.  One form of signaling can often go unseen which is why you should have multiple backups.

  1. GPS Unit- One huge part of signaling is being able to identify where you are physically.  We recommend either using the Garmin Foretrex 701 or the Garmin Fenix 5. Both of these offer a quick reference to where you are which is crucial for relaying to help.  This is a vital addition to any signal kit.

  2. VS-17 Panel/High Vis Panel- High Vis panels can be high tech like our in house brand or simply a high vis piece of cloth.  The bottom line is these are essential to any signaling kit as they help you be seen from the air or ground.  This is especially important if you are out in the woods and find yourself lost.  It may not seem important but aircraft will be able to see them from higher altitudes when doing search patterns.
  3. Smoke Grenade- The next time the 4th of July comes around stalk up on some smoke grenades.  These can be small ones but they are great for signaling kits and can be seen from really far away.  It’s always better to choose a color like red, purple or yellow that can easily be seen from the air.
  4. Strobe Light- Strobe lights are essential for being seen at night.  We recommend using a VIP safety light because they have different colors, SOS patterns and a high output.  They also come with a good clip that can be attached to your belt or kit so you can turn on your light while moving.
  5. Chemlight– Chemlights are great because they are inexpensive, last 6-8 hours and can be seen from far away at night.  They also don’t take up much room.  If you want to make the chemlight more effective you can tie it to the end of a 3-4′ rope and swing it in a circular pattern.  This creates a very large, bright circle.
  6. Signal Mirror- Signal mirrors are probably the least expensive addition to a good signal kit and are extremely useful.  A good signal mirror can signal an aircraft thousands of feet up.
  7.  Air to Ground Radio- This may seem like overkill but a good air-ground radio is an excellent addition to a signaling kit if you have the room.  Basically these are used to talk to any overhead aircraft.  While you may not know the frequency used by aircraft in your area you can always put the radio on scan until it picks up a signal.
  8. Lighter- Last but not least is a good lighter.  Honestly, if you can bring one thing, bring this.  A light can start a fire which can been seen for miles.  If you plan to get a lighter you should always consider getting one that is extremely windproof and ensure it has plenty of fuel.