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Tips & Thoughts about building a Safe Room
How big of a SAFE room do you need? That all depends on your budget, anxiety (how much you worry) and location. If you want a small one for shelter from tornadoes & hurricanes these are readily available and affordable. If you want a high end SAFE room, we recommend only building one if you plan on being in the home for the foreseeable future. It’s a big investment and the cost alone could be the down payment on a new home. That being said, if you are already reading this you’ve most likely thought these things through.
It doesn’t matter if you live in the smallest of apartments or the largest of homes, it’s possible to make a SAFE room a reality in just about any kind of home. A safe room is a room for family members or trusted guests to retreat to during an emergency or a harsh storm of any kind. If you like to prepare for just about any situation, here’s what you can do to make a SAFE room a reality in your very own home.
Paranoid much? Then a SAFE room may just be for you…
Why Should I Have A Safe Room?
Highly recommended from FEMA, there are several reasons why the average person should have a SAFE room incorporated into their home floor plan. In the event that your usual self-defense method has failed, a SAFE room can work as an incredible backup option. Especially in the event that someone in your home is unable to defend themselves. Homeowners can even hide any valuables away in a SAFE room.
Not only are SAFE rooms incredible in terms of self-defense, SAFE rooms are great for disaster preparation as well. Did you know that a properly built safe room can actually protect homeowners and family members from earthquake and hurricanes? It’s true, and often the perfect solution in case a dramatic weather event were to occur.
Where Is the Ideal Location for An In-Home Safe Room?
If you are designing a home with a SAFE room in mind, picking out a location will be a lot easier for you. If building a house isn’t in your plans, there are a few things you should consider when choosing the location for your in-home SAFE room.
- Make sure your SAFE room is away from “weak” doors and windows.
- Your SAFE room should be properly ventilated.
- Thick walls are a SAFE room priority.
- Your SAFE room should be located in an easily accessible area of the home.
- Access to water and the bathroom are a must.
Ideal safe room setup concept.
Great locations for a safe room include closet-like areas, a basement den, or even a windowless bedroom. Wherever the location you choose, just make sure it is accessible in any situation by any member of the family!
What Should I Do About the Doors and Windows?
If you’ve found the location but it has a few doors and windows, don’t despair! Here’s how you can reinforce your desired room to keep you safe.
For Doors: When building a safe room, expect to spend most of your budget on a door. The door is your first line of defense! Replace all interior doors in your room with the thickest exterior steel door you can buy. Pick a steel door that can be easily concealed to look like the others in your home. It is crucial to replace the door frame as well, making sure that it is just as strong as the door. A quick coat of paint is usually all you need. Of course, it’s important to reinforce the door with a door bar and a jimmy-proof lock.
For Windows: Windows are often the weakest point of a room, but they don’t have to be! Reinforce your windows with a high-quality ballistic film, or replace the frames with bulletproof glass. Invest in a pair of black-out curtains to keep your location hidden for as long as you would like it to.
What Kinds of Supplies Will I Need Inside My Safe Room?
The purpose of a SAFE room is to be equipped for any kind of an emergency for any period of time. Make sure that your SAFE room is equipped to sustain life for a few days (or weeks) at a time depending on circumstance. You’ll regret not having these kinds of items inside your SAFE room!
Stock up or you might become a victim of your own refuge!
- Communication devices of some sort such as a phone, cell phone, computer, or even a radio should be added.
- Foods like nonperishable snacks and freeze-dried foods are perfect in your SAFE room.
- Cold weather gear, just in case the power goes out and you’re stranded in the winter!
- Entertainment like television, books, or games. You’ll get bored with nothing to do!
- Anything needed for sanitation like a camping toilet, feminine hygiene supplies, and wet wipes.
- Prescription medications for family members who need it.
- First aid supplies for minor cuts, bruises, or burns that may have occurred while getting to the SAFE room.
- A fire extinguisher for any fire-related emergencies!
- Water! Stock one gallon of water per person, per day inside the safe room. Even if you have access to running water, a backup supply is always handy to have.
What Is the Approximate Cost of a Safe Room?
Though SAFE rooms can get to be a significant expense depending on the types of items included, the average person can expect to spend anywhere from $4-6,000 on a SAFE room. However, these figures are rough and you could install one in your home for more or less!
How Can I Make My Safe Room Even MORE Secure?
Are you looking to protect yourself and your SAFE room even more? Install a home security system that feeds into computer monitors or screens in your SAFE room. You’ll appreciate having eyes around your house in any situation. Plus, homeowners can often have security cameras added to your current home security plan at an affordable cost.
We recommend contacting home security companies like Frontpoint Security, ADT, and Vivint. While home security can run at an expense to some, many homeowners enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a home security system. The monitoring service will also call emergency contacts if you do not respond to the alarm. This can notify and get you the help needed if you don’t have cell phone service at the time of emergency.
Keep your family safe in any situation that could ever occur in your home with a SAFE room install. You can transform just about any room of the home to work as a shelter in case of a home invasion or natural disaster. Homeowners should make sure that their SAFE rooms are hidden from a plain eye and easily accessible to family members in need.
What are your thoughts and reactions? If you have any advice on building a secure room please share below.
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William is a tech buff and former corporate security officer turned cybercrime analyst. Computers have few secrets left for him, but home security and alarm systems… Well, those have plenty of secrets for their users, which William is now uncovering and explaining. His articles on home security helped many people take the matter seriously, invest in highly performing systems, and avoid becoming victims of burglaries.
Great article. I would love to create a safe room in my home and this article helped a lot. I won’t be able to implement everything in this article but I definitely took away some good stuff.