The frenzy over panic rooms may have begun after people watched the homonymous film starring Jodie Foster. Instead of replacing old high-security door locks, people actually started building panic rooms in their own homes. Of course, building a panic room – aka a safe room, doesn’t come cheap. And if it’s cheap, it might not protect you well enough.
Now, the question is this: should you build a panic room? Are they really necessary for the common, everyday person? Or should you simply get better high-security locks and fortify one of your existing rooms?
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The basics of panic rooms
Panic rooms have existed for a long time; much longer than the 2002 movie. That’s because the idea of having a fortified room within a structure for protection goes back to the Middle Ages, when royalty needed a hiding place in case of a siege.
However, panic rooms were not always meant to create a hiding point during home invasions. In different periods of time, people embraced the idea of having a panic room to use in the event of a terrorist attack, hurricane, biological attack, etc. Some people built panic rooms to protect things – like inventions, computers, data, and money. Panic rooms have been used to provide shelter to abused people or protect people from kidnapping. Nowadays, these hidden places usually serve purpose during home invasions.
Panic rooms usually cannot be very large since they occupy space otherwise used for other everyday purposes. But they cannot be very small either, especially if a family is large since there must be sufficient oxygen to last until law enforcement arrives.
Most panic rooms are built close to bedrooms because people are at their most vulnerable when sleeping, and most home invasions happen during the night.
Panic rooms lack windows and have keyless entry locks and durable doors, which are often not seen but camouflaged with bookcases or other pieces of furniture. Since the whole point is to find protection and a way to communicate with the outside world to ask for help, safe rooms must be equipped with landline phones or cellular phones. They may also have a monitor that shows what’s happening in the house through security cameras and all things you need to survive for a while – toilet, water, food – a survival kit. Also, the walls must be soundproofed so that the burglars won’t hear you inside the safe room. Many panic rooms are hidden inside closets, where there’s a door leading to the hiding place.
Simply put, a panic room is a room fortified to protect and offer shelter. To build one and install a reinforced door, a durable keyless entry system, CCTV cameras, communications equipment, and all the other things you may need in there, costs a lot of time and money.
Alternatives to panic rooms
Today, a simple bedroom can be better fortified to be impenetrable with doors that won’t open unless you want them to, with locks without keys, with bullet-proof materials, and with ample space so that you won’t suffocate. It may be better to invest in new materials, technology, door locks, and CCTV systems than build a room – it’s all up to what level of safety your desire in your own home.
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