How To Build A Panic Room In Any Home: The Sanctuary Afforded By A Safe Room


Home is where we should feel comfortable and secure. In Panic Room, the 2002 David Fincher thriller, Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart play the mother-daughter duo who shut themselves in a panic room beneath their home. So maybe we need to get an idea of how to build a panic room in any home.

A safe room is a special place to have in your home. It is break-proof, storm proof, gas-proof, well, literally everything-proof.

A safe room is designed to protect its occupants from intruders. The walls are usually reinforced with concrete and steel from all sides and have an almost impregnable steel door similar to the ones used in bank vaults.

A panic room is also protected through an extensive security system with multiple surveillance cameras and a public address system.

Most safe rooms are also built to withstand a gas attack and some pack enough supplies to last them for some time.

panic room
panic room

Such a safe room became prevalent among the wealthy, mostly inhabiting unsafe urban areas.

Such rooms are both a safe shelter and a hiding place for its inhabitants to protect them from home invasions, break-ins, terror attacks, and even natural calamities such as tornadoes.

Panic rooms are also equipped with communication equipment for a direct line to law enforcement authorities.

The Changing Perception Around A Safe Room

If you do not feel safe in your home, you won’t feel it anywhere. In the unpredictable routine of the world, especially the urban variant of it, it becomes pertinent to have an escape route as a backup for your dear ones even in the relative safety of your homes. That is one way of ensuring peace of mind.

With better resources at our disposal, and with changing threat perceptions, panic rooms have become a necessity in our homes. And this safety feature can be incorporated into any house plan.

To define it simply, a safe room is a fortified closet that has its hollow-core door replaced with a solid-core door, made preferably of steel. It has a deadbolt and longer hinge and strikes place screws that prevent easy access either from an overhead crawl space or the attic.

It is a place where you can retreat anytime in the event of an attack, natural disaster, or events that you might consider life-threatening.

How To Build A Panic Room In Any Home

Building a panic room is best done where your home is still in its planning stage. But you can even go ahead in a completed home. What happens when the threat perception changes around your home, or when you are buying a new home.

In short, a panic room can be added into any home, just enough to keep you protected before help arrives.

Building a safe room is best done considering your needs for your home. A safe room is mostly useful to keep both your family members and your valuable possessions out of the reach of intruders.

In such a situation, quick access is as vital as high security to the room. So a room that is centrally built and is quickly accessed is important. Being adjacent to the bedroom is one sane idea, as people tend to be in bedrooms when attacks take place at night.

To protect against hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, the room has to be either on the first floor or the basement. It should have enough resources to keep you secure for several days.

The best way would be to start from scratch and build a safe room. But you can also convert a room and incorporate all the safety features. Reinforcing an extra room is also a great way to cut down on costs.

The basic Physical features of a panic room are its strength and a dedicated point of accessibility. It should be concealed enough so that it doesn’t give an intruder immediate knowledge of its existence.

Mandatory features, And Some That Need To Be Avoided If Possible

There are many other features on how to build a panic room in any home. A panic room designed to ward off a home invasion should be without windows for obvious security reasons. If they are unavoidable, they need to be properly reinforced and have upgraded features so that it meets the required standards of a panic room.

It might become necessary for you to remain in the safe room for quite some time. So it becomes essential that there is enough ventilation. A normal closet-type room will not give you the airflow necessary, especially once the door is secured. So a ventilation system becomes absolutely necessary, even it is limited to an air vent or two.

You should also ensure that the air vent is not accessible to the intruder, as it could be used to smoke you out of the room. They have to be concealed and placed in such a way that intruders cannot interfere with the flow of air into the room. Neither should they be able to introduce any gas or smoke through the air vents.

The door is the weakest point of a room, so you will have to use thick-gauge metal like steel, but with a wooden exterior as camouflage.

It should be secured with chain locks and barrel bolts. It should be inward-opening and have a horizontal metal bar. The hinges and bolts should not be accessible from outside.

The panic room should have rudimentary toilet facilities. Some basic resting facility and storage capacity should contain supplies to last you a siege until help arrives, including water.

An advanced security system that contains a panic button feature is an absolute must. Keep a dedicated cellphone in the panic room, always charged. And the room should be designed to allow access to cell phone signals.

A comprehensive cover of video cameras around your room linked to a computer inside will allow you to monitor the outside situation.

Finally, one of the most important parts of how to build a panic room in any home is the availability of some sort of firearm and pepper spray to dissuade intruders from trying to break into the room.

The final part on how to build a panic room in any home is the existence of an emergency evacuation plan known to all members of the house. This is especially essential to ensure the safety of young ones in the house.