Common people – those who are not on the Forbes 500 list or on the world’s most rich & famous list, heard about panic rooms when they watched the homonymous film, starring Jodie Foster. Then, the frantic started. Instead of replacing the old high-security door locks, people started building panic rooms. Of course, building a panic room – aka a safe room, doesn’t come cheap. And if it’s cheap, it won’t protect. And it won’t allow you to stay in the panic room for long since you’ll run out of oxygen.
Now, the question is this: should you build a panic room, even if you can afford a decent structure? Or simply get better high-security locks and fortify one of the existing rooms? Let’s see but before we do that, let us understand the meaning of having a safe room, to start with.
How much do you know about panic rooms?
Panic rooms existed much earlier than Jodie Forster and any of us was born. That’s because the idea of having a fortified room within a structure for protection goes back to the Middle Ages when the lords of castles needed a hiding place should there be a siege.
With that said, let us point out that 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, et cetera. 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 during home invasions.
In any case, panic rooms cannot be very large since they would occupy space otherwise used for other everyday purposes. But they cannot be very small either, especially if a family is rather large since there must be sufficient oxygen to last for a while until the police show up.
Most panic rooms are built close to bedrooms. That’s because people fear the most when they are asleep and thus, in a calm state and find it hard to switch to a heightened state in a heartbeat. If you hear someone breaking into your home or walking around the house, you cannot run down the corridors in an attempt to reach the panic room but you can do that during the day.
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. But to build it and get a reinforced door, a durable keyless entry system, CCTV cameras, communications equipment, and all things you may need in there, you need to pay a lot of money. Is it worth it just to use it should there is ever a break-in and still know that the time you can breathe in the safe room is limited?
With the right locks and materials, bedrooms become great safe rooms
Homes are everyone’s sanctuaries, whether we are rich or poor. The truth of the matter though is that it is the rich and famous that mostly need panic rooms. Who wants to break into my home? Rich people do not only have a lot to lose in terms of possessions but also need protection from stalkers. In such cases and in the cases of people who are abused, panic rooms may truly become safe rooms. But isn’t it true that an ordinary room – usually the bedroom, can also become one’s hiding place?
Today, we have the means, the technology, and the ideas on our side. These days, a simple bedroom can be 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. So, rich or not, it’s probably better to invest in new materials, technology, door locks, and CCTV systems than build a room.