A safe room in your home doesn’t need to be a high-tech, fortified space like in the movies, but it must be secure. Safe rooms are meant to be security spaces against storms, burglaries, and any other type of emergency situation.
These spaces need to be resilient and stocked with survival provisions and emergency response items that you would need in a dire situation. In concept, these rooms should be “go to” places when things go wrong.
The location of these rooms can vary and the interior does not need to resemble the set of the film Panic Room; however, if you are building the room from scratch, you can decide on the exact degree of fortification. If you are adapting an existing space, consider the structural makeup of the room to determine suitability as a safe room. Here are some useful tips for creating a home safe room.
IDENTIFY A SUITABLE LOCATION
The first part of allocating a space for a safe room is determining which space is most suitable for the job. If you are building from the ground up, locate an appropriate area and calculate the amount of room you will need or have to work with as well as materials for the job. If you are repurposing an existing space, make sure the area is suitable in square footage and resistance potential. Basements and garages are both good options for safe rooms since both can offer good protection against storms and are structurally resistant in design; however, flooding can be problematic for rooms in basements. Consider the location of both your home and the prospective safe room carefully.
STRUCTURALLY PREPARE THE SPACE
The effectiveness of a safe room comes down to the structure of the space and the materials used to secure it. Concrete walls, heavy wood doors, steel sheathing, reinforced door frames, and Plexiglas windows are all reliable materials to use in a safe room though windows may be best avoided. The aim of a well-constructed safe room is to keep debris out, prevent structural damage, and reduce the likelihood of forced entry. Selecting the right materials for the room is the first part of properly securing the space and actually making it into a “safe” room.
ADD FEATURES AND PROVISIONS
Once the safe room is constructed and in fortified condition, you can add security features and begin stocking the space with emergency provisions. Ventilation systems to filter air are good additions especially for relief during storms. Keypads and security monitors wired to cameras in your home can also be useful features. A keypad lock will ensure that you don’t have to fumble with deadbolts and will allow your room to function as a vault as well if you intend to store sensitive or valuable items inside.
Stock emergency provisions for at least three to five days in the safe room. Your supply list should include non-perishable food essentials, water, first aid supplies, and other miscellaneous supplies such as copies of important documents, radios, cell phone chargers, flashlights, batteries, lanterns, cash, sanitation supplies, blankets, sleeping bags, weapons, and any other supplies you need. Check your provisions every three to six months and rotate food items before expiration. For any perishable items, check them on a more regular basis and replace them.
Contact us today for a free inspection to determine if your home is right for a safe room and to provide safe alternatives. 479-225-9800