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safe rooms in houses


Basics You Need to Know Before Building a Safe Room in Your House

September 5, 2016

Safe room is something found not only in movies. Moreover, it is also a type of room can be found not only in business and governmental properties but also in a lot of residences, whose owners give deep concern on their safety as well as their family’s. Do you also think about having one in your house?

If you do think so, before building the room it is quite important for you to know first about all basics of safe rooms in houses.

The purpose is nothing else but to make you understand properly about what safe room is and how to build and design it rightly.

What Is Safe Room?

underground safe room with basic and optional features inside


Even you may have known already about what safe room is, it will be nicer for you to know better about what it actually is.

Basically, it can be explained like this. Safe room is a room built in properties, which in this case are houses, in which, just like its name, higher level of safety needed during panic time can be obtained by the occupants. This may be the reason why the room is often called panic room.

How It can be Functioned

underground safe room after tornado


If seen from the function, safe room like this is highly functional during some types of natural disaster, especially a tornado.

Although so, it is not the only occasion when the room can be used because the room is also beneficial to use in some other events.

illustration of home invason


A room like this is also highly beneficial when there is a break in or home invasion threatening the safety and even the lives of everybody in the house.

By staying in this room at least until the unfortunate event comes to an end or until help comes to rescue them, there is a bigger chance for them to stay alive and safe.

Another time when the room can be functioned is when there is terror attack happening in the environment. As we all know, terrorism is everywhere this time and attack could happen anywhere at any time.

Building a safe room then can be another worthy life insurance everyone should consider in mind.

Important Details for the Construction

white color simple square residential safe room


Now that you know better about description and function of safe room, it is the time to know further about the construction of the room so later you can build a perfect safe room for you and your loved ones. Let us start with the size of the room.

Commonly, a residential safe room is not really big in size but enough to accommodate all people in the house without being cramped inside it. The shape is usually square just like a simple closet.

example of safe room construction


Away from how small and simple the room is, usually it is constructed with great protection since the basic function of it is nothing else but to protect.

The walls of the room are often reinforced in order to give better strength making the room not easy to break in or even to destroy. Cheaper safe room may only have strong concrete walls for the reinforcement.

On the other hand, the more expensive one may have something with way better resistances like fiberglass that is bullet-resistance or high quality steel in order to guarantee the safety value offered in the room.

Other than the walls, the ceiling of a safe room should also be made strong or is possibly reinforced too so it is quite impossible for intruders to break in the room through it.

In relation to natural disasters, it would be best for the ceiling to have better resistance ability toward pressure, including pressure from wind or any big-size objects fall on it often occur in area with higher level of tornadoes to happen in every year.

safe room door


Another detail that is not less important is the room’s door. Of course, the door is unlike any common residential doors since it must own the most important value, which is strong protection.

Being resistance to battering from outside is another crucial detail to consider when choosing a door for a panic room.

It can be even better when the type of door you choose here has special hinges and deadbolt feature. Of course, there is no there reason why you are suggested to choose this door type more than a better safety level you can obtain.

This type of door makes it quite hard for anyone from outside to enter the room.

Choosing a door with peephole is quite great too. The peephole can be functioned to check what is happening outside the room.

However, it would be better is the peephole is not so obvious so if there are bad people outside the room they will not know if they are being spied from inside the room.

Basic Features to Add

amateur radio transceiver


When done with the construction, the next thing to think is features. Other than the most obvious fact that a safe room must have electricity and good air circulation, the most important feature must available is communication device.

This is useful in contacting outside world for help, no matter whether the one called is police, emergency call number, or anybody you think you can call in order to get the help needed.

The type of communication device to add is not only limited in cellphone since it can also be land-line phone or even an amateur radio transceiver.

Any kind is fine actually as long as it can be used for communication in panic time. Adding more than just one type of communication device is great too just in case if some of those are not possible to use at the time.

Next, in building a safe room the next feature to add is food. This one is obviously very basic but very important at the same time.

Certainly you cannot expect to have the foods you commonly have in your daily here since packaged foods are the best to keep in the room. These foods are not easily stale and very easy and quick to eat.

First aid kit is another important feature you must not forget adding in the room too. If anyone is injured during the panic time, this can be really helpful.

A considerable thought you should have in mind is add the medications you and your family usually needs, such as specific kinds of meds, in the first aid box.

Portable toilet that is very simple to use is another thing you must not forget. Staying in a safe room during hard situation for a quite long time would be highly uncomfortable when you do not know where to do your business when nature is calling, right?

The last but not least, if you think some survival tools are needed in the room, you can consider those as basics too. Furthermore, placing some self-defense tools is totally acceptable in this case.

Optional Features You Can Add Too

safe rooms in houses with bed plans


The features other than the ones mentioned previously are optional but adding them can surely make the safe room way more comfortable.

For instance, you can add folded bed so if you need to stay in the room for a quite long time you can still sleep comfortably any time you feel tired. This way, you will not run out of energy to stay safe.

luxurious safe rooms in houses plans


If you have extra cash that you are able to build a bigger and more luxurious safe room, a lot of optional features can be added.

Of course in this case it is very possible for you to add a small living room where comfortable sofa and a flat screen are available.

Adding a set of computer connected to all surveillance cameras you install in some spots in the house is a good thought too.

If possible, you can also add a small bathroom or just a toilet as another feature of the room. This way, you do not need to feel the discomfort of using a portable potty, right?

Any optional features stated here will not only make the room more comfortable. These can even make the room feels like a small version of your house is you want too.

The thing you should not forget is that a more comfortable luxurious safe room like this usually need a bigger space compared to the simple one.

Possible Locations in the House for Safe Room

secret and hidden safe rooms in houses


Now let us talk about location. It is crucial to think about where the room is about to be built.

The location should not only have possible space to build the room but it must also easy to access so when emergency situation must you to enter the room you can do it very easily.

Commonly, there are some different locations in houses where the room can be built. The most common one is in basement.

This location is chosen not only because of the extra space usually available in basement area but also because of some other consideration. As an example, basement location is regarded better to resist wind during a tornado.

hidden safe rooms in houses behind shelf


Other most common location is called hidden location. As a matter of fact, this location is the one chosen more by home owners who are highly interested in having safe room in their houses.

One of the reasons why is because having the room feels like having a secret room in the house where it is also possible for you to store some of your precious belongings.

There are a lot of options can be picked for the hidden location of the safe room. You can choose a location behind bookcase or wardrobe as seen in a lot of actions movies. Besides, you can also place the room behind your fireplace if you want to.

Should You Build Your Own Safe Room?

safe room design in house


After knowing all basics about safe rooms in houses as explained previously, it is the time for you to answer the very last question. It is none other but; should you build your own safe room?

There are two possible answers here. If you are someone with advanced ability and knowledge about construction then it is totally fine for you to design and build the safe room without any help of other people or special service.

The ability and knowledge will help you significantly in creating the best and, surely, safest safe room in your house.

However, if by any chance you know very little about building and constructing you should not take any risk by building the room on your own and it is totally fine.

At this point of time, there are quite a lot of service provider whose field is especially in building safe rooms for business, residential, and governmental needs. Such service would be very helpful in making your dream of having quality safe room to be true.

Although it is not hard to find a service to build the safe room you want, still you cannot choose any service randomly.

build your own safe rooms in houses


The best decision is to choose a service recommended by those who already owned the room in their houses so the quality is guaranteed. This recommendation may also include the price you need to pay for hiring a safe room building service.

No matter which answer you choose from the two mentioned earlier, there are still two things to take into account. The first one is design.

You can make this on your own, you can search for the design on the internet, or you can simply hire people to make the best design for you.

The second thing is budget. When designing a safe room, it is impossible for you to create something impossible for the budget you have in your wallet to cover.

That is why planning, is really important here so you can really be sure that the money you have is enough for the room building without creating any financial burden to you when the construction is done.

So what do you think? Do you want to build your own safe room or making it easier by hiring people to do the construction for you?

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