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The Safe Room Can Save Lives

A safe room is an ultra-secure, fortified enclosure that provides protection to its occupants in the event of a life-threatening situation. Safe rooms (also known as panic rooms) are gaining popularity with each passing day as they become the primary choice for protection from powerful storms, fires, intruders, nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks. These fortified rooms protect their occupants from inhaling harmful, deadly airborne toxins from radioactive fallout, biological toxins, and chemical agents. In addition, safe rooms also provide security for home pets during moments of danger.

At the most basic level, a typical safe room is comprised of walls made of reinforced steel and concrete, and has no windows.

However, high-end contemporary safe rooms are high-tech, especially the ones built for the wealthy, are more elaborate and come with a high price tag. Unfortunately, a good number of people who build panic rooms are preoccupied with protecting possessions. Although there is nothing shameful about storing valuable items, the primary goal of a safety room is to save lives. There are some owners who have the luxury of building two safe rooms: one for the parents and one for the kids. These luxury safe rooms normally carry items like chemical washbasins and gas masks in case a biochemical terrorist attack or an massive industrial accident occurs.

What should you include in a safe room?

Well-stocked safe rooms are equipped with basic emergency and survival items and may contain communications equipment, monitors for external security cameras, alarm systems, self-contained generator for power, air-filtration systems (including oxygen masks), portable toilets, and more importantly, weapons for self-defense.

How to build a basic, low end safe room on your own

First off, to build a safe house, you don't have to build a new house; it is also important that it blends in with your existing home. FEMA has worked closely with engineering schools and facilities to develop universal plans for safe rooms that can be added to old homes. Obviously, the simplest and most cost-effective way to install a safe room is during the construction phase of a new house.

After choosing the most suitable space of the house to construct your safe room, select an interior room or a commodious closet that has no windows. Set up a solid core wooden or metal door and hang it so it opens outwards, and substitute the wooden door framework with one that is constructed out of metal. If that proves to be to expensive to undertake, you can decide to reinforce the door trim with steel iron to preclude the door from being kicked open. Last but not least, make sure to fasten and secure the door hinges properly. To complete your safe room project, stock your room with all the necessary emergency preparedness items to ensure survival for a predetermined period of time.

Some items you can store in your safe room are as follows:

Water, soft drink, energy beverages
Communications devices (a cellular phone, a ham radio, a separate land line connection)
Food (ready meals, freeze dried foods, or foods that can be stored for long durations like canned goods)
A portable radio with batteries
A flashlight with batteries
Items for personal hygiene
MedicineYou can choose to make any addition to your safe room as you see fit and as your budget dictates, that includes possibly installing an alarm panel or going as far as a putting in a portable toilet. It is you who ultimately decides what your safe room is going to look like and how durable and functional it is.


There are rather expensive safe rooms out in the market, but they are mostly geared towards the needs of the wealthy. Depending on the amenities, the construction of a “luxury” safe room typically starts at $30,000 and can go up as high as $500,000.

Is a safe room necessary?

For those who can invest both the time and a modicum amount of money to building a safe room, I say, it is one of the best proactive measures they can take to confront certain emergencies. You know you will have a safe place to go – that is structurally sound and safe – when an disaster threatens you and your family.

A video about the construction and installation of a safe room


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