Safe or Panic Rooms
Safe Rooms – Residential and Commercial
As a business owner myself, I appreciate the added peace of mind that a safe room offers to a home owner who lives in a large home and is perceived to have valuables and other items of value ready for the taking.
I also have an appreciation for dealing with an industry focused on putting bad people behind bars and “protecting” good citizens. Having been involved in legal action and threats in the past, I live in a gated community, which is a security plus, but certainly not the total solution.
Security starts at the perimeter of your property and today’s advancements in Closed Circuit TV systems (Security Camera’s) allows for smart Digital Video Recording units that allow for on-screen motion detection and alarm outputs when motion occurs during alarmed periods.
In the security industry, we call this a pre-alarm and do not interface this into the security reporting feature. . Having “eyes” watching your perimeter alerts you to any breach and can set off interior chimes, activate viewing monitors, turn on outside and inside lights if at night, and give you those needed seconds to gather the family before the home perimeter is reached.
Many thieves today go to the power and communication lines outside to keep the alarm system from communicating. We address this in several ways providing redundancy and security reporting of alarm activation’s.
Doors locks and latches can be easily re-enforced to defend against “kick ins”. Windows can be treated with film that resists blows from heavy objects, again, providing time for you and your family to reach your safe room. With the breach of a door or window, your alarm system should instantly go off, alerting police or security to any possible threat.
Planning your safe room and what options you want.
The first consideration is “where”. Although many master bedroom closets are converted into safe rooms, sometimes an unused, adjacent bedroom is best, especially if it is in-between the Master Bedroom and the other bedrooms or common areas.
Next to consider it “what for”. Is it only going to serve emergency security situations that are short term? That would be one (1) hour or less. Midterm from one (1) hour to four (4) hours. Long-term from 5+ hours. With the right construction, a safe room can protect you during severe weather or hurricanes. These are generally over in minutes or a few hours.
Once you determine the where and what for, the options you feel are important come into play.
Basic options should be:
- Bullet Proofing of walls, floors (if not on concrete) and ceiling
- Hidden/lockable access and emergency egress doors
- Backup Power
- Security Cameras – exterior and covert interior with DVR
- Security communications keypad
- Redundant wireless communications
- Exterior Visual Signals of secure room activation (Horns and Strobes)
- “Buddy System” redundancy with neighbors, if possible
Other options available:
- Separate Ventilation systems
- Backup Power Systems
- Redundant Communications
- Electric Toilets and drinking water
- Noise Deterrents
- Weapons Safe
Because a safe room can be multi-functional, it can serve for closet space, book shelves, office area, etc… no need to “dedicate” space to seldom needed usage.
Budgeting – this level of security is best addressed pre-construction of a home or commercial facility. Costs will range between $7,000 and $40,000+, depending on options.
Post-construction installation will run about 35% higher and will take a third (1/3) longer to finish.
If you are looking for simply a safe location for violent weather, there is a nice pre-built steel enclosure that can be located in a garage or exterior room and drilled into exist concrete slab or foundation. This can be brought in with a forklift and positioned into place.
Planning Options – Do it yourself vs hiring a professional.
Much of the planning and implementation can be done by yourself, even the electronics and security camera’s, if you are so inclined. Be sure to check with your local authorities about permits needed for electrical and alarms.
Some city’s also require alarm permits before they will even respond to a home alarm activation.
Camera’s do not necessarily need permits because they are low voltage. Just be sure you are not invading a neighbors privacy when you position your outside cameras..
For commercial and industrial applications, we work with Security Directors, Architects and contractors to design and implement corporate security protocols and provide safe rooms to protect executives and staff from direct physical threats.