20 Nov Panic Room Essentials: Home Security and Preparedness
Panic rooms are designed to provide homeowners with a certain peace of mind, knowing family members will be protected in the event of an emergency or home intrusion. And they’re growing in popularity.
What was once reserved for the ultra-wealthy — from CEOs to politicians to royalty — has become a more common feature in homes of “ordinary” people, a trend confirmed by The Robb Report. The market for panic rooms has grown considerably in recent years, as demand increases and creativity surrounding their design expands.
At Creative Home Engineering, we’ve worked with clients to design extraordinary secret doors that lead to panic rooms, offering unparalleled protection and a unique design. Panic rooms, which should ideally be hidden, are one of those features in a home that a homeowner hopes to never have to use. But if and when the time comes, they’re grateful they have it.
From a design perspective, the secret doors leading to panic rooms need to be fortified, ballistic and fire rated, and incorporate some type of external video surveillance to offer exterior visibility for the people who are inside. Beyond threat protection, panic rooms should also be stocked with emergency preparedness supplies and safety supplies.
Essential Panic Room Functions
Because, depending on the emergency, there is no telling how long a panic room may need to be in use. Or, who will be in there using it. Here are a few essentials for preparing a panic room for use in the event of an emergency.
Communications. Have a way to communicate with the outside world, be it with a charged cell phone, a set of walkie-talkies (of which one has been given to a friend or neighbor nearby), and if necessary, a device that boosts a cell phone signal — particularly helpful if the panic room is in a basement.
Food + water. Be sure to stock a panic room with non-perishable food items that could hold you and your family members over for some time. Panic rooms aren’t always used for home burglaries, but may be useful during a natural disaster or severe storm, which means food may not be available for a while. And, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep clean drinking water in a panic room, too, for the same reasons. Don’t forget to keep pet food in a panic room, too, in case animals need to take shelter.
Comfort. Stock a panic room with pillows and blankets to add comfort to an otherwise potentially stressful situation. If the situation is prolonged, those inside will need to sleep at some point. It’s also important to keep a portable toilet in a panic room, with toilet paper or wipes, if the room doesn’t already include a bathroom.
Light + batteries. It’s important to keep a battery-operated light or lantern inside a panic room, with a stockpile of extra batteries. Even if the room is wired for electricity, a power loss or if the power is intentionally cut, could leave those inside in the dark.
Weapons. Experts recommend keeping some kind of weapon inside a panic room to use as protection should an intruder gain entry into the home. What that weapon is depends on the homeowner, be it a knife or a firearm. But, in general, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Creative Home Engineering, a Gilbert, Arizona-based company, is the global leader in designing and manufacturing secret doors. From swinging bookcases to sliding walls to rotating fireplaces and safe rooms, Creative Home Engineering has been an innovative leader in the field of hidden passageway design for more than 20 years. Learn more at www.hiddenpassageway.com.