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Panic Room

Updated on August 6, 2016

Why a Panic Room?

“What would you do if you were confronted by a home invader?” A lot of people think the answer is to go for a weapon, but is there really time for this? Will the homeowner have a weapon readily available? Assuming they could get to the weapon in time, would they really use it?

Another option is to move to a safe room or “panic room”. This gives the homeowner time to call the police, make preparations to defend themselves and wait while the intruder either ignores the room or attempts to break in.

Given the confusion over laws in various states and the fact that some home owners do not feel comfortable around weapons, a safe room might be the best bet.

Safe/Panic Room

Safe Room Built Into Foundation
Safe Room Built Into Foundation | Source

How is a Panic Room Built?

As new neighborhoods pop up all over the Midwest, it’s not unusual to see a cement box sticking up from a newly poured foundation. These are safe rooms. They are made from reinforced concrete and are usually the size of a large closet or small room. As the homes are framed in, phone lines are added, and the interior walls are built around the box. This blends the box into the existing floor plan. Most people have no idea these rooms exist. The advantage to having a safe room like this is that it can serve a dual purpose. Not only can it protect you from intruders, it can also serve as a tornado shelter.

Safe/Panic Room Model

Safe Room Model
Safe Room Model | Source

Other Panic Room Options

Many people live outside of “tornado alley”, may already have an external storm shelter or do not have the means to add on to their home in order to produce a safe room as described above. An option for these homeowners is to choose a room in their existing home and reinforce it to create a panic room. There are several ways this can be accomplished. The door frame to the bedroom can be reinforced and replaced with an outside door and dead bolt locks. Outside doors, or “front doors” are built from solid wood or metal. This makes them much harder to break through and if combined with multiple deadbolt locks, they would withstand the forces exerted by a full grown man. Windows can be replaced with stronger, shatter-proof windows, or sheets of shatterproof glass can be placed over an existing window as a “storm window” of sorts. Phone lines can be added to the room for communication, although most homeowners have cell phones which will work just as well.

Panic Room - A Good Option

When planning for home emergencies such as the invasion scenario described above, a safe room or “panic room” should be considered. It may be all a homeowner needs to protect themselves and their family while waiting on the police to arrive.


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