September 23, 2020
Home should be a safe space, but break-ins are a fact of life. When the worst happens, you will want to have a space in your home that is easily accessible to you and your family, offering you a gathering point if something happens. You can stock this area with tools you need to keep you and your family protected.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 1.03 million home invasions occur each year.
A safe room can be the difference between life and death during a home invasion. While a home security system is extremely important for immediately contacting law enforcement, a safe place for anyone inside to wait for the police is necessary. It can always be a great place to store valuables that you do not regularly use, like having a walk-in safe.
Not every room in your home can be converted into a safe room. There are certain qualities a room requires to be considered a suitable and safe candidate.
No windows to the outside. This is the most important quality a room must have to be qualified for a safe room. A window is considered another point of entry.
Thick walls. Rooms without windows tend to be some sort of closet that is usually in the middle of the house. Rooms that have exterior walls tend to be thicker than interior rooms.
The first and improvement to make on your room is the door because it is the first line of defense. More than likely, if you are renovating a room inside your home, it has an interior door. Most interior doors have a hollow core and are easy to break through. Thankfully, the door is a fairly easy fix, however, this can be the most expensive part of the renovation. It’s better to replace a flimsy interior door with a solid core exterior door. A fiberglass solid core exterior door is going to be the most reliable option, but any solid core door will work. Repainting the door to help it blend-in with the other interior doors will help camouflage your safe room.
We suggest replacing the standard interior doorframe with something like reinforced steel, which is a great option for security as well as affordability. Just like the door, you will want to repaint it to better blend-in with the rest of the house. Making sure the door opens into the room is another important factor and will add extra layers to locking. While a reinforced lock should be enough to do the trick, a door bar is another option to help ensure unwanted visitors cannot get in.
If you are only worried about stopping someone from entering your safe room through the door, then reinforced walls are likely a lower priority. However, if you want to take stronger precautions against an armed invader, strong walls are an important factor to consider. If your safe room is in the basement and the walls are made of concrete, this should provide a strong enough barrier to keep out an armed invader. If your room is upstairs, however, dry wall may not be strong enough to defend against all threats.
One option is adding armored steel panels inside the room. Surrounding your interior walls of the room with steel panels provides a strong layer of protection but can be expensive and difficult to work with. Poured concrete is another relatively affordable option that can promote your family’s protection.
An important item to keep inside your safe room is a phone and/or phone charger. Although landlines do not require signal, invaders are able to cut your communication, so cell phones in a place with good signal are ideal. If you have a home security system, you might consider adding a way to communicate with emergency responders and the monitoring company, so you are able to request additional help. Lastly, having supplies such as food, water and a first aid kit are also beneficial.
Now that you have a better understanding for how to create your own safe room in case of a home invasion, here are a few recommendations for ideal rooms to convert:
A basement, or a space that has an exterior wall
Creating your own safe room is a great way to be better prepared for a home invasion. However, we strongly recommend a professionally monitored security system as a first line of defense against a home invasion.
If you are interested in monitored home security, contact Brinks Home Security™.
Krista Bruton is a DFW-based writer who covers smart home security and consumer protection.
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