Saturday, August 11, 2012

Create a "Safe Room"

Unfortunately, home invasions are becoming ever more popular among punk criminals who feel like they can get away with breaking into someone's house, terrorizing them (or worse), and stealing whatever they can get away with. 

That's why it's not a bad idea to consider building a "safe room" in your house. Think of a "safe room" as the ultimate refuge from outside attack. Of course, a determined criminal with all the tools of the trade available can break into just about anything. But unless you're a high-profile target, there's probably no motive for a high-tech assault on your property. If you are a high-profile target that would be ripe prey for hostage-takers looking to collect a hefty ransom, you should really pay attention here.

For most folks, the likely event is that someone(s) will smash down your door and come inside to steal your stuff. While they're stealing your stuff, you don't want them to be assaulting your wife and children (or you for that matter). That's why you would use a "safe room" where they can't get to you.

In a minute, we'll talk about what makes a good "safe room" but right now consider the time element. You need to be able to get into the "safe room" before the bad guys get to you. That means some kind of advance warning system like motion-sensors that trigger lights and sirens (the sound of barking dogs, or a shotgun shell being jacked into the chamber and a snarling voice that says "come on punk, make my day"). This takes some planning and coordination, because you don't want to scare the crap out of your guests when they arrive for an evening dinner. But you do want the system to be active when you're not expecting anyone.

If you have defensive weapons close at hand, when someone breaks through the door, you might be able to solve the whole problem right there, or at least hold them at bay while you make your way to the "safe room."

So, no matter how you do it, let's assume you have time to get to your "safe room." Now let's talk about that place. Ideally, it should be an interior room where there are no windows or doors to the outside of the house.

The walls and doors should be hardened against attack. That means the walls are made of concrete, and each door is steel.

Every door leading into the room (yes, you might have more than one door — using a secondary as a "backdoor" escape route) should be able to be secured with multiple locks (lockable from the inside only) that deadbolt into a steel frame.

The room should be supplied with provisions that will last a week or more for every occupant. That's food, water, sanitary supplies (including toilet facilities), the ability to cook, medical supplies, and communications with the outside world so you can call for help. Basically, it's a house within a house, totally independent of outside needs.

You should have a cache of weapons and ammunition in the safe room, in case you need to fight your way out or someone manages to break in and you need to defend the room.

It's a good idea to have a filtered vent for air, with the inlet concealed so it can't be used against the occupants.

And finally, the ultimate "safe room" might have an escape tunnel that leads to the edge of your property, emerging under the concealment of bushes or some other clever disguise.

Never, under any circumstances, reveal the fact that you have a "safe room" to anyone. Loose lips sink ships.

1 comment:

  1. My place is 12X15 feet, don't have a clue where to make a safe room in it. Not much place to put a trap door in it, I think I'll just go out shooting back.