The whole purpose of a safe room is so that you have some place safe you can go whenever your home is threatened, whether the threat is a home invasion, weather, or other natural disaster. The room should be one that is selected for the purpose of only being a safe haven and one that your entire family knows to retreat to whenever they feel threatened. Since there is a chance you could be in the room for some time, it should be fully stocked with everything you need to survive until it’s safe for you to leave.
Most people assume that they only need a single safe room, but safety experts suggest that the wisest option is having a designated safe room on each level of your home. Some even suggest having safe rooms on the upper levels of your home which are fortified to keep you safe if someone breaks into your home, and having a third room in the basement that can serve as a retreat when the weather is a threat to your safety. The advantage of having multiple rooms in the home designated as safe rooms is that you’ll be able reach one quickly. If space is an issue, and it often is if you have a large family, having multiple rooms makes it possible for everyone to get to safety without the risk of overcrowding.
When choosing the rooms that will act as your designated safe rooms, there are several things the room needs to have, including:
- It needs to be easily accessible
- The door needs to be strong and lockable
- There’s has to be amble storage space to accommodate several days’ worth of supplies
The one sticking point people often run into when they’re selecting a safe room is whether or not it should have windows. The answer isn’t easy. Having a window in the room provides you with an escape route if you’re being threatened by an intruder. On the other hand, it’s not safe to be near a window if you’ve moved into the safe room due to weather concerns.
Getting to the Room
After security, the most important trait of your safe room is accessibility. You need to be able to get to it quickly and safely. The longer the distance between the rooms you frequently use and the safe rooms, the greater the risk to your life will be so try to choose a room or closet that’s next to or in the rooms you commonly use such as the living room, bedroom, and office.
Prepping the Safe Room
Once you have settled on the rooms that will serve as your designated safe rooms, the next step is prepping the room. Start with making it as secure as possible. Installing a metal door with a stout lock on the inside on the room and adding metal reinforcements to the frame is the first step to making sure intruders can’t breach the room. Many people even keep door wedges near the door to serve as an extra layer of security.
The biggest mistake many people make when it comes to setting up their safe room is that they fail to think about how they will communicate with the outside world once they have locked themselves in the safe room. You need to be able to contact police and rescue crews. Having walkie talkies in the room is a good idea just in case you don’t have a chance to grab your cell phone before locking yourself in the room. You should keep spare batteries and a cell phone charger in the safe room.
Since you might be in the safe room for a few days, you should make sure that the safe room is stocked with several bottles of water, a camp style toilet, and snack foods. You should also keep any medications you need in the room as well as some cash. Many people also opt to keep a few books and some blankets in the room.
Hopefully you’ll never experience a day when you need to lock yourself in your safe room, but in the event that luck doesn’t go your way, you’ll be glad you took the time to set the room up with the things you need.