3 Tips For Creating The Perfect Panic Room In Your Custom Home

March 13, 2014

Building your custom home and contemplating creating a panic room? Here are three tips for creating the perfect one for you:

1. Proper Construction

First, make sure you have proper construction, from the right latches to the correct hinges to the perfect framing, your panic room must be safe, in order to keep you and your family safe.

While there is no actual “code” for creating a panic room, FEMA has developed some specific guidelines for safe rooms. For example, they advise that builders use a three locking-pin or deadbolt latch, mounted with wood deck screws. Another option that they list is the slide bolt latch. Any of these is quite safe and secure.

Additionally, FEMA says the hinges should be heavy duty, suggesting that builders use 4-inch 5-knuckle hinges. These should be secured with full head screws and offset from the deadbolts.

Finally, FEMA advise that you use 2X4 framing and sheath your walls with 3/4 inch plywood, in two layers, over 14-gauge steel sheathing.

Following these tips will keep your panic room strong and secure.

2. Go High Tech

The second tip is to go high tech. Today manufacturers are creating infrared technology for panic rooms that allow owners to read heat signatures from anything and everything within radius, no matter the time of day or night.

In fact, these new devices can pick someone out from their hiding place, from as far away as nine miles! Many of today’s panic rooms use a fingerprint scan to allow family members in, but the technology has actually moved far past that. Today, you can install scanners that use facial and voice recognition. In the event that something does happen, this could save your family valuable time.

Installing these high tech options could really keep your family safe in the long run.

3. Include What You Will Need

And finally, really think about what you will need and want inside your panic room, in the event that you ever need use it. Lighting? There will be no windows, to ensure that you have adequate light and are not sitting in the dark. Make sure this emergency light source is on a separate circuit, too.

Air, water, and food are key, too. Prepare the panic room as if it were a shelter, storing non-perishables, bottles of water and an air filtration system.

There are pros and cons of a safe room for your custom home. If you decide to include one in your design, following these tips when you create your panic room in your custom home will go a long way towards keeping your family safe in the event of a crisis.