Why You Need a Safe Room and How to Build It

July 18, 2012


creating a safe room

The following article has been contributed by a fellow prepper and author named Allen. It has been published with permission of the author.

It is one of the worst nightmares for a homeowner. Your home is being broken into and you and your family are in it. Where do you go, what do you do?

It is a term we now call a home invasion. While we may take some comfort in the fact that many home invasions are the product of drug deals gone bad, and involve people who know each other, more and more home invasions are becoming random acts.

The thought of a home invasion is a frightening one that every home owner should address. Many are looking at a safe room.

What is a Safe Room?

A safe room is a place where you and your family can find refuge in case of a home invasion. It should provide protection against intruders and give you the opportunity to contact authorities. It can also serve as a secure place to go to in the event of severe weather like a tornado or hurricane. While a newly constructed, high tech safe room can cost tens of thousands of dollars, you can create your own for a fraction of that price.

Where to Put Your Safe Room

The best way to save on the construction cost of a safe room is to choose an existing interior small room or closet. The room or closet you choose should have no exterior windows or skylights, and in the best case scenario should have reinforced walls. Make sure your choice of a safe room area has good reception for you to use your cell phone. If extreme weather is your primary concern, select a closet or small room near the center of your home.

The Door is Critical

Once you’ve selected the location for your safe room, buy the strongest, solid door you can afford. A solid core door provides some protection but a steel door is preferred. This is the weakest link in your safe room strategy and cannot be ignored.

Reinforce the Frame 

While installing the door, you should also reinforce the frame around it. Use a heavy-duty metal door-jam. Installation safeguards like this can help prevent the entrance to your safe room from being compromised by intruders. Use screws that are at least 3 inches in length when installing any metal plating or reinforcing materials.

Choose an Appropriate Lock

You will want your safe room lock to include a deadbolt or re-enforced steel lock that goes at least an inch into the door jam. How this deadbolt is accessed from the outside and inside is a decision for the homeowner. If you install a dual-cylinder lock, it can be opened from either side of the door with a key. While you can certainly keep a spare key in the safe room, one key must be kept outside the safe room and that could mean access for intruders.

If a deadbolt is installed that locks solely from the interior of the safe room, someone could lock themselves in by accident. Whatever choice you make for the lock, make sure the deadbolt has at least a one-inch depth into the frame.

Natural Disasters

A safe room can help provide protection in a natural disaster if certain criteria are met. This includes making sure the safe room is mounted to the foundation, has separate ventilation, and can withstand winds of 250 miles per hour or more. Of course the supplies kept in a safe room is another subject altogether.

What to Keep in the Safe Room

You will want to store some devices in your safe room because you won’t necessarily have time to collect them before using the room. These items include:

  • Communication devices, like a cell phone and battery-powered radio
  • Food and water to last a minimum of three days
  • Valuable items so any intruder can’t take them from you

While fear shouldn’t rule anyone’s life, a safe practical look at options can help. Consider what room in your house would best be suited for a safe room, and start with your plans. A safe, secure, well thought out and stocked safe room can add to your peace of mind.

Do you have a safe room?

About the Author: Allen writes for, a leading online source for home security systems and information. He also enjoys networking, video games and softball.

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7 Comments on “Why You Need a Safe Room and How to Build It”

  1. John Anderson (@JohnAnderson090) Says:

    Having home security these days is crucial, as criminals are getting more and more persistent and smart. Demeaning their capabilities would just be injudicious. Your tips and know- hows are really helpful. Thank you!


  2. tlarremore Says:

    Reblogged this on Head Space and commented:
    Safe and Secure


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