Top Remodeling & Design


Are Panic Rooms Real?


If you hear the words “panic room,” you might think of the 2002 flick that Jodie Foster is hiding in a fortified room in a Manhattan townhouse. Foster ‘s character is full of surveillance equipment and supplies, but thieves terrorize her and attack the room until she is forced to come out and confront them.


But in general, panic rooms are less dangerous and exciting than they sound. For one, they ‘re usually called “safe rooms,” which makes them look a little less dramatic. We can also trace their origins much further back than any Jodie Foster film. Medieval feudal lords, for example, used safe rooms to protect themselves from siege. But how close is Hollywood to capturing a real panic room?


Today’s panic rooms can be extremely high tech. Most security experts say that, in case of a home invasion, occupants should only have to hole up in the room for an hour or two with basic communication equipment.


To understand the panic room, we need to understand why people want it. The most advanced fortresses come with high price tags, so that only the rich can afford them. But, in the wake of increased terror alerts and weather-related disasters in the United States, basic panic rooms are becoming more popular. They are made of weather-resistant materials and are stocked with gas masks and potassium iodine tablets to protect against biological and nuclear attacks. And some manufacturers claim that their rooms can accommodate families for longer stays — even for as long as a month.


In addition to basic provisions and a good lock, panic rooms can include any number of features, from an artillery battery to a fully stocked wet bar. But the details are hard to come by — because people pay for privacy, most panic room builders are unwilling to disclose a lot of information.

Purpose Of Panic Rooms

Think of a panic room as a people’s vault. Panic rooms are designed to be the ultimate in security in a country of gated communities. They range from simple rooms with reinforced doors to elaborate mini-fortresses that protect their occupants from biological and nuclear attacks, hurricanes , tornadoes and home invasions. High-end panic rooms, made of the most advanced materials, are more like luxurious dens than bleak storm cellars.


Because of the Jodie Foster movie, many people associate panic rooms with home invasions, but this is not actually their most common purpose. As we have mentioned, rooms built to withstand hurricane-and tornado-force winds have become more popular. These panic rooms are usually walk-in closets or bathrooms whose foundations have been reinforced with steel and concrete.


A lot of people who build panic rooms are trying to protect things, not people. Panic rooms can be used to hide computer hard drives or permanently house artwork, rare books and other collections. You can turn your panic room into a customized safe that stores your delicate artwork in an airtight, climate-controlled environment. Your computer files can be hidden safely but can be accessed through an external generator.


Depending on how much security you want and money you have, panic rooms have a wide range of safety features. You can reinforce your closet and throw in a few emergency supplies or build a house inside your house.


Panic Room Supplies

For a basic panic room, the U.S. Department of Justice Emergency Preparedness handbook recommends the following supplies:

  • nonperishable food
  • safe water supply
  • first aid kit with necessary medications
  • flashlights and extra batteries
  • battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • clothes
  • sanitation supplies
  • important documents
  • extra pair of glasses
  • blankets
  • credit cards and cash
  • a roll of duct tape
  • potassium-iodine tablets (to prevent radiation sickness)


Our Final Thoughts

In conclusion, panic rooms are indeed real and serve as fortified spaces designed to provide a safe haven during emergency situations. Throughout this article, we have explored the reality of panic rooms, separating fact from fiction. These secure hideaways are equipped with reinforced walls, communication systems, supplies, and sometimes even independent ventilation. While they were initially popularized by movies and thrillers, panic rooms have become a practical solution for those seeking an added layer of protection and peace of mind. Whether it’s for potential home invasions, natural disasters, or other threats, panic rooms offer a sense of security and a place to retreat until help arrives. 


While their installation may require careful planning, expertise, and investment, the safety and reassurance they provide are invaluable. So, for those considering the incorporation of a panic room in their homes, it is crucial to consult with professionals and ensure that the design and features align with your specific needs and circumstances. By having a panic room, individuals and families can have a designated space to shelter and protect themselves during times of crisis.

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