Designing and Building a Room to Keep Your Family Safe

Written by: Penny Siml on Wednesday, September 26, 2018

 

With the news about natural disasters like tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes, the idea of safety in the home is likely on the top of your mind or has been in recent months. Depending on the type of event, often it’s best to leave the home and return when weather events have passed. But in other situations, the safest place you can be is in your home. That said, there are places in the home safer than others. We all know that during a tornado, it’s best to be in a basement or cellar. If that’s not possible, choose the most interior room of the home without windows. During an earthquake, it’s best to stay where you are and employ the drop, cover, hold technique. Drop to the ground, cover your head and neck, and hold on to something sturdy. While these are just a few of the good practices for being prepared and safe during a life-threatening event, there is something you can add to your home to be even more prepared when a dangerous situation takes place. A safe room.

What is a safe room?

A safe room is a room in a house or other building that is invulnerable to attack or intrusion, and from which security operations can be directed. These rooms are constructed in homes and businesses to ensure the parties inside are safe during an event. These hardened structures are specifically designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criteria and provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes. While these structures are designed to withstand these events, it is important to note that it is always best to follow advice from local agencies regarding evacuation when possible.

What do I put inside my safe room?

Just as important as what it’s made of on the outside, the value of a safe room is also determined by what’s on the inside. In the event of severe weather, communication device failure and power outages are common. When building your safe room, be sure to account for these and equip the room with devices and power sources that you can depend on. If you choose to stock your room with a dedicated emergency cell phone, be sure to charge it frequently. Invest in a battery operated or hand crank radio so you can stay informed while in the safe room. Of course be sure to include plenty of safe drinking water, nonperishable food, a first-aid kit and several doses of regularly needed prescriptions.

What else should go in a safe room?

While thinking about what goes on the inside of your safe room, think about the overall look and feel of the room. While not important for withstanding a weather event, if you are trying to make the most of your safe room, design the space for function and comfort. One of the biggest challenges for people and families in dangerous situations is keeping everyone calm. A comfortable, dedicated space does a lot for easing worried minds, especially in children. Stock the room with plenty of blankets and pillows for comfortable sleep, and if you have small children, think about stocking the room with old toys or games for the kids to play in case of an emergency. Safe doesn’t have to be cold and sterile. You want this to be a place you can keep kids calm and rely on the function of the safety features.

Where should I put my safe room?

At the top of your safe room planning list, you should consider the location. The safe room should be easily accessed by all people in the home at most times of the day. Put the safe room on the lowest floor and on the interior of the home. Avoid putting the room against any exterior-facing walls. Use the best materials when building your safe room to rest assured you have a dependable room if or when you need it.

What do I do with my safe room when I don’t need it?

It’s understandable to not want to dedicate a room in the home you might not ever use, and if you do, hopefully, it won’t be very often. There are other uses for these rooms, as long as they have all of the features needed to be an effective safe room. Do you clip coupons and save goods for later use? Your safe room could be the perfect place to store extra food or goods. If you do need to use the safe room, you have built-in resources, and when you don’t need it, it’s a convenient place to store goods out of sight.

Don’t be scared, be prepared. If you need help getting started, our design professionals are happy to help you design and build the safe room to keep you protected in the event of an emergency. Get started and schedule a talk with our team and sleep reassured in your new custom home with a state-of-the-art safe room.

 

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