Safe rooms are among the most comforting of security products. Anywhere from basic to elaborate, you'll have your own fortified sanctuary if and when you desperately need it.
As Anna Simmons returned to her Miami FL home and unlocked the door, a man suddenly appeared behind her, put a knife to her throat, and
shoved her inside. Once inside, he spun around to lock the door behind
them. In that instant, Anna ran to her fortified bedroom while overturning
furniture in her wake to slow his pursuit. She slammed shut the
fortified door, locked the deadbolt, and pushed a panic button, setting off an
outdoor siren. He fled. Anna was safe in her fortified bedroom as she called the police on a flip-phone she kept there. (By the way, the door-frame and window were also fortified.)
Awakened one night by the sounds of burglars downstairs in her Dallas TX home, Betty Deeds was trapped, but prepared. She quickly dead-bolted her fortified bedroom door and, though she was alone and had no gun, yelled, “Jack! Grab your gun!” She pushed a panic button setting off an outdoor strobe light and siren, then called 911 on the cell phone always kept on her nightstand, which also held her pepper spray. Betty was quite safe in her ”safe room.”
Sure, fortified windows and doors along with simple home
electronics (throughout the entire house) likely would have prevented the burglary
altogether, but Betty’s safe haven served her well. Better yet, first fortify the entire home and then fortify the safe room.
Keep a flashlight, a fully charged cell phone, and a weapon or pepper spray. At the very least, even one family member barricaded inside long enough to call the police can save lives.
[Using the bedroom itself as a safe room may be a poor choice for escaping domestic violence because both the victim and abuser may already be in the bedroom when the violence begins. A better choice for a battering victim is to escape from the home and call the police.]
A reinforced closet is also a great choice. It can store a cell phone, your valuables, and/or protect you from danger (although there's no window to escape through or yell, "Help! Police!"). Use a double-cylinder deadbolt lock and hang one key inside the closet to quickly lock yourself in. You might even want to line the inside door and walls with bulletproof Kevlar.
Also keep an old, fully charged cell phone in there. By U.S. law, phone carriers must keep all old cell phones still able to call 911 for emergencies, even though the phone's billing account is closed.
Now comes the hard part - you must be very discrete about not revealing your safe room, safe closet, hidden room, or any security products to anyone who doesn't need to know. Secrets often leak, and it'll no longer be as effective. Can you resist the temptation to show off your safe room?
A safe for storing valuables may be freestanding, wall-mounted, or floor-mounted. Other hidden caches may be hollowed spaces within doors, walls, furniture, books, curtain rods, and so on.
A safe is most effective when you are not at home. Crime rates show that more and more criminals prefer to invade when you're there – to force you to reveal hidden caches or open your safe – and gain access to your wallet, car keys, and you. They know the home itself helps hide their crime and your screams.