Guest Post – How To Create A Panic Room

Today’s post is about how to make a panic room in your own home.  It doesn’t have to be a super hi-tech affair like that movie with Jodie Foster.

Thanks Karen!

Read on…



How to Create a Panic Room


Most people associate the words “panic room” with the 2002 thriller movie starring Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart. However, many people choose to erect real-life panic – or safe – rooms where they can hide out in the event of a home invasion, or, in more extreme cases, a natural disaster or nuclear attack. If you’re interested in creating your own panic room, the good news is that it doesn’t need to be as high-tech as the ones seen in Hollywood films.

Five easy steps

1)      Pick a closet or interior room – ideally without windows – to be your panic room. Choosing a bathroom is always a good idea, since it is pre-equipped with a toilet and running water.

2)      Replace the door with a solid-core door furnished with top-of-the-line deadbolt that can only be locked or opened from the inside. It’s also a good idea to install a peephole so you can see who is outside.

3)      It’s very important that you fortify the interior of your panic room because there’s always the possibility that an intruder could discover it. What if an intruder decides he wants to shoot his way in? Do some shopping online for bullet-resistant doors and fiberglass paneling for the walls and consult your local hardware store to see if they have any suggestions moving forward.

4)      You should also install a telephone line or ham radio in your panic room so you’re not reliant on your cell phone to reach emergency responders.

5)      Stock your panic room with masking tape, a flashlight, extra batteries, a first-aid kit and non-perishable food and water. The Red Cross recommends one gallon per person per day.

Other things to keep in mind

  • Panic rooms are good for more than just the unfortunate event of a home invasion so don’t just put it off because you think burglary isn’t an issue in your area. Can you also say with the same confidence that a tornado or hurricane will never sweep through your neck of the woods? Panic rooms are great shelters from natural disasters, as well.
  • If you don’t use a bathroom to create your panic room, you might want to consider purchasing an RV toilet in the event you need to stay there for a prolonged period of time. An RV – or marine – toilet is simply a holding tank for waste, which must be bagged and removed. You can also choose to purchase a waterless composting toilet, which breaks down waste into an odorless material much like soil. While this variety of toilet doesn’t require water or plumbing, it’s also considerably more expensive.
  • If you want to go high-tech, consider installing video cameras around your home along with a monitor in the panic room. This way, you can track all of the activity in your home while you’re hiding.
  • Remember, a home security system is the best and most practical way to help protect your family. Your panic room should be a last resort during an emergency, not the only option. There are a number of reputable home security providers that offer around-the-clock home monitoring for an affordable price. I have an ADT monitored system installed in my home and have had nothing but positive experiences with it (check out to learn more).



Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor



11 comments… add one
  • Jason January 23, 2013, 7:31 am

    How to create a panic room in 2 easy steps for free.

    1. Step into any room with 6 sides.
    2. Close the door & panic.

    Maybe the article should have been titled “Creating a Safe Room”.

    Sorry, I am a bit funny about words & what sensations they can evoke. However, the article was quite informative!

  • irishdutchuncle January 23, 2013, 7:53 am

    I was just thinking about adding a phone line to my parents bathroom…

    it’s much easier to create a saferoom during new construction. unless you’re building on a slab, you may need to add additional support under the floor, if you are adding mass to the walls etc. (and you need to screen your contractors carefully)
    also, you need to think about ventilation… (HVAC really)

    worth the effort, IMHO, to fortify your home.

  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. January 23, 2013, 8:39 am

    I’d take care with those flush bolts if you have young kids, they sometimes get upset and lock themselves in that room while they get over it. Ask me how I know :^)

    Some plain 2 x lumber cut into ‘pie wedges’ make good door blocking. Shove under door, door jamb edges and door head (top) makes for a pretty good door breach barrier.

    Running water is good thought but remember, like electricity, it can get cut-off. So having a couple of filled water gallon jugs makes sense. Maybe a simple alcohol stove as well ?

    Safe room during new construction – layer of plywood under gypsum board is good start. If you want to add horizontal rebar through wall studs, stronger yet.

    Good article – thank you for posting it.

  • GoneWithTheWind January 23, 2013, 12:12 pm

    I like the concept of a panic room but I don’t like the reality of it. Once in it you are imprisoned with no way out. You have cast the die and this is your last stand. If your attacker burns down your house you get to die slowly roasting as in an oven. I think I would prefer a escape tunnel or something that left me options.

  • JaegeRanger January 23, 2013, 1:02 pm

    Yet an excellent post, Jarhead.

    I’d not trust my security and privacy to a company that is, who knows, how involved with the PTB.

    That said, like you mentioned, there are nmerous levels of ‘Panic Rooms.’ The best, of course, is one that was planned and build in during the construction phase.

    It’s darn hard to secure an old house (or an apartment), but every minute you’re safe is golden.

    We’ve chosen one room that has a secret access out if needed in case of fire (it also contains our firearms arsenal). We fortified the door and both the indoor and outdoor walls. Then we added cameras, both visible and invisible. And plenty of lights we can either control or are automatically on from dusk to dawn. The coms are a must.

    Inside the large room we’ve the necessary means to live for a couple of days easily.

    Anyhoo, any bit helps just like JR above posted. The most important are the safe door, communications and firearms.

    In case of bigger upheaval, our basement has been recontructed to a fortified base we can survive in for weeks. Fire is an issue we’ve been trying to deal with effectively. Naturally, if we get any hint that the SHTF is coming, we’ll not be in our home anymore.

    Our first line of defense are our German Shepherd dogs. Nobody approaches our property without us being informed about it. No barking, just a silent whining and pointing.

    The safe room is just for a potential home intrusion.

    You all stay safe.

    • Jason January 23, 2013, 1:46 pm

      Check out this device to install into your wall – pretty damn gnarly!

      • Wally January 26, 2013, 12:43 am

        It is considered a “boubytrap” ! (spelling may be weong)
        It is illegial in the USA !!!

        • Fred F. January 31, 2013, 10:14 pm

          Joo nee too bye wan dick shun ary.

  • Ray January 23, 2013, 5:33 pm

    Down here they call them “tornado shelters” ,I don’t know how it would work on intruders but its a good idea in twister country. Haveing a place to hide from flying 2x4s , bricks, cars, and barbacue grills, is a REALY good idea when the windspeed is 150+ MPH. I ‘v been here for the two worst outbreaks in US history. Cement room + steel door= GOOD.

    • Pineslayer February 1, 2013, 7:46 pm

      Ray, my friends in OK call their tornado shelters, fraidy holes. So how about Fraidy Rooms? My Panic/Fraidy/Last stand/Fireproof shelter is going to be a buried shipping container. Hope to have the funds this summer and have it operational by next winter.

  • rev. dave January 25, 2013, 1:44 pm

    If we need to discuss bullet-proof floors and walls, I’d suggest you have some serious weaponry and ammo in there too. It is a ‘panic’ room after all and you may run in there with no time to get arms from anywhere else.

    You may also want a hidden escape route too, in case the house catches fire for any reason while you’re in there.

    But then, just having A panic room, regardless of how equipped or constructed is better than none at all, so build what you can afford to build.


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