In the olden times, people had secret rooms in their homes. These rooms were specially built to serve specific purposes. Ancient pyramids in Egypt included them to fool tomb raiders. Most commonly, they have been used to protect people. A famous case was when King Charles II fled during the English Civil War and successfully hid in the secret rooms of various old homes in Great Britain.
Of course, the most well-known use of one occurred during World War II, when Anne Frank and her parents were able to successfully hide for two years. The Frank family and others went unnoticed in an apartment suite with a door hidden behind a bookcase, even while people came and went from their building.
In Modern Times
These days, the value of a having a secret room built into the house (or added later) has been rediscovered. Now called panic rooms, they are becoming increasingly popular as people worry about their own security. A part of their worry springs from increased fears of domestic terrorism, fears that have been particularly prevalent in the last decade. More commonly, a lot of folks are concerned about increased crime rates and home intrusions in their area.
If there is an intruder who breaks into your home, intending to rob or hurt your family, a panic room can be incredibly valuable. From the moment you hear the first sound of the intruder, you can rush the family into your panic room and be confident that they are secure and safe from harm.
Panic rooms are built to be tough. Some are even anchored into a home’s foundation to keep them from being moved or tipped. Most have string and reinforced walls which are resistant to physical attack. Others are even bulletproof and explosion proof.
In addition to all that strength, all of them are hard to find. A thief who has broken into your house might walk right past a stone wall or a beautiful bookcase, never guessing that those things masked hidden doors leading to your protected area. This gives you and your family an additional layer of security as you wait for help to arrive.
Once you have your panic room installed, it is a good idea to stock it with supplies. These should be the things you’ll need while in there, and can include:
- Cell phones
- First Aid kit
In addition to having the room be well-stocked, it can have special additional features as well, like a back up electrical generator to provide power, a direct phone line to the outside, and a monitor connected to your home security system.
Keeping individuals and families safe from dangerous intruders is the primary reason why people get panic rooms for their homes. There are additional valuables uses for them though. For example, they can be used in high wind situations. When Hurricane Wilma ripped through Florida several years ago, it damaged many homes. Windows were broken, and walls caved in. Panic rooms could have provided protection from such dangerous weather conditions for residents who couldn’t get out of the area.
As more people become concerned about crime rates, panic rooms will become even more popular. They are a great way to protect families from intruders. If you got a panic room, what valuables and supplies would you keep in it? What would you want it to be hidden behind: a bookcase, a wall, or something else?
About the Author
This is a post by Nate Miller, an occasional guest-blogger and a full-time safety consultant. Currently, he represents http://www.quortek.com/, a US based home security specialist. Nate likes to read a lot about modern communication and psychology in his free time, as well as going abroad and discovering new places all over the globe.