Why Your DIY Safe Room Won’t Keep You Safe



When you’re searching for ways to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your home secure, it can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole of DIY safe room tutorials.

It’s a tempting topic. The idea that you can use your own two hands and some easily-available materials to enhance your security (and peace of mind) is certainly alluring.

Unfortunately, DIY panic room security measures often fall far short of their anticipated utility — and your personal safety definitely isn’t something you want to leave up to Pinterest hacks.

In fact, trendy online articles may lead people to use insufficiently-tough materials like plywood, single-pane windows, or even pieces of plastic to shield themselves from harm.

DIY safe room hacks can also go hand-in-hand with cost-cutting measures that result in inadequate security, poor aesthetics, or even structural damage.

And — to really drive home the lackluster appeal of DIY alternatives — amateur safety mechanisms can easily fail (or look incredibly obvious for an intruder, making your safe space a glaringly easy target).

If you have security concerns for yourself and your family and the means to keep them safe, there’s simply no need to DIY safe room walls, doors, or windows. Instead, opt for a proven Sanctuary™ that offers flawless peace of mind and top-notch performance in your time of need.

A photo of a security door in an entry way

5 Reasons DIY Safe Rooms Aren’t the Answer

To be completely honest, we don’t love the term panic room (you can read why here), but you do need a safe place in the event of an emergency. While the space itself may be necessary, there are specific reasons you’ll want to steer clear of a do-it-yourself option.

You Don’t Want to Choose the Basement

In many cases, a seemingly surefire first choice for a DIY safe room is in the basement. This may seem logical — it’s subterranean, it probably has fewer points of access, and may be the place where your family has extra storage space anyway.

While this may sound practical, it can lead to a relatively dim and depressing safe room. Heading to a windowless, underground hideout in the midst of a stressful situation might induce panic all by itself.

In addition, one of the supposed benefits of a basement DIY safe room (its singular point of access) is also a huge liability. Consider what could happen if a portion of your DIY safe room fails. Whether your door’s locking mechanisms are confusing, your cell phone reception is spotty, or your food storage spoils or runs out, you’re stuck down there.

It’s far better to make sure your at-home fortress is in a much more conveniently located part of your home.

You Need a Properly-Installed Security Door

Many DIY guides to creating at-home security rely on reinforcing existing doors with easy-to-manipulate materials. You may also wonder if you could just pick up any prefabricated security door at a home improvement store and pop it in a doorway yourself.

That might be (somewhat) easy to implement, but it’s also likely to fail easily in a crisis. Think about it: If you’re able to easily install a door, doesn’t it feel like something another person with minimal know-how could just as easily dismantle?

Security doors are difficult to install (we have a solution to that problem, though). A proper security door — even an interior one — must be made with steel frames.

They’re unwieldy and difficult to manipulate. You’ll need specialized equipment, you’ll need precise carpentry skills, and you’ll need to use tools like hacksaws and power drills on expensive materials.

Furthermore, the weight of steel security doors (and windows, for that matter) typically necessitates extra reinforcement underneath the opening. If you’re looking to install a security door into an existing space, you need to make sure the opening can support the door or window.

Unless you’re a construction worker or a jack of all trades, you’ll need to hire someone for assistance.

A photo of a professional security door installer

At FBS, we’ve distilled the science of precise installation into an art. We’ll hand-craft one-of-a-kind steel doors for your home and walk your construction crew through the installation process flawlessly, so you can have the utmost confidence in your doors and zero worries about their ability to perform under stress.

You Need Security Windows (at the Very Least)

Choose an above-ground space for your Sanctuary™ means you can see the outside world. After all, you want to make your Sanctuary™ feel like a fortress, not a prison cell. In order to do so, you’ll need windows designed to withstand brute force.Security windows allow you to enjoy sunlight and visibility while you’re taking shelter and waiting for the authorities.

Something as simple as being able to see outside can go a long way towards keeping you as calm as possible in a traumatic situation.

As with security doors, you’ll want to choose security windows made with steel frames. Practically speaking, this means your security windows will be (much) heavier than normal aluminum windows.

And just like our doors, our windows are completely custom designed from the inside out. Important considerations include:

  • Hurricane certification: If your residence is located in an area with unpredictable, potentially violent weather, you will need to ensure your windows can wait out the storm. Our team creates durable, beautiful windows designed to stand strong when they’re up against water, air pressure, and flying objects. Depending on your location and concerns, you may also require ballistic protection or other certifications.
  • Weight and size requirements: A steel security window is more formidable than a standard builder-grade window. Not only is the frame heavier, but the layered panes themselves will also be thicker. This added weight may pose challenges and architects typically like to know far in advance.
  • The structure of the supporting wall: To make sure everything is secure, we’ll also have to reinforce the wall underneath your new window to make sure it can support a heavier window. Without professional help, it can be very difficult to achieve the proper amount of support — leaving you with a dangerous weight imbalance instead of a secure, durable security window.
  • The aesthetics of the space: You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your design aesthetic for the security you need — or vice versa. Therefore, we’ll always have the beauty of your windows at the forefront of our plans. Security measures are much more effective when they’re completely invisible. It’s much better to present a flawless and fortified facade. Ugly doors or windows will stick out like a sore thumb.

You May Want to Consider BallistiCrete

Would it comfort you to know you’re safe from firearms in your residential fortress?

If so, it may be worth considering BallistiCrete in your design plans. If high-security doors and windows are two pillars of your home’s Sanctuary™, BallistiCrete and biometrics cover the rest of the bases. (We’ll discuss biometrics in a moment.)

BallistiCrete is a hardening product professionals can spray or plaster onto any surface. Whether your luxury residence features drywall, cinder block, plaster, or stucco, BallistiCrete can form a permanent bond with the existing material and provide various levels of bulletproof security. It looks just like plaster when it’s finished.

If you’re currently managing a new build or adding to your current space, you can also construct entire walls from BallistiCrete.

DIY methods of making your space bulletproofalways look ad-hoc and yield unimpressive results. If you have the ability to truly shield yourself from harm, why opt for a subpar (and simultaneously more work-intensive) so-called “solution”?

You May Want to Incorporate Biometric Security

Looking for the most secure way possible to fortify your Sanctuary™? You need biometric security.

A photo of a woman standing in front of an Adatis facial recognition panel as it scans her face.

Facial recognition and other AI-enabled home entry tech may seem futuristic and elite, like something you’d see in a science fiction thriller. It is, which means adding biometric security to your home is a great way to feel like you’re in a James Bond movie.

Truly, you’re already accustomed to this technology — it’s all around us. We use biometrics every hour of the day on our computers and phones. This is the same idea, leveraged to take home security to the next level.

Think of biometric security as having an always-alert, incredibly thorough doorman. With facial recognition tech, you can:

  • Worry less about having to deal with locks yourself (or having your locks picked by someone with nefarious intentions).
  • Keep tabs on who’s accessing your property, even when you’re away.
  • Schedule times when certain people are allowed access to your residence (such as managers, assistants, or maintenance staff).

Biometric installation is very difficult to DIY. Installing high-value biometric security may require extra wiring, which requires the deft skill and experience of a professional, particularly if you decide to motorize your security door.

Biometric security may also require an ethernet connection, lots of troubleshooting, and quite a few headaches to get up and running successfully. Programming is a breeze, but the installation is not.

That’s not something that needs to clutter up your day. If you’re interested in biometric security, have a seasoned professional do it so it’s fully optimized for easy, quick use.

Is it Possible to Build Your Own Safe Room?

It may technically be possible to build yourself some kind of DIY safe room or shelter, but should you?

Building out a secure space in your home requires a ton of work. In the end, a safe room you build yourself simply won’t be nearly as effective and peaceful as a Sanctuary™ designed and built by specialists.

Here’s a quick recap of everything you’d need to keep track of during this project:

  • The practicality and comfort of your chosen DIY safe room location
  • The weight of the steel-framed security doors and windows themselves
  • The structural integrity of the walls around your new ultra-strong doors and windows (which requires a lot of architectural expertise)
  • Hiring a company to apply BallistiCrete, as that’s not something you can apply yourself
  • Installing biometric security measure and completing any required wiring safely
  • Making it all look good (a common faux pas of DIY options)

As you look at this list, you’re probably thinking what we’re thinking: If it’s this much work, why not just hire a company that already specializes in safe rooms?

Why the FBS Sanctuary™ is the Best Option

With our revolutionary, forward-thinking Perfect Frame™, we make installation of your ideal in-home fortress efficient and effective. Our skilled installation specialists will listen to your concerns, assess your residence’s structure and weak points, and transform an accessible, comfortable space within your luxury home into an intruder-proof FBS Sanctuary™.

Our security doors are impenetrable, with locks even locksmiths couldn’t even figure out how to pick.

As for our security windows, they’re actually installed from the inside, so there’s no available seam for intruders to jam a crowbar into.

A photo of the exterior of a house with security doors and windows

Because we typically recommend making your bedroom into your Sanctuary™, you’ll get to stay in a room already designed to relax you. You’ll be able to look out the window, have access to things you find comforting, and even your master bath.

With BallistiCrete to calm any of your fears surrounding firearms and biometric security to enhance your home’s accessibility options, you’ll be able to rest and enjoy heightened peace of mind.

With the technology available to us, we’re free to make cramped, windowless, and panic-inducing “safe” rooms a thing of the past. Consider making your personal space a bona fide

Sanctuary™ with FBS — we’ll make installation as simple and seamless as can be.

Are You Ready to Plan Your Safe Room?

No matter where you are in the world, FBS is ready to bring safety right to your front door. We can deliver any needed materials, including our security doors and windows.

Our goal is to keep our clients and our families safe. And we do: Our doors and windows have never been breached.

When you opt for an FBS Sanctuary™, you can be confident you’re building a space where you’ll always feel completely protected. Whether you need hurricane-certified security windows or bulletproof walls, we can make it happen. Let FBS take care of the difficult work so you can relax!

Are you ready to discuss your design plans and security needs? Reach out to our friendly team and we’ll start planning out your very own fortress today.


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