A panic room or safe room is a fortified security room usually installed in private residences, businesses or public administration buildings. The main objective of a panic room is the protection of people in these premises against break in, home invasion and other threats until help arrives.
A panic room includes at a minimum, prefabricated walls and doors that have been certified for burglary and fire resistance. Optionally a panic room could additionally include prefabricated ceiling and floor elements. Certified panic room elements are available from grade I to XII according to European burglary resistance Standard EN1143-1.
Usually panic rooms with a certified burglary or fire resistance are installed on ground floors or in a basement due to weight.
Light weight panic rooms can be installed to upper floors without substantial structural reinforcement to the building under certain conditions and subject to a risk assessment. These light weight panic rooms can be hidden behind household features, such as mirrors, wardrobes and bookcases.
Very often the break in resistance of the building is complemented with tested security doors (EN 1627) visually matching usual outside and entrance doors however these doors are not used in the panic room itself as they do not have the required EN1143-1 certified resistance to a determined attack with tools.
Panic room installations often include bulletproof elements, doors and glazing and usually contain communications equipment for emergency situations. Panic rooms will usually have externally vented ventilation systems and external security cameras so that the occupants can monitor the situation outside the room.
Panic rooms are typically equipped with basic emergency and survival items such as a flashlight, blankets, a first-aid kit, water, packaged food, self-defense tools, a gas mask, and a chemical toilet.