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Home Surveillance and the DIY Don't Panic Room

Sep 13, 2008
The Fuss of Panic Rooms

The movie Panic Room, which starred Jodie Foster, showed the sophisticated gadgets only the rich can happily install in their homes. A steel enclosure secured the room supplied with communication gadgets and a CCTV monitor hooked up to the home surveillance system.

Inside the room, the Jodie Foster character watched the hostile intruders in the different parts of the house from the wall of monitors in the room. These monitors were hooked to the home surveillance system. But her problem was compounded with her diabetic daughter's need for medication left in the bedroom. Since this was their first night in the brownstone home, and they did not stock up the room with necessities, they were in a mess.

With the help of the TV monitors, the Foster character watched the movements of the intruders and she was able to sneak into the bedroom to snatch the medication just in time before the intruders caught on to her idea. It was real panic all right. A home surveillance system and wits saved the day.

But in real life situations, without the dramatic element, these rooms are shelters from tornadoes and possible terrorist attacks and these are mass produced or custom made. High end safe rooms can cost $50,000 to $500,000 and the lower priced units start at $3,000.

DIY Don't Panic Room


A safe room is a windowless room. If you are making your own safe room, include the home surveillance set-up in the blueprint. Being able to track the movements of intruders adds an edge of security when you're holed up in there. The CCTV in this room should be hooked up to transmitters from all security cameras in the different parts of the house.

Aside from the home surveillance system and communication links, store supplies recommended by the US Department of Justice:

* First aid kit
* nonperishable food
* safe water supply
* flashlights and extra batteries
* clothes
* blanks,
* mattresses
* credit cards and cash
* valuable documents
* glasses and non-breakable tableware
* sanitation supplies
* Potassium iodine tablets to prevent radiation sickness
* Rolls of duct tapes

Reinforce that Closet

Here is how to start your don't panic room:

* When installing a home surveillance and communication system, have a covert separate system in case smart crooks or terrorists destroys the first set.

* Choose a closet big enough to contain the entire family, including the pooch. That's 10 square feet floor space per person.

* Choose fire-retardant and weather resistant items for the room.

* Wooden door jams should be replaced with a steel jam

* Use the toughest keyless Grade 1 deadbolt

Other key features in a safe room are power generators, separate plumbing for a portable toilet, and air filtration systems. But not all these can match the convenience and the edge of having the home surveillance systems with night vision cameras and heat sensing cameras. For complete gearing, notch up your protection with weapons and bullet-proof vests if you're thinking of armed enemies, not hurricanes.
About the Author
Don't take your home surveillance, and your home security camera or surveillance camera for granted. Check out Video-Surveillance-Guide.com for the proper maintenance and upgrade of your systems and the best buys around.
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