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How to design a secret safe room

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Your house can easily have a “secret room,” for its novelty, for children and for a safe hideout from intruders. Entrances to these rooms are concealed by normal looking household features such as bookcases.

Purpose

Designing begins with determining the secret room’s function: a hideout? fantasy playroom? a space for meditation or writing your novel?

Location

Next, figure out where to have it. It’s easier to figure this out if your house is under construction. Otherwise, it can be located centrally, or inside a room or even in the basement. A smart option may be unused space such as beneath a staircase, in a huge closet or inside a storage room.

Furnishings

To save money, do as much remodeling, restructuring and furnishing as you can (including drywalling, painting, etc.). Hire professionals for electrical and plumbing unless this is your line of work. The room also needs proper heating, cooling and ventilation.

Secret Entrance

It’s best to have an expert design a spectacular secret portal. In fact, there are companies that specialize in secret room customization. An automated entranceway or portal can be created by a mechanical engineer so that this passageway is truly hidden (camouflaged as a dresser, fireplace, bookcase, what have you—even merged into the surrounding wall).

How It’s done

The automated doorway is built in the company’s workshop, custom-designed and shipped to the purchaser with complete installation instructions. The company can also send out installers. A secret entrance that’s 100 percent created professionally is nearly impossible to detect.

Truth or hoax?

The story on the Internet is that a guy was playing around in his house when his younger brother accidentally ran into a bookshelf—it opened to a secret spiral staircase that led to an unknown crawlspace…where a stranger was living. The older of the two crept down the steps far enough to discover the secret room, where his Halloween candy and a banana peel were scattered on some bedding. This story hasn’t been validated as true and is likely just an Internet hoax.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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