Outfitting Safe Rooms
in Your Home
Any face-to-face encounter with someone who forcibly enters your home is potentially life-threatening. Our strategy, therefore, is to avoid contact with the intruder and let Law Enforcement handle the situation.
It can take Law Enforcement several minutes to respond, so we need to maintain separation from the criminal until Law Enforcement professionals arrive. This is achieved with the following response plan:
The moment you become aware of a potential home invasion, gather your family, move to a pre-determined room, barricade the door, prepare your firearm, and call 911. Only if the criminal enters the barricaded room would you need to shoot.
Outfitting a Safe Room
It’s important to have a pre-determined, secure location in your home to stay safe during an emergency. Such a room is called a Safe Room. Determining and outfitting the room in advance creates a unified safety plan for your family and ensures a firearm, phone, and necessary supplies are always available. Make sure the door to the Safe Room can be secured and/or barricaded and outfit the room with the following supplies:
- Cell phone with wall charger
- Staged defensive firearm with ammunition
- Emergency Communication Guide (provided)
- Attorney business card or contact information
- First Aid Kit with emphasis on stopping bleeding
- Clothes / blankets
- Spare house key on a glow stick if there is a window in your room
- Compact CB radios to communicate between Safe Rooms
Practical Tip: The phone in your Safe Room should be a cell phone with charger. Pre-paid and out-of-service cell phones are both able to call 911. Call 611 to test the phone. If 611 works, 911 will work.
If possible, install a reinforced door with a deadbolt lock. This may be more practical for a utility room than a bedroom. You may alternatively barricade the door with a heavy but moveable object, such as a dresser or mattress (or both). Ensure every adult in the family can move the chosen heavy item in front of the door. Floor wedges and door handle security braces are barricade methods that don’t require as much strength to use. Be sure to test your barricade method to ensure its effectiveness in an emergency.
Safe Room Defensive Position
A Safe Room with a single entrance provides a predictable line of fire to an attacker who busts through the door. Orient yourself at an angle to prevent getting shot through the door and to give yourself a moment to identify the threat before shooting.
It is unreasonable under nearly any circumstance to shoot through a closed door or shoot in pitch darkness. You must be certain that the intended target is, in fact, a home invader and not a family member, neighbor, or Law Enforcement officer. Keep the lights on in your Safe Room to avoid fumbling for things and to be able to read Quick Reference materials.
Safe Room Locations
Depending on your home’s layout and the areas where your family spends time, you may need more than one Safe Room. Make sure your family can get to a Safe Room quickly and is never cut off from access to a Safe Room by a criminal who has entered the main area of your home. If family members are split into two Safe Rooms during an emergency, they should stay in contact with compact CB radios or cell phones and both rooms should call 911.
Almost certainly a Safe Room will be in or near a bedroom, as that’s where you and your family spend your nighttime hours. If you have young children, consider using one of their rooms as a Safe Room. If a home invasion occurs while your child is sleeping, they won’t need to be moved. Instead you can move to them. A utility room on the main level or basement is another excellent Safe Room location.