Inside the Modern Safe Room: How Homeowners Today Are Fortifying Their Houses Against Burglars, Terrorists, and Hurricanes

Inside the Modern Safe Room: How Homeowners Today Are Fortifying Their Houses Against Burglars, Terrorists, and Hurricanes

By Geoff Manaugh
If a family’s home is their castle, as the saying goes, some homeowners have begun to take that sentiment quite literally. Step into the heavily fortified world of safe rooms—otherwise known as panic rooms—with three designers working at the outer limits of architectural craft.

Tom Gaffney won’t tell me where he is. We’re talking on the phone and I know he’s on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but he won’t give away his exact location. Gaffney is on-site installing a safe room—something most of us know as a "panic room"—but revealing the address, even the street, would defeat half the purpose of fortifying a home in the first place. After all, if someone knows you have a panic room, they know there’s something you’re trying to hide or protect.

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