Panic room, the 2002 hollywood thriller starring screen icon jodie foster, brought to the fore the idea of a high-tech hideaway nestled deep in your home.

But while the concept of a ‘safe' or ‘panic' room may be new to most homeowners, it has been in use for many years by the rich and famous, corporate executives and political figures around the world.

Panic Room Installation

According to US expert Chris McGoey, “Most security experts use the phrase Safe Room rather than Panic Room to describe the concept of having an ultra-secure location within a residence. “Think of a safe room as a box with only one opening. You simply fortify the six sides to the box and the single door leading into it,” says McGoey. And the most common reason the average person would want a safe room is, he says, out of “fear of assault from a home invasion robber or abusive spouse. And the most common reason for corporate executives to construct a safe room is fear of kidnapping for ransom, as well as fear of robbery for the wealthy”.

THE PANIC ROOM DOWN UNDER

Many would be surprised to know that in Australia the concept of having a safe or panic room (strong room is another term) is not as uncommon as one may think. In fact, some of the country's top home automation installers are virtual veterans in the design, building and installation of such a facet into a home.

According to David Dale, marketing manager of the boutique Sydney-based home automation company AVD, the installation of a panic room is a “lot more common than most people realise”, as well as being part for the course in some of their larger installations.

At the same time, this type of home install is not without its difficulties. As Dale points out, “We like to think of diffi culties as challenges. This way the job remains exciting and becomes more of a game to win rather than just another installation. But, as always, it's all about the planning. “If we get it right in the design and engineering phase, inevitably the integration process fl ows smoothly,” Dale says

And in one recent install of a panic room, Dale says that the particular client came up with a set of features that were not only a must-have, but also presented a whole new set of challenges for AVD.