I like this idea, but it's probably not the route I'm going to take when I build my next home. It's sort of the Nate-Lite way of looking at home security. These rooms vary widely. Some are nothing more than a concrete walled closet with a steel reinforced door. Others, are set up to be self-sufficient for days or weeks on end, complete with their own bathrooms, food, ventilation, and power. All of these systems being seperate from those of the main home. Needless to say, you can spend a whole lot of money on one of these if you want too.
The trouble is, you have to be able to get to them. The location of the room is the biggest concern. You don't want your kids to have to run past the Bad Man to get to it. I'm a firm believer in having all of the sleeping quarters together in a home, and I would put the panic room in that section of the house.
One of our favorite ideas invovles hidden escape hatches in each bedroom that lead to a huge panic room in the basement setup to sustain the family for months. It's a pretty simple plan really. I get up and guard the entrance to the sleeping floor while everyone else bails to the panic room. Once everyone is there, Julie throws a switch that turns on a signal light that I can see from my covered position, and then I follow. Once we're all there, I can use the security system to determine what's going on. How many Bad Men are there? Have the dogs already killed them? If need be, I can gear up and go out to shoot the bastards while Julie acts as my spotter using the cameras. Remember as well, it may not be the Bad Man. It may be a fire. Either way, someone needs to stay behind to make sure everyone makes it to the panic room.
Not that we've put much thought into this or anything...
I should ad that you don't have to live paranoid to be prepared. The kids will think of the escape hatches as secret doors, and the panic room can double as a rec room. You simply have a few drills, so the kids know whats what. Come on, tell me as a kid, you wouldn't have thought it was cool. I'm sure a lot of people will read this and think that we're paranoid nutcases. Fine. I agree, the chance that I'll use any of this stuff is minimal. Then again... a fire? A tornado? There are lots of reasons to bail to a safe place.
15 or 20 grand for your families saftey. Sounds like a bargain to me.
I know I'm very general when I talk about this stuff. Understand, it's not because I don't love y'all, or that I am ignorant of the latest do-dads. My goal here is just to give you something to consider. Everyone's family is different, and every home is differnt. You have to come up with something that works for you and yours. Now granted, I could be more detailed... but then...
I just don't believe in showing my hand.