Saferoom bullet-resistant panels are $--any additional options?

threeapplesMarch 27, 2012

We will need 8 4 x 8 panels and the cost for these is $400 per panel, which is rather high for our budget. Any other ideas aside from these fiberglass panels would be very helpful. thanks!

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Alex House

Concrete blocks filled with concrete.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 2:20AM
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$400 per panel doesn't sound like much when compared to getting shot. ;)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:49AM
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How about moving somewhere where you don't have to worry about getting shot? Then the whole house is a safe house.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Unless you are doing it as a combo storm shelter and built of concrete, I can't see the expense of doing one at all. Your location has a greater determination on whether or not you are a victim of crime than any other factor by miles. If you need a safe room, then you need to pick another location to live.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Is this a safe room for tornadoes or a place to go in case of "home invasion" (I detest that term btw)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Thanks, but I'm
Not interested in discussing the safety of our locale, rather options for materials. Cinder blocks won't work because this is a second story room. This is a room in case of emergencies, not for tornado sheltering. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:00PM
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A bullet won't go through a thick phone book (or if it does, it doesn't penetrate what is behind it). Can you set up a series of something as your wall? Like lots of paper sheets, or a series of that shiny foil stuff (thin, thermal "blanket" for emergencies...I can't think of what it is called).

Personally, I wouldn't go through the hassle or expense. But, if it is a must have for you, then you will probably need to spend the money. In the grand scheme of a whole build, it isn't a large sum of money.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:18PM
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No location is that safe, anymore. We live in a wonderful area, with very little violent crime, but daytime theft has gone up in the unincorporated part of the county by more than 60%, in the last year (that statistic was in the newspaper, yesterday). It seems to mainly be people stealing TVs, while homeowners are at work...but with the current economic problems, it's probably not going to get better, any time soon.

In other parts of the country, I'm sure it's much worse. How someone decides to deal with that reality, is up to them. Some people put bars on the windows, others get securtiy systems, appartently in some areas, they have safe rooms.

Apples- I do not have any suggestions for you, on the panels, but 8-$400 panels does not sound that expensive, especially if they're bullet resistant. I'm sure there are other things that could be used, but that's probably a questions better answered by your contractor.

Do you know who manufactures the panels? Did you get the price/quote yourself...or through your contractor? Maybe the company has some other ideas/suggestions. Hope that helps :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Apples, I don't have any help for you but do request that when you find the solution that you share it. While others are being snarky, I understand completely and will be including the same type of room in my home for the safety of my children. Some of us have very dangerous careers - and it has nothing to do with location.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:50PM
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First Reality: Statistically, it is safer today violent crime wise in the US than it has ever been before and that is a Fact.

As a Security professional who has worked both inside the US and outside the US, I can see no reason why someone would need a "safe room" for security reasons unless you were either working in the "grey area" of life or you were a High value target (political, billionaire).

That said, some 1 inch thick steel panel will stop most if not all small arms fire and keep a determined attacker at bay long enough for police to arrive. Anyone who has the tools or fire power to get through that and you probably should have a private security team watching over you.

Based on your distaste of $400 panels, I�m assuming your neither a "grey area" person, nor a politician, nor a billionaire. Which means your ROI (Return on Investment) is pretty much useless.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 11:46PM
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Check out black iron rubber dot com. They have ballistic rubber sheets for $119 each.

Here is a link that might be useful: ballistic panels

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 7:37AM
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Bullet proof protection comes in a number of levels. For example pistol bullets are the most easy to stop, Level II. Rifle bullets much harder Level IV. So to give you a rough gauge, 6-inches of concrete will stop a 0.308 inch rifle bullet, Level IV.

The main reason why the materials you listed are expensive is because most materials are designed with weight in mind. I.E. the panels are for cars, or personal body armour. So weight is important. If you can build your safe room in a house where weight and bulk does not matter, then you can do so at much reduced cost.

If you safe room needs to be high up in the stucture, or placed somewhere that needs to be supported, i.e. not in the basement, then you would need to put in structure in the building to support the weight. This is expensive, probablly more expensive than the bullet proof materials.

If bulk is a factor, but not nessarily weight then I would recommend steel armour sheet. A rough gauge as to weight and ratings are:

Ranges From Thicknesses : 3MM To 25 MM.
Present Sizes being manufactured in the plant for Bullet proof steel sheets:

Width : 25 Inches - 27 Inches
Length : 60 Inches.
Weigth As Per Follows:
a) for 3MM plate 23.55 kgs/meter
b) for 4MM plate 31.40 kgs/meter
c) for 5MM plate 35 to 39.25 kgs/meter
d) for 6MM plate 42 to 47.10 kgs/meter
e) for 8MM plate 63 kgs/meter

a) 3mm Plate will stand the fires against : Level II, III A
b) 4.5mm To 5mm Plate will stand fires against : Level III
c) 5.7mm To 6.3mm Plate will stand fires against : Level III
d) 7.5mm To 8mm Plate will stand fires against: Level III +
Distance to be fired from : 10 Meters.

Think of a mini-tank. Obviously the smaller the room the cheaper and lighter. Note that you would want to store in the room, water, food, battery power and an air supply / oxygen + masks just in case, and communication equipment to call for help. So allow room for this stuff + number of people.

Hope this is useful.

Warmest regards, Mike.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 8:53AM
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thanks to those of you who provided helpful responses and ideas! i'll let you know what we end up with.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Also used in tornado rooms.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 6:40PM
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Safer today than before?! Give me a break! Many people are employed, related to, or are friends with people involved in law enforcement, security, or military positions. In the current climate that is building in this country, a consideration for a safe room is reasonable.

This individual wasn't looking for snarky answers, but an actual helpful one. A few cared enough to try and help. The Garden Web forums didn't used to be so other sign of the times.

It'll be interesting if we hear what was decided on.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 4:28PM
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I think the piece that people objected to was hearing that the OP needs bullet proof walls, but feels $3200 is too much to spend on them. $3200 is about the cost of midrange bathroom fixtures and tile. It's not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things IF you need a bulletproof safe room.

IDK, but it sounds like demanding a BMW for the price of a Hyundai. If the BMW is that important, then pay the money required to get one.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Exactly. If you need something that has a relatively modest cost, whether a fancy bath tub or bulletproof panels, then you go ahead and purchase it. If $3200 is too expensive for this need, then it's really an un-needed luxury, or else the finances for the whole build are entirely too tight. Either scenario points to less than optimum planning for a build.

Don't forget that a room has 6 sides, not 4, and that bullets can pierce floors and ceilings as well as walls.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:05AM
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"bullets can pierce floors and ceilings as well as walls."

Or just burn the surrounding structure.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:17AM
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threeapples--When comparing your different options, definitely make sure you're comparing apples to apples when it comes to what caliber bullet the wall will protect you from as stinkytiger outlined. Also, I just saw those rubber iron wall thingys tested on MythBusters (or something very like them). It worked great. I was VERY surprised.

Brickeye does have a good point.

As far as the "snarky" posts, I think that comes from some of the conflicting posts you've put up. For example, there's a post on a beautiful Herbeau faucet for your kitchen that retails for $834-$1161 where you ask about quality, but not if there is another company that makes one similar at a lower cost. This would lead a reader to believe that spending $1100 for a kitchen faucet is nothing to you, yet when it comes to personal safety, you're unwilling to spend $3200? Doesn't really make sense to many and I think that's why you got the responses you got.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:26AM
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thanks everyone, we're still exploring our options.

mydreamhome, i see what you mean. perhaps many on here can relate to leaving some portions of a home building project to your spouse while you take care of choosing options for others. my husband left the kitchen design to me (and i've not yet chosen any faucets) and, when the safe room came up with our builder, i decided to help find the most cost-effective and reliable option available. if that doesn't explain the discrepancy in my queries, i'm not sure explaining my various posts is even worth it. my family's safety is more important than any material object, but that sentiment is relevant only to my family.

thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:33PM
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I can totally relate, threeapples.
You DO NOT need to explain yourself.

Wanting the best price for the best material (or similar) shouldn't be considered ridiculous or over the top.
Most millionaires became so filthy rich b/c they're frugal. I'm glad you posted and happy to see there were actually a few good suggestions b/w some of the other "here's my 2 cents that don't really help you" posts (like mine I guess...just call me kettle, but at least I'm not judging). ;)

I just don't want you to be discouraged from posting on GardenWeb, despite some of the odd reactions you've received from some here. I promise most people on here are really helpful and kind (in my experience).

I'm a "plan for the worst and hope for the best" kind of person myself so when/if someone breaks in or some kind of apocalypse happens or zombies walk the earth, you better believe we'll be ready! Lol I know....I've watched too much "Panic Room", "The Road" and "Walking Dead" at this point, but hey...better safe than sorry! :)

Good luck on your build and please keep posting! =)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 2:51PM
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WonderWoman313, you're terrific, as are many here on GardenWeb. I'm not discouraged. This forum has been incredibly helpful to us so far and, you're right, I shouldn't even explain myself.

My husband and I have also watched those same films and, with children that mean more to us than life itself, you can never be too safe I think.

Thanks again everyone :)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 4:12PM
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Build your safe room to withstand the caliber of firearm that you own personally. Your own guns are the most likely to be used agasinst your family.

Never forget the fact that the "invador" may be someone you know quite well. They may know all about your saferoom, and how it's built.

Remember to armor all 6 sides.

If you NEED a saferoom, the entire design of the house should begin around it.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 10:05PM
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hi all,

well my husband called the company who makes the rubber panels and they said they do not prevent bullets, but rather prevent ricocheting. so, we're off to explore other options.

thanks so much.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Sorry that didn't work out. It was a good price if it would have worked for you. Most of the sites I found didn't give a price without calling.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 6:59AM
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    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 6:05AM
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This is just info I learned recently...Just curious- wouldn't a superior alarm system be the best thing? If you are sincerely worried about daytime breakins, then cameras to identify intruders, loud alarms, a rapid response by the police would be better than a 'safe-room'? Maybe not in your case- you know your life... A recent article (I don't remember if I read it or watched on tv), said that a safe-room is at least $10,000 because you also have to consider a designated air supply (in case they start a fire, use some type of smoke/gas to flush you out of the room)), a designated hardline communication system (a cell phone won't work in a safe-room). These were just a couple imparitive items that the article mentioned. Things we don't take into account or think of. Safe-rooms are very complicated if done correctly. Just some info I saw/read.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 10:00AM
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thanks, ilmbg. we will have cameras and an alarm, thanks.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 9:45PM
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I'm curious if you continued with this or another solution.
I work for a company that manufactures bullet resistant fiberglass and know that this price is in line with a UL Listed Level 3 4'x8' panel (direct from a manufacuterer).
As mentioned, it is important to compare ballistic protection when looking at different products. Armor Plate steel fluctuates more in price, is harder to get a hold of, and is difficult to install especially because cutting with heat affects the temper and performance capacity.
Steel and rubber blocks are bulky and very expensive.
Other panels are available made out of Kevlar, Dyneema, and other high-performance aramids, but cost about 8 times as much.

ArmorCore (bullet resistant fiberglass) is designed specifically for the architectural market. It is probably the most efficient product when you try to balance its performance capability, cost, and easy of installation.

I know about what is out there and I see a lot of misinformation. Hopefully I don't just sound like a commercial because I understand the concern and want people to be well informed. I have ArmorCore in my own home for storm, forced-entry, and ballistic protection. (We had a tornado in our backyard 2 years ago that hit houses on a neighboring street and my neighbors across the street and have been broken into several times). We live in a decent area.



Here is a link that might be useful: ArmorCore Website

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 4:28PM
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My husband ended up choosing some sort of panels designed for safe rooms, but I don't know what the product is called. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 5:34PM
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My general thoughts on security:

Plain old deadbolts, etc. pretty much keep out honest people, teenaged vandals and those criminals who commit "crimes of opportunity". They don't make your house impossible to penetrate; rather, they make the potential criminal move on to an easier target.

On the other hand, if your house is targeted by someone who specifically knows that you have something he wants, and he wants YOUR house, that's a whole lot more difficult. A person who has specifically chosen YOU as a target will go to whatever trouble to get into your house.

I think the OP is concerned that he may be a "selected" target rather than a victim of a random crime. Only the OP knows whether this is realistic or not.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 7:19PM
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Just a general GW request...
Your original post was asking about panel options and price. It would be a help to the next searcher for safe room info if you'd post what you decided to use and whether your initial pricing remained accurate.
Posting that you chose "Some sort of panel" is of no help to someone searching for advice and first hand experience and makes the entire thread pretty meaningless.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:52PM
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All the questions you have asked - dozens of posts with hundreds of thoughtful answers - and you won't bother to help someone else with their ONE question?


    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:53AM
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I have not had the opportunity to find out the name and information relating to the panels my husband ordered through our builder. When the details of the product are passed on to us I will post them in order to help others who might be searching for similar items. Information cannot always be transmitted instantaneously--LuAnn and Gbsim you should calm down and not be so quite to assume I have no interest in helping others. Good grief.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Sorry if my request to come back and give followup to your thread came off as "uncalm" or accusatory.

I assumed (obviously incorrectly) that you weren't going to follow-up with details and give closure to your thread.

The thread got derailed into a discussion of whether you "needed" a safe room and it would be nice to put it back on track with some information that someone could use.

Good luck with your lovely home.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:53PM
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Thanks. I'll be happy to repay the favor of helping others when I get the info required to properly respond to the query.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 2:11PM
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I've been reading about a fairly new material some guys invented in England I think. It is called Concrete Cloth or Concrete Canvas and has been used to line ditches, make cart paths and boat ramps, and to build semi-permanent structures. Popular Mechanics indicates it can be used to reinforce safe room for hurricanes and for some ballistic protection. Google it. In the US, it comes from Spartanburg, SC. Sounds like a really great invention.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Mizmcd, I found out that the material you mentioned is what we are getting. I will post back once it's installed in case anyone has questions.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:32PM
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Threeapples, the product that Mizmcd mentioned is not yet available at the retail level.
Let us know the brand name you have.

This post was edited by lsst on Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 0:27

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 12:26AM
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A friend just loaned us this book, and I remembered reading about filling safe room walls with gravel, (Skousen Walls) because it would prevent a chainsaw from going through it. Not sure if it would work for bullets or not, or if it would work on a second story, but it's worth checking out. The book is pretty amazing - it covers many aspects of having a secure home. Good luck with your plans!

Here is a link that might be useful: Skousen Walls

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 6:46PM
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My husband said you can order it sent through customs via the company's Canadian vendor. He never heard back from their SC retailer so this seems the only way to get it right now. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 8:51PM
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thraeapples, could you post pictures of the product, theinstallation and later on, the finished room?
Thank you

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:09PM
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I highly doubt we will post photos of our safe room on the internet, it kind of defeats the purpose of the security we intend to keep with such a room, but I'll post info. about the installation and any issues that arise while it goes on.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:12PM
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What is the name of the Canadian supplier? It sounds interesting.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:30PM
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This is where my husband intends to get it from:

I hope that helps. It seems like a cool product.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:43PM
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Please, stay safe.
Maybe it is a good idea if you contact the forum moderator and ask her to delete a few of your posts where you discloseshow your floor plan, elevations, location of the house, where the cabinet wall with the hidden door is, etc, etc.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:10PM
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Thanks for sharing the link.

I noticed that it provides force protection and protection from small arms fire only after it is been covered in earth or if it's being used to cover sand bags. I wonder if it provides any protection as a stand alone product? The smallest rolls on the website work out to about $9.25 per sq.ft. which still seems high since it has to be subsidized with other product.

It is described as semi-permanent and with the "potential to last over ten years" I'm guessing that installing it inside an existing room will improve the lifespan and what happens when it fails?

I'll see if we can get some samples and shoot it in our in-house ballistic range.

I hope the price comes down in the future... I got to thinking of a lot of ideas for my garden.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 3:32PM
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" you can never be too safe I think."

It is referred to as 'the precautionary principal.'

Better stop driving a car with over 40,000 deaths a year.

It is simply irrational to attempt to eliminate all risk.
Some are so small as to not be worth consideration.

There is a fantastically small probability that all the oxygen in the room you are in could be in one corner and you would suffocate.

Better get an oxygen tank to carry with you at all times.

This post was edited by brickeyee on Mon, Apr 22, 13 at 19:44

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:42PM
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