Safe Room Door Installation & Repair (Panic Rooms)

Safe rooms (panic rooms) can withstand high winds, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, gunfire, and even bomb blasts and wildfires. Their sole purpose is to protect you from intruders or natural disasters until help arrives.

They’re built with reinforced walls, floors, and ceilings and made of reinforced concrete, steel, kevlar, and other durable materials. Many have a layer of bullet-resistant material for added protection.

But a safe room is only as secure as its door — the only exposed point. It should offer the security you need and seal against water, smoke, and toxins. Only a professional installation guarantees this level of protection.

At Balport, we’ve been customizing and installing safe room doors for over 30 years. All jobs come with a manufacturer’s and labor warranty.

What to Look for in Your Safe Room Door

  1. Strong construction: The door should be made of durable, hard-to-penetrate materials like carbon steel, kevlar, and reinforced concrete. Look for deadbolt locks and reinforced hinges.
  2. Fire resistance: The door should withstand extreme temperatures. The higher the temperature rating, the better.
  3. Tight seal: A high-quality seal will keep out smoke, water, and toxic fumes.
  4. Multiple locks: The best doors have several reinforced locks controlled by a single locking mechanism.
  5. Hinges: Hinges should be tamper-proof and impossible to remove when the door is closed.
  6. Peephole or camera: A peephole or a camera system lets you scan the area outside for threats before you open the door.
  7. Communication system: The door or panic room should have a communication capability so that you can call for help or talk to emergency services.
  8. Correct size: All doors must be customized for a tight fit.

Safe Room Door vs. Vault Door

Safe room doors and vault doors may look similar, but they serve different purposes and have different features. A safe room protects people. A vault protects valuables.

Safe Room Door

  • Protects occupants from home invasions, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, etc.
  • Designed to be hidden or discreet, often blending in with the surrounding walls.
  • Has reinforced frames, solid-core construction, and several deadbolt locks for extra security.
  • Often equipped with communication devices like phones, radios, and air filtration systems.
  • Occupants can stay in the safe room for an extended time if necessary.

Vault Door

  • Secures a space holding valuable items like money or jewelry.
  • Usually much larger and heavier than a panic room door.
  • Constructed from thick layers of steel and concrete; designed to resist physical attacks like drilling, cutting, or prying.
  • May have multiple locking mechanisms, including combination locks and key locks.
  • Does not have ventilation or communication systems.
  • May have additional security features like motion detectors, alarms, and access control to prevent unauthorized entry.

Installing a Safe Room Door: Our Process

Installing a panic room door requires careful planning and execution. Here’s what you can expect from us:

  1. We measure the door opening: The door won’t fit correctly without a precise measurement.
  2. We help you choose the right door: We’ll explain the features and help you decide on the best door for your needs.
  3. We customize the door: We’ll custom-fit and reinforce the door to fit the exact size of the opening and add special features like reinforced hinges, peepholes, communication devices, etc.
  4. We install the frame: The door frame must be level and plumb.
  5. We install the door: We’ll attach all hardware, check the door’s security, and seal any gaps
  6. We test the door: The installer will ensure the door closes smoothly and the locking mechanism works as designed.
  7. We install additional security features: Depending on the level of security required, we may need to add extra security features such as deadbolts and locking bars.
  8. We finish the installation: The installer will seal gaps around the door frame and add any trim or molding to make the door look like it belongs.

Safe Room Door Maintenance & Repair

Over time, normal wear and tear, a settling foundation, or disasters like slab leaks and earthquakes can damage the door.

Regular inspections, maintenance, and repair of your panic room door will ensure that it continues to protect you from threats. Please talk to us about a maintenance schedule.

Frequently Asked Questions about Safe Rooms & Safe Room Doors

Can I install a safe room door myself?

While a DIY installation is possible, only a professional installation guarantees safety. Plus, some doors weigh over 500 lbs. Are you equipped to handle that?

What qualities and features should I look for in a safe room door?

Look for a door made of durable materials like carbon steel, kevlar, and reinforced concrete. It should have several locks controlled by one locking mechanism, fire resistance, tight seals, and other security features like hinges and peepholes.

What is a sliding safe room door?

A sliding safe room door slides along a track. It requires less force to open and close. Sliding doors are perfect for homes where space is at a premium, or there’s limited access to the safe room.

How large should a safe room be?

The Department of Justice Emergency Preparedness manual recommends that safe rooms have at least ten square feet of floor space for each person inside. This allows enough air to circulate and prevents the buildup of carbon dioxide, which can be dangerous.

Where should a safe room be located?

Every second counts in an emergency. Your safe room should be close to frequented living spaces for easy access and away from windows and other vulnerable entry points. The route to the safe room should be clear of clutter or obstructions.

How thick should safe room walls be?

Safe rooms (panic rooms) designed to protect against natural disasters usually have 6-inch thick walls made from reinforced concrete. These thick walls can withstand high winds, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, gunfire, and even bomb blasts and wildfires. Safe rooms for protection against home invasions should have walls at least 3 inches thick.