Crime’s Up — Everyone into the Panic Room!

The super-rich in L.A. are panicking, or at least building panic rooms, in response to an array of high-profile crimes close to home
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A safe room? You might think that’s a niche amenity, but inquiries have increased over 1,000 percent over the last three months, according to Dean Cryer, VP of International Operations at Building Consensus/Panic Room Builders.

“It’s gone insane,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter.

But why? A perceived explosion of crime in metropolitan areas, along with high-profile murders and robberies in upscale neighborhoods like Beverly Hills.

If you’re looking to buy, however, don’t expect to learn the exact location of the panic room and how to access it until you’re under contract, because security experts warn there are already too many people casing your joint.

But how safe are these rooms? The answer is safe, safer, and safest.

Building Consensus/Panic Room has an eight-level safety menu for the panic rooms they construct. A Level Three safe room might be protected by Kevlar, but an Eight is girded by steel, with doors that can weight 2,000-3,000 pounds. Not to mention, Cryer adds, for the right price the company will be “installing steel within the room.”

Also, the modern safe room does not resemble the WWIII blast-pantry of Jody Foster’s 2002 Safe Room. Today’s fortified home bunker might look like a normal, chill hangout room.

“It’s gone from a steel, cold room where it’s a bunch of cameras,” Cryer says. “Now it’s more of a serene feeling. We say it’s an everyday use room, which when needed can be turned into a safe haven. So, you wouldn’t know what room in the house was the safe room. You wouldn’t have a clue.”

Some have a bathroom, even outlets for cable TV.

“You could be in there for up to 24 hours,” Cryer told THR. “And in most of L.A., you could be waiting a couple of hours before the police get to you.”

So how much for a starter panic room? Say, a small closet? That’ll run you $100-150K. But your safety is priceless, right? And it’s upwards from there, natch. Cryer says most of the company’s clientele are billionaires.

For those who’d prefer not to remain in their cozy vault indefinitely, see the tunnel Cryer constructed in Malibu—with an escape route to the beach.


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