The Fire Suppression and Video Options may be
accessed at the bottom of this page.
As indicated previously, in virtually all intrusion scenarios the procedure once inside our Safe Room is to lock the door and call the police, so you typically need protection for under 15 minutes -- enough time for the police to get there. The size of our "standard" Safe Room provides enough air for much longer (up to 2 hours for a family of 4).
The Ventilation Option described here extends this to 20, 40 or even 60 hours.
Let's cover the components of the Ventilation Option using the house plan presented earlier. As mentioned elsewhere, all of these items will be added after all the house or remodel construction and inspections are completed, when we convert the Walk-in Closet into the Safe Room (this is done to maintain secrecy, since only our small team of highly trusted people will know of the Safe Room).
After the drywall of the closet is removed, two 3" metal pipes are installed through the outer walls, one low towards the rear of the Safe Room (for air intake) and one high near the front of the room (for air exhaust), as shown in blue in the sketch. Both pipes are threaded and a thick metal cap (shown below the sketch) is used on the inside when ventilation is not needed. On the outside both pipes are camouflaged. The low pipe ends in an electrical box which is hollow at the bottom and the high pipe ends in a simulated pair of yard spot lights mounted on an electrical box with holes on the top and sides, as shown at right.
Two more items complete the Ventilation Option and are shown at right: a CO2 meter and a 3" ducted fan designed to be attached to the inside of the low pipe when ventilation is needed. Finally, the Uninterruptable Power Source (UPS) is upgraded from the one that comes with the "standard" Room to power the fan, and a few additional shelves are installed to house more water, protein bars, urine/feces collection apparatus, etc.
Under normal intrusion scenarios, lasting under 2 hours, none of this equipment is used. For longer stays, the CO2 meter is plugged into the UPS every hour for just a few seconds. If the CO2 reading exceeds 5,000 parts per million (ppm), then both pipes are uncapped, and the ducted fan is attached to the lower pipe and plugged into the UPS for 15 minutes to draw outside air in, with the stale air and CO2 escaping from the upper pipe*. The UPS will have enough capacity to run the fan intermittently as needed for 20 hours of endurance.
This Ventilation System may be also be used to draw in fresh air if there is a a fire outside the room (which can be quenched with the Fire Suppression Option) by uncapping both pipes and running the ducted fan intermittently as described above.
The caps can be re-installed if necessary, although it is highly unlikely that intruders will find the disguised exterior ends of the pipes, and equally unlikely that they would fire weapons through them (because it would alert neighbors) or that they have brought the equipment to feed noxious gases through the pipes.
A further upgrading of the UPS can provide up to 60 hours of endurance at a slightly higher cost.
The Fire Suppression Option is described here and the Video Option is described here. You may return to the main ConsultResearch page or to the first page in this Safe Room series.
* In a sealed room the danger is not that you run out of oxygen but that the CO2 level from the air we exhale accumulates to lethal concentrations. When the pipes are opened and the ducted fan is turned on for 15 minutes, the stale air escaping from the upper pipe carries the CO2, which concentrates near the ceiling because CO2 is lighter than air.