Interest In Movie ‘Panic Room’ has Media Beating Path To Door Of Area Safe Room Manufacturer

Gaffco of New York City & Mt. Vernon Shares Expertise on Growing Real Life Trend in Bullet and Force Resistant Spaces for Residences & Corporate Offices

The recent release of the film "Panic Room" -- here and then in Europe -- has created interest in the growing phenomenon of residential and corporate 'safe rooms.' These bullet resistant spaces protect occupants against intruders while providing them with communications contact with the outside world. Since 9-11 interest in these rooms is skyrocketing.

Since the film came out, Gaffco, one of only a handful of manufacturers and installers nationwide of bullet resistant systems, including safe rooms, has become a source of information and a location, respectively, for radio talk show hosts and TV camera crews from around the nation and the globe. The New York City-based firm has become an expert resource because it has responded to the need for unobtrusive bullet resistant spaces in offices and homes by marrying new generation bullet resistant materials with high-end architectural millwork. Gaffco has been manufacturing, installing and selling more traditional bullet resistant systems and products since 1986.

Gaffco's founder and president Thomas Gaffney made available to the media a demonstration safe room at the company's manufacturing facility in Mount Vernon, N.Y. The mock-up shows the bullet resistant steel core of a safe room and how these spaces are clad with architectural finishes to make them indistinguishable from normal rooms. In one segment, Fox 5 reporter Mike Sheehan, a former New York City police officer, tested the bullet resistant steel of the room with his own handgun, fired from behind a Gaffco bullet resistant glass enclosure. Other crews attacked the room and the Gaffco-manufactured architectural millwork panels that conceal it with sledgehammers and other implements. The safe room stood up to all tests.

Drawing on experience he gained working in Europe, Tom Gaffney has been designing and manufacturing safe rooms for government facilities, financial centers, Fortune 100 corporations and individuals requiring protection for personnel and assets over the past 20 years. The company began providing services in the New York area and today works globally to keep business executives and families safe.

"Everyone wants to know 'What's a safe room -- as opposed to a Panic Room?'" said Gaffney. "Panic Room is the Hollywood name for what's known in the security industry as a safe room. Also - the Panic Room in the movie is far too heavy to be installed in a normal building. Real life safe rooms are basically six-sided enclosures made of bullet-resistant, fire-coated steel and other bullet resistant materials. They're designed to protect occupants from intruders until help can arrive - generally up to 30 minutes, although we can add various levels of protection."

According to Gaffney, safe rooms have actually been in use for many years by money and financial institutions. For example, a secured teller's booth is actually a safe room. Today because people in general feel much less safe, heightened by 9-11 and other recent terrorist activities, these formerly commercial spaces are in demand for residential applications. Having a safe room gives people more of a sense of control against possible intruders.
"We can now custom design and install a safe room in almost any room in the home or office and disguise it thanks to new materials - like wood-clad bullet resistant fiberglass. We make finishes that look, for instance, like beautiful, paneled library walls - but they conceal a room of steel," said Gaffney. "When the various film crews arrived to shoot our demonstration safe room, some walked right past it without realizing its beautiful paneling concealed what they were there to report about."

Gaffco has its offices at 829 Avenue of the America's, in New York City, and its manufacturing facility at 6 North Street, in Mt. Vernon, New York. The company has been featured in a number of articles and broadcast news segments, here and abroad, on security-related topics. For further information, call 802-824-9808 or visit