Panic Mode

Safe Rooms replace bomb shelters in the 21st Century

by Clara M.W Vangen

Since the events of September 11th, Americans, as a whole, seem to be feeling a bit less safe in even their most familiar surroundings. For Thomas Gaftney, president and founder of Mount Vernon, NY-based Gaftea ( helping building owners feel safe is what his business is all about.

Gaffney's company has been installing "panic rooms" more commonly known as safe roams For the past 15 years. Since the events of September 11 th, together with the release of the movie Panic Room, starring Jodie Foster. Gaffney has seen double-digit growth for his company and doesn't make light of how hectic his liFe has become in the past nine months.

"People feel very differently about security. [f the combination of those two events hadn't happened, [ doubt that we would be talking today," he says.

Gaffney's company began building safe rooms for financial institutions (banks, check cashing stores, post offices) in the New York City area -businesses needing protection for personnel and data. It evolved into off-track betting parlors (OTB), more post offices and banks, government facilities, medical institutions, gas stations, and corporate facilities.

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