News stories about celebrity homes being threatened give us a peek into their security systems’ components: an imposing front gate, flood lights, security personnel, guard dogs, surveillance cameras with night vision, a helipad, watch towers, a panic room.
Taking their security systems even further is a very affluent segment of the market ? the billionaires or the ultra wealthy homeowners. Given their high net worth, they are fortifying their security systems to protect property and life with military-grade, high technology which comes at a cost ranging from six to seven figures. Let us take a look at what this ultimate protection for the uber rich’s residences can include (http://www.forbes.com/sites/morganbrennan/2013/11/27/billionaire-bunkers-beyond-the-panic-room-home-security-goes-sci-fi/2; www.cnbc.com/id/47692617):
- Keyless entry via biometric authentication. Biometric technology is an irrefutable verification or identification of a person by various physiological characteristics, which cannot be transferred or copied (http://www.synel.co.uk/biometric).Previously used only in military facilities, airports, and major financial institutions, biometrics has found its way into advanced home security systems. Fingerprint scans would be the most widely used for this purpose but some software companies have moved beyond this by incorporating facial, voice and behavioral recognition in a keyless, touchless, under 2 seconds entry system.
- Steel-fortified, bullet-resistant sliding doors utilizing automatic electromagnetic locks offer enhanced protection and touchless entry.
- A panic suite. This evolved from the basic panic room which is a secure room within the house with its own telephone line where residents can hide if someone breaks in. The panic suite is its expanded, more technologically advanced version and can include several bedrooms and bathrooms, sustainable supplies of food and water, a medical facility, armaments, closed circuit TV monitoring of every room and of the property grounds. It serves as the command center from which all entrance doors can be locked down and residents can communicate with whoever is in the house and also with the outside. With cutting edge engineering, the panic suite can be designed to run on geothermal power and to be bullet and bomb-proof. Some take it further with an additional layer of security by creating a ballistic-resistant safe core inside the panic suite – a safe room within a safe room.
- Infrared cameras that can read the thermal heat signatures off everything in their line of sight at any time of the day and regardless of atmospheric elements such as smoke.
- Sensors with half a mile range.
- Windows with glass-break sensors which can operate within a 15-foot range, allowing them to be concealed in the ceiling or on a wall near the window.
- A protective blast film applied to glass windows to make them shatterproof.
- Biological Wash. In the event of a bio-attack, the bathroom shower is used to scrub away toxic chemical or biological agents.
- Fog Blast. A device that disables the invader with a sleeping compound or pepper spray in foggy air.
- Secret passageways. Custom-crafted secret entrances which double as bookcases, closets or walls.
- Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Center ? to be used in the event of nuclear, biological or chemical attacks. This is an underground shelter with a bullet- and bomb-proof door. Provisions for food, water and ventilation can run for several months. The center can also be stocked with gas masks, safety suits and supply-filled backpacks in case the residents want or need to go out of the shelter.
With huge amounts of money come a luxurious life, properties and, sad to say, perils and accompanying worries. The filthy rich are said to be always walking in landmines because of all the dangerous attention they attract. Threats come in many forms ? from ill-meaning business partners and advisers to crazed employees, kidnappers and thieves. At end of day, they retreat to their billionaire homes which the ultimate home security protection has managed to transform into havens robustly safe from human, natural and chemical hazards. That peace of mind and that level of security and protection, though, come with an expensive price tag. Figuratively and literally, the cost of affluence is high.