Luckily for us it turns out that the Mayans were wrong about Doomsday last December, but that hasn't stopped America's booming trade in sci-fi bunkers and luxury panic rooms. Well, you can never be too careful...
These days it seems you just can’t make it through the year without someone declaring that the end of the world is nigh. Take last year. Those pesky Mayans had us all in a tizz that the end of days was definitely going to happen on 21 December.
A year later and, well, it turns out they got it wrong (unless, of course, say some eminent scholars, we’ve misunderstood the complexities of the Mayan calendar and the end of the world is actually pencilled in for 2032). Well at least that gives us a few years to get our affairs in order.
But reprieve or not, the appetite for fancy apocalypse bunkers and sci-fi home security that would outfox James Bond is growing apace across the pond.
According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, Americans’ spending on home security has soared over the past five years.
From futuristic behavioural recognition technology – ‘cos, you know, who wants to have to use a house key in this day and age – to secret passageways cleverly disguised as fireplaces, if you’ve got enough money you can probably buy it.
One firm, Creative Home Engineering based in Gilbert, Arizona, specialises in creating secret passages and hideaways concealed behind custom-built walls, bookcases and even mirrors.
To the untrained eye, there is absolutely nothing suspicious about the hidden entrances and, even if an intruder were to come across the secret space, the chances of them being able to override the security on the state-of-the-art doors is slim.
The firm offers further peace of mind to its wealthy clients with heavily armoured doors, biometric access control as well as various surveillance packages. Once you’re ensconced in your panic room you’ll be able to see when it’s safe to come out.
In the Forbes article, Al V Corbi describes his own ‘Doomsday’ home preparations, which showcase the gadgets and gizmos produced by his security firm, the aptly named Strategic Armored and Fortified Environments (the acronym is SAFE, you see).
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The star attraction is the extensive underground family bunker, which was built to withstand nuclear and chemical attacks as well as earthquakes and is able to store enough provisions for the family to survive for up to three generations.
‘They would be the new Adam and Eve, essentially, who would start everything up again,’ he said.
Which is probably just as well as those who can’t afford an apocalpyse bunker, ie the rest of us, would probably have erm… perished.
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