Home security is a big issue for all of us, though most of us settle for an alarm system to keep us safe. There are homeowners, however, who take things a step further when it comes to protecting themselves and their belongings.
Whether they're state figures being protected for the sake of their country, or citizens who just want to be prepared for any and every eventuality, the owners of the homes below have taken home security to new heights. Here are just some of the most impressively safeguarded houses from around the world.
1. Buckingham Palace: Home to the British Royal Family
Like most residences of important national figureheads, London's Buckingham Palace is well-protected. Anyone who has visited the iconic landmark has probably witnessed the famous changing of the guards, but that's not the full extent of the palace's security system.
There are numerous panic rooms throughout the palace, all fitted with 18-inch steel walls. Security in the palace was increased after an incident in 1982, when a man by the name of Michael Fagan managed to bypass the 24-hour guard patrols and break into the Queen's bedroom.
2. The White House: Keeping POTUS Safe
It should come as no surprise that the White House is one of the best-protected homes in the world. The historic home to the President of the United States is staffed by 1,300 secret service agents.
In addition to the manpower on hand to protect the president, the White House is equipped with 147 bulletproof windows and an emergency operations center, which allows the president to perform his duties from six stories underground in the event of a massive threat.
3. The Corbi Family Home: The Ultimate in Home Security
Al Corbi is the founder of major security firm, SAFE, so it's unsurprising that he'd value high security for his family home. Built in 2001, the family's former Hollywood abode featured bulletproof windows and its own helipad.
In addition to these features, the house also boasted two panic rooms and concrete walls which were reinforced with steel. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the home is its wine cellar, which can operate as a bunker in times of emergency and has the ability to release a chemical spray to disorient intruders.
4. The Fair Field Estate: A Hamptons Safe Haven
Ira Rennert's sprawling Hamptons estate is one of America's most expensive homes, and also one of the safest. The gated compound is well-guarded by security staff, who patrol the estate's high-tech security walls.
As if a staff of high-trained guards and an imposing outer wall weren't enough, the estate is also fitted with numerous security cameras and bulletproof windows. Given that Rennert houses his $500 million art collection on the premises, his desire for the utmost in security makes sense.
5. The KWK Safe House: Poland's Zombie-Proof Home
Often nicknamed "The Zombie Bunker", KWK's Safe House just outside Warsaw would be the ideal home in an undead apocalypse. The modern, cubic structure can seal itself in the event of a threat or emergency.
The house's outer walls are moveable, allowing for a free and open atmosphere if the owner wishes, or closing up tightly to protect those inside. The house also features heavy shutters, and even a drawbridge. The thick, moveable walls are made of a thin outer layer of steel filled with mineral wool.
6. The Kardashian-West Family Home: Kim and Kanye's Secured Mansion
Since Kim Kardashian was the target of a frightening heist in Paris in October 2016, it's understandable that the celebrity couple would be keen on keeping their home safe. Kim and Kanye have hired 24-hour armed security staff patrolling the area.
No one is allowed to enter the premises without being screened by the security staff, or by consenting to a full pat-down. To ensure absolute security, all jewelry is kept off-site to deter would-be thieves.
7. Bill Gates' House: The Microsoft Mansion's High Security Detail
Named Xanadu 2.0 by Gates himself, the Microsoft founder's Medina mansion is reknowned for its high tech features. While much has been discussed about the cutting edge entertainment technologies in the house, the equally impressive security features often fly under people's radar.
Visitors to Xanadu 2.0 are fitted with personalized microchipped pins which contain their preferences when it comes to music, temperature, and lighting. In addition to allowing the house to adapt to your preferences, it also allows Gates' security detail can keep track of your movements. This is also helped by the home's pressure-sensitive floors, which can determine how many people are in the house and where they are.
8. The Intel Tiny House: A Smart Home With Top Security
Created in collaboration between Intel, Minim Homes, and Kyle Schuneman this entry is more than just a trendy tiny house. The Intel Smart Tiny House is a compact but ultra-safe home.
The entire house can be controlled by an app - meaning everything from temperature to door locks can be controlled remotely. You even have the option of using voice recognition technology, so that the house only responds to your commands. As an added safety feature, the house performs a facial scan before allowing you to enter.
9. Ryongsong Residence: Kim Jong Un's Highly Secure Home
Often referred to as the "Central Luxury Palace" by North Korean citizens, or simply Residence Number 55, Kim Jong Un's Ryongsong Residence is located in northern Pyongyang. The entire complex encompasses an area of about 4.6 square miles (12 square km).
Not only does the residence come equipped with standard features like round-the-clock security guards and an electric fence, but the complex also has its own minefield to deter any break-ins. It's also connected to a network of other residences owned by the dictator, which can be reached via underground tunnels in the event of an attack.
10. The Tsui House: Often Considered the World's Safest House
Inspired by the appearance of the near-indestructible microorganism, the Tardigrade, Tsui House in Berkeley, California is frequently referred to as the safest house in the world. Its walls are made of recycled styrofoam and cement, making the structure no match for fire or termites.
More impressive still, the house manages to be earthquake-proof, despite being built on the Hayward Fault. Its steel-reinforced cement blocks are placed in a lattice network, which allows for the equal distribution of strain throughout the building. All of the walls are also built at an inward incline of 4 degrees, which adds further resistance against earthquakes.
11. The Rice House: Atlanta, Georgia's Presidential Compound
Secured with help from security expert, Al Corbi, the Rice House is a mansion fit for a president. It even has its own bunker command center, just like the White House.
The bunker itself measures 15,000 square feet (1393.5 square meters) and is fortified with concrete. There are panic rooms in the master and guest bedrooms, with ballistic doors that feature three layers of Kevlar. Similar doors are featured at the entrances to the home, and can be controlled anywhere in the world via a tablet. Its steel-reinforced concrete walls are also fully termite-proof.
12. Indian Creek Island: A Secure Getaway for the Rich and Famous
Home to a number of celebrities and millionaires, Indian Creek Island in Miami, Florida is an ultra-secure village. In addition to boasting 40 waterfront mansions and an 18-hole golf course, the island is patrolled day and night by police in Jeeps, boats, and jet skis.
It isn't just any police force, however. The residents of Indian Creek Island have their own private police force, recruited for the sole purpose of protecting and serving the island's wealthy residents.
13. Adriondack Park Missile Silo House: Upstate New York's Underground Luxury Home
Built as a nuclear missile silo during the Cold War, the Adriondack Park Missile Silo House doesn't look like much from the outside. The humble residence was built above the silo's opening, and appears like any other mountain abode.
But look deeper, and you'll find a 3,000 square foot (278.7 square meters) living space nestled underground within the silo's walls. The doors of the house's subterranean levels are blast-proof, and weigh 2,000 lbs (907 kg) each. If that's still not safe enough for you and you feel the need to flee in a tense situation, the property even comes with its own airstrip.