For the average American, a home alarm system may be the extent of his or her security detail. But for the super-rich, it’s another story. They’re taking security to a new high in technology and price.
With billionaires worried about protestors, pirates and kidnappers, they’re fortifying their homes, yachts and even private jets with high-tech security. The price tag to equip homes of the super-rich can be as cutting edge as the technology.
Yahoo! Homes is publishing five of these extraordinary security measures here, but you can see even more on CNBC's website:
Entry-level protection for such homes routinely easily reaches $150,000, but it can also be “fabulously more expensive,” said Al Corbi, president of Safe, a firm which designs custom security for the ultra-wealthy. It all depends on the amount of security, size of the home and the specific details involved.
Because prices can range widely when it comes to securing a house, the prices quoted here for home security are based on Safe’s show home in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles.
Cost: $60,000 - $100,000
If an escape from the home is necessary, a heliport on the rooftop enables helicopters to whisk the rich away.
The landing pad is particularly important for those in areas subject to earthquakes and fires, like California. When a natural disaster makes roads impassable, it not only allows the home’s inhabitants to escape, it also can be used by an area hospital to airlift someone out in case of emergency. What’s more, it can be equipped with a fire hydrant that can hook up with a fire department helicopter to help it fight fires.
Next: Floating fortresses.
Cost: $250,000 - $500,000 for a single cabin citadel room with windows
Mega yachts and their wealthy owners make prime targets for pirates and terrorists, so many opt to turn their expensive toys into secure fortresses. The idea is similar to what’s done in their homes, but the stakes are much higher, since help can be an ocean away.
The master suite of the super-yacht “Harbour Island,” pictured here, doubles as the ship’s panic room — complete with ballistic glass that protects against bullets and two to three days’ worth of food.
“They also have communications on board where you can alert the law enforcement people to come and assist you. These provide the ability for the crew to maintain command and control of the vessel,” said retired Coast Guard Admiral Brian Peterman, now with Command at Sea International.
Next: A remote-controlled gun camouflaged within the architecture.
Shotgun Shell Weapon
While this device may not look like a weapon, it is actually quite deadly. Hidden behind walls and ceilings to blend with the architecture, it shoots 15 shotgun shells when activated.
The weapon can be deployed remotely, and requires a series of authentications before it can fire. While it has been installed in homes outside the U.S., Safe said it does not use the device anymore in the houses it secures.
Next: A shelter from nuclear, biological and chemical attacks. (Or you can go to CNBC.com to see even more protection measures of billionaires.)
Cost: $50,000 for a basic shelter, up to millions of dollars
This high-end twist on the age-old bomb shelter is called an NBC shelter; it protects against nuclear, biological and chemical attacks. It is 20 feet underground and has a bullet- and bomb-proof door.
It also has everything the ultra-wealthy need to survive for at least three months, including food, water and “good air,” according to Corbi. This particular shelter is even stocked with champagne.
If residents want to venture outside during a disaster, they can use the gas masks, NBC suits and supply-filled backpacks stored in the shelter.
Next: Not just a panic room -- a full "safe core."
Forget the single panic room, these days the über-rich can create an entire safe core inside their mansion.
By installing bullet- and bomb-proof door, walls, ceiling and floors, an entire area of the home — including bedrooms and bathrooms — is considered safe. With a week’s worth of supplies stored in the safe core, a family can live comfortably while they wait out the threat.
“Even though you don’t see any signs of security, it’s a fortress,” Safe’s Corbi said. “Security isn’t something that should make you feel hunkered down and restricted. On the contrary, it should liberate you. Once you have it, you can go on with your life.”
Next: Airborne anti-missile defenses.
Cost: Approximately $1 million
The super-rich like to travel in style, and that means private jets like this Gulfstream G4. But the convenience of private jet travel also comes with risks.
Security teams take every precaution when the aircraft is on the ground. But the protection doesn’t end there, it can also continue when the plane is airborne. Security experts tell CNBC that there are a couple dozen aircraft in the world that have electronic counter measures to thwart an incoming missile attack. Those measures can include a jamming system that blocks the infrared tracking systems for missiles.
According to BAE Systems, which developed an infrared countermeasures system called Boldstroke DIRCM for the government, it would cost about $1 million for the equipment.
See even more extraordinary security measures employed by the mega-rich on CNBC.com.