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A safe area is a place that is (relatively) free of monsters or other hazards. They are typically used to allow the adventurer and pets to retreat to regenerate HP, to identify that stack of unknown potions, to store or manage a stash, or to perform other actions away from the threat of monsters.
There are multiple strategies to locate or create a safe area, including:
- Locate a sanctuary - a co-aligned temple. Monsters will not attack you in a sanctuary, but will flee from you, but with a few exceptions.
- After completing the first level of Sokoban, use the spare boulders to block off the part of the room that contains the down staircase. There are several good reasons to use Sokoban as a safe area. See Sokoban#Strategy
- Hide in a closet and lock the door. A closet is too small to bring your pet with you, but large enough to hide from most monsters during an emergency, provided that you can lock the door before some kobold opens it and blocks the door square. Be careful to not choose a closet that contains a trap.
- Find a room that features doors in all its doorways, and lock the doors. This is not a common strategy, because such rooms are rare and often at inconvenient places. If you happen to have a wand of locking or the spell of wizard lock, then you can also put locked doors in the open doorways. A boulder can also block a doorway, but will not stop a ranged attack. You also have to worry about teleporting monsters (such as tengu), xorns (which can phase through rock), tunneling monsters such as dwarves and rock moles, and giants (which can break doors and lift boulders).
A safe area with a downward staircase can be especially valuable, once you have cleared the level that contains it; you can withdraw into it when badly injured from combat in the level below.