Do Personal Safety Alarms Work?
Have you ever experienced a threat to your personal safety? Perhaps you have heard of unfortunate events from a family member, friend, colleague, or peer. If you listened with interest, you might have wondered, “What if it had happened to me? How would I have reacted?”
It seems like each day; you hear of incidents of threats to personal safety. Sometimes, it is unclear on what to do. However, some practical measures and thoughtful considerations can ensure your safety and even save your life.
Fortunately, there are personal protection devices that Urban Safety Solutions provides at UrbanSafetySolutions.com that can ensure your safety and security as well as that of your loved ones. Among these security devices are personal safety alarms. Below is an overview of everything you need to know about personal alarms, including their effectiveness and utility as a personal security measure.
What is a Personal Safety Alarm?
A personal safety alarm, also known as a personal security alarm or personal attack alarm, is a type of electronic device that emits an extremely loud siren-like alarming sound. You can activate the small hand-held device by pressing a button or pulling a tag, which sets off the ear-piercing siren. You use a personal alarm to attract attention to scare off an attacker.
The loud sound the device emits also has the effect of disorienting, distracting, or surprising the attacker, giving you enough time or an opportunity to escape from a potentially dangerous situation. Investing in a device like a personal alarm is among the most cost-effective ways to take control of your safety. In many instances, it can make the difference between surviving a serious attack or not.
The concept of personal alarms came about as a safety measure to guard against sexual assault, especially for females at college. It is for this reason that personal security alarms are commonly referred to as ‘rape’ alarms. A personal alarm is a must-have in the urban female self-defense kit provided by Urban Safety Solutions.
These devices are often used by people through their social life like single women living alone, work or schooling like females at college or women walking alone may find themselves in an isolated environment that can be lucrative to assailants and potentially dangerous.
The loudness or volume of personal alarm will vary from model to model. However, most types have a loudness between 120 and 135 decibels. Most sound experts agree that loudness of at least 130 decibels is necessary to have a disorienting effect on an attacker. To give you an idea of how loud this is, a jet engine about one hundred feet away is 140 decibels.
At around 130 decibels, the sound from these personal protection devices can be heard up to half a mile away. The fear that it may attract the attention of nearby passers may be sufficient to cause an assailant to flee.
The Effectiveness and Benefits of Personal Safety Alarms – Do They Work?
The truth is that not everyone is comfortable with using some protective devices such as stun guns and pepper sprays. Understandably, some of you would rather carry an alternative self-defense tool.
The personal security alarms provided at UrbanSafetySolutions.com offer you an alternative to carrying a weapon. These small, battery-powered devices make an excellent inclusion to the urban female self-defense kit. They are easy to carry, permitted everywhere, and cheap, but how effective are personal alarms at preventing an attack?
Personal safety alarms are very useful in the majority of self-defense situations, and law enforcement authorities agree with this sentiment. Most police departments recommend that individuals carry personal security alarms, and especially at night. These devices are an excellent personal safety tool that anyone can carry concealed.
The best personal security alarms are sufficiently loud to damage hearing if held close enough to the ear and will easily disorient an attacker. These personal protection devices have been designed to make an assailant believe that the sound will attract attention, which is the last thing an attacker wants. Some devices feature bright flashing LED lights that also help attract attention.
The effectiveness of a personal security alarm lies in the fact that the last thing any criminal wants is to get caught. Criminals also look for easy targets. For most scenarios, this is enough to deter an attacker and foil the attack before it begins. Contrary to popular belief, the key function of a personal security alarm isn’t to call for help. It is to scare away an assailant.
While there are other personal safety devices in the self-defense kit provided at UrbanSafetySolutions.com that may bring an attacker to their knees, these devices may not be permitted everywhere. In such cases, a personal alarm will be an effective defense against a would-be attacker. Most attackers will often flee at the first sound of a personal security alarm.
Note that there are monitored personal attack alarms that enable you to raise a ‘Red Alert’ when you push the button, without the assailant being aware. The operators of these types of safety alarms locate the device using geolocation technology and alert the local law enforcement authorities to ensure you get a very quick response.
These types of safety alarms may come in handy if the sound fails to deter an attacker and you find yourself in need of immediate assistance. One benefit of a monitored personal security alarm is that you can activate it before an attack, offering an additional layer of protection.
You can activate the alarm discreetly as soon as you notice suspicious behaviors like someone trailing you. This can be helpful for women walking alone or single women living alone. Depending on how the situation turns out, you could have law enforcement in attendance to deal with a problem before anyone gets hurt.
The effectiveness of personal alarm devices has been debated thoroughly in the common media. The consensus is that personal alarms do work for most situations and is a must-have. For a female at college, single women living alone, or women walking alone, a personal security alarm is an excellent addition to your urban female self-defense kit from UrbanSafetySolutions.com.
A fully packed kit from Urban Safety Solutions offers multidimensional protection from environmental and social risk, offering reassurance that you are proactive about your safety and that of your loved ones. However, it’s worth noting that personal security alarms are not without their limitations.
One notable limitation is that they are passive devices and thus don’t disable an attacker. Fortunately, other items such as stun guns and pepper spray in the Urban Safety Solutions self-defense kit serve this purpose. Also, an attacker may attempt to throw the device away or muffle the sound.
In a busy city environment, passersby may be used to and impervious to sirens and alarms. These are all important considerations. A good practice would be to carry several personal defense devices in preparation for any eventualities.
You can use a personal alarm together with pepper spray or a stun gun to increase your chances of escaping a dangerous situation. Nonetheless, even if a personal alarm device does not deter an attacker, it will still give you enough time to escape the situation or gain the upper hand.
How to Use a Personal Alarm Effectively
According to the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, the most effective way to use a personal security alarm is to activate the device, throw it on the ground near the attack, and then immediately flee the scene as fast as you can. Note that there are some ways that you can make using a personal security alarm even more effective.
One notable limitation of personal alarms is that they can give you a false sense of security as you may depend on bystanders to help. People don’t always help, usually because they assume somebody else is going to help. One way to tackle this is to proactively ask those around you to be accountable. Doing so can be effective, especially for single women living alone or a female at college.
You can inform your campus mates or neighbors that you have a personal alarm, and if they hear it go off, they should call for help or try to intervene. Personal alarms are more useful when the people around you feel accountable.
If you are outside in a crowded area, it is advisable to look the nearest person directly in the eye and ask for help. This will eliminate any confusion as to whether the alarm has gone off by accident. Generally, people are more likely to take action when they are called upon to do it.
Also, practicing situational awareness can help. As with most people, you may tend to focus on many things that you fail to notice when something is out of place around you. Always practice situation awareness as it will help you assess if something is of concern or not, providing you precious time to use your security alarm effectively.
Types of Personal Security Alarms
Personal alarms can be split into two broad categories – battery and gas-powered personal alarms. Battery-powered personal alarms are often smaller and usually in the form of key chains or fobs. Gas-powered alarms are cylindrical and larger than battery-powered ones, although some miniature devices are also available.
The volume in decibels that these two types of alarms produce can be the same. However, the pressure in the gas alarm canisters produces a constant shrieking sound that is more ear-piercing compared to the sirens produces by most battery-powered personal alarms. Also, for standard gas canister models, the devices can provide up to five minutes of continuous sound. You can set off battery alarms for a longer duration over several months before you need to replace the battery.
You set off most battery-powered personal alarms by pulling out a pin with a cord or chain. Gas-powered alarms tend to have a button that locks down when you push them. This means you can set it off by pushing the device against any part of your body or anything solid. This mechanism can save you valuable seconds, especially if you have problems with dexterity.
Regarding these differences, your choice will come down to individual preferences and needs. Beyond the alarm function, both types of personal alarms have additional features. Battery alarms may have LED torches or strobe lighting for the further distraction of an assailant. Gas-powered alarms may combine the formidable shriek with a repelling odor spray or UV tracer (easily detected by a police UV scanner).
There are several types of personal safety alarms within the aforementioned two broad categories, each with a wide range of additional safety features. The most common types are keychain-type devices, smartwatch-type, pendants, and discreet alarms that mimic everyday objects such as lipstick and pens. All types are readily available for purchase and are easy to use.
Most keychain-type devices are activated by pushing a button, while you activate some by pulling out a pin. As an additional feature, some personal alarm devices will send out an alert to phone numbers connected to the devices beforehand. Others are connected to monitoring services that can send appropriate help, including police services or an ambulance, depending on the situation.
Different types of personal security alarm devices may offer the following options and features depending on your needs and budget:
- GPS locating so you can find the individual wearing the device if necessary.
- Hands-free communication between the wearer of the device and another person. You can sometimes set up multiple users.
- Geofencing features alert a caregiver when the wearer of the security device is not within a predefined geographic range. This feature may be necessary if you have children who walk to and from school. The device can alert you if your child is outside the specified location.
- Fall detection features alert you or a caregiver if the wearer falls suddenly. It can be useful for the elderly, persons with limited mobility, or recovering patients.
- Speed tracking indicates the speed at which the wearer of the device is moving. This feature may be useful to determine if the wearer enters a vehicle unexpectedly (especially beneficial to children).
- Some devices have bright flashing LED lights, door accessories, and/or spray to help deter or stop an attacker or intruder.
Advantages of Personal Safety Alarms
One of the main advantages of personal security alarms is portability. Potentially dangerous incidents are difficult to predict, and you can find yourself in a situation at any place or time. Having a portable personal protection device doesn’t require you to be at a specific place to activate them (like panic buttons).
This is also advantageous if you frequently find yourself alone and can’t rely on other people to raise an alarm if you are unable to. If you are constantly on the move, like women waking alone, a personal alarm is recommendable as you can easily carry the device in your purse or even wear them. However, remember that these devices are only effective if you keep them close at hand.
A personal security alarm is also discrete. How discreetly you can raise an alert an essential, as handling some situations requires a subtle approach. Personal security alarms are small devices and can come in the shape or form of everyday items, including keychains, watches, or pendants.
Another often overlooked benefit of personal alarms is that there are no restrictions on their use. Since these devices are not classified as weapons, there aren’t any restrictions on who can use them or where one can carry them. Other personal safety devices found in the urban female self-defense kit, like stun guns and pepper sprays, do have some notable restrictions.
For instance, some states have age restrictions on selling and using pepper spray. You can also not have pepper spray in your carry-on luggage on most commercial airlines. Also, many colleges and educational institutions don’t allow you to have pepper spray on campus. Therefore, if you are a female at college, a personal security alarm offers an effective unrestricted self-defense alternative.
Personal alarms are legal to carry anywhere in the country. You can take your security alarm with you into government buildings, college campuses, and on commercial flights. Additionally, there are no age restrictions on who can carry them. Children and adults alike can use them to defend their safety.
Also, personal security alarms are non-lethal. Not everyone is comfortable with using direct violence that may end a life regardless of the situation from an ethical point of view. If you are such a person, a personal security alarm offers an effective non-lethal approach to ensuring your safety.
Also, personal alarms have a minimal chance of affecting innocent bystanders when compared to other defense tools like stun guns and pepper spray. Although these devices are well-designed and accurate. With improper use, especially in a panicked situation, there’s the danger they may affect innocent bystanders in a crowded area. You won’t have to worry about this with personal alarms.
Personal alarms, pepper spray, and stun guns can go off by accident. An advantage of a personal alarm is that if you set it off accidentally, it will only be embarrassing for you. With the other personal protection devices, an accidental set-off can cause you and innocent bystanders a lot of discomfort and pain.
Who Can Use Personal Security Alarms?
While anyone can and should use a personal security alarm, there is a demographic of people that these devices are especially useful. Numerous statistics indicate that college students- female college students in particular- face a significant number of personal attacks.
It is no wonder that personal defense tools, including the urban female self-defense kit from UrbanSafetySolutions.com are targeted at this demographic. Females at college, women walking alone, and single female living alone are often potential targets of would-be attackers.
As a college student, you may stay on campus late at night to study. Leaving the campus at such times makes you especially susceptible to attacks. If you fall into this demographic, investing in a personal attack alarm can help you feel and be safe, especially at night. Personal safety alarms can be an excellent safety tool for the following people:
- Parents – A personal attack alarm can help keep children walking to and from school and other institutions alone safe. The sound emitted by these devices will startle and distract an assailant giving the child the opportunity to run away or seek help. A personal security alarm can allow you to track and monitor your children. You have numerous options for personal alarms designed specifically for children.
- Women who travel alone – girls walking alone are more likely to be targeted by criminals. You can opt for a discreet or minimalistic device in the form of a keychain, watch, pen, or pendant to help deter an assailant and attract the attention of passerby.
- Joggers and walkers – For those who frequently jog or walk, especially at night or early mornings, carrying a keychain security alarm may be crucial if an attacker approaches you.
- The elderly – This is an often-forgotten demographic that can benefit greatly from personal alarm devices. Elderly individuals who can fall or wander off because of cognitive disabilities will benefit from a personal alarm that enables caregivers to monitor location. If a senior citizen resides with a caregiver, the alarm can alert other home occupants. For instance, attaching this device to a wheelchair increases the odds of being heard during an emergency.
- Drivers – A keychain-type personal security alarm that goes on your car keys can offer you quick access to an alarm system in case you are attacked while walking to your car or in a parking lot.
- Individuals with mobility problems – In case you are recovering from illness or surgery and have limited mobility, a personal safety device can alert nearby people in case of an emergency.
- People living in dangerous neighborhoods – If you reside in a neighborhood that is known to be particularly dangerous with higher incidents of attacks, having a personal security alarm would be a good idea.
Note that personal attack alarms can have other uses and Urban Safety Solutions recommends that everyone carry one with them at all times. For instance, during a catastrophic event like an earthquake, avalanche, tornado, or hurricane, having a personal alarm device may prove to be invaluable and can save your life in case you get trapped somewhere. As many security experts put it – it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Overall, your safety is not a passive aspect; it’s an active one. By investing in a personal survival alarm offered at UrbanSafetySolutions.com, you take responsibility for your security and that of your loved ones. If you are ready to edge on the side of caution and ensure you have what you need should the worst happen, Urban Safety Solutions provides an inexpensive self-defense tool that everyone can use.