There are many different types of personal alarms. Choosing the best one for you can sometimes be tricky. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.
The purpose of a personal alarm:
The purpose of a personal safety alarm is to shock, distract or disorient an attacker, giving you vital seconds to get away.
The most important feature of an alarm is the sound it emits. If an attacker is to be shocked enough to leave you alone, this sound needs to be as loud and unpleasant as possible. It is a common misconception that alarms will attract others, however, if there is no one around you, no one will be able to help.
- The most effective sound is a continuous non-stop siren that is over 120dB.
- Your personal alarm should be easy to carry, and easy to set off. Portability is very important.
- Instant activation is critical. Your personal alarm should take no longer than 1 second to activate. This is crucial. It does no good to carry an alarm that takes 2 or 3 seconds to activate. Every second is precious.
How do you operate the alarm in an emergency? There are many different ways to activate different types of alarms, including push caps, push buttons, and pull out pins. How fiddly is it to activate? Do you have problems using your hands or fingers? Can it be activated simply by yanking your keychain? These are all important considers when choosing your alarm or when practicing.
When and How to Use a Personal Alarm:
The primary function of an alarm is to shock, distract or disorient an attacker.
1. Set off the alarm.
2. Drop the alarm and make your escape.
If the alarm is by the attackers feet, it may also act as a visual distraction. If the alarm malfunctions for any reason, or if the battery is depleted, dropping it on the floor will help create a visual distraction.
Get to a crowded area as quickly as possible. Shout the specific instructions, "Call the Police!" This makes it clear that you are in danger and creates a clear CALL TO ACTION. Call 9-1-1 is also an acceptable instruction if you are in the United States. However, it is safer to remember and train your family to use "Call the Police" because it applies anywhere, in any country.
1. Once you have activated the alarm, leave the situation as quickly as possible. DO NOT wait to check that your alarm has had the desired effect - JUST GO.
2. A personal alarm is only one part of your personal safety plan. There are lots of ways you can help reduce the risk of being in a dangerous situation.