There are many different types of personal alarms. Choosing the best model for yourself can sometimes be tricky. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice :)
Purpose of a Personal Alarm
The purpose of a personal safety alarm is to deter and distract an attacker, giving you vital seconds to get away. It is a common misconception that the primary purpose of a personal alarm is to attract others to help. However, attracting a Good Samaritan is a secondary outcome that may or may not occur, since there may not be anyone around to hear the sound.
How to use a Personal Alarm
REMEMBER: The primary function of a personal alarm is to deter, distract, or disorient an attacker.
REMEMBER: A personal alarm is only one part of your personal safety plan. There are many tactics to help you reduce the risk of a violent crime. For example, traveling in large groups of people typically helps reduce the risk of being a victim of a violent crime, since criminals purposely seek individuals or couples who are walking alone.
HOW TO USE: Generally, the best way to use a personal alarm is to activate it, drop it on the floor near the assailant, and then immediately run away.
Set off the alarm, drop it on the ground, and make your escape. If it is near the attacker's feet, it may also act as a visual attraction, in addition to the audible deterrence. If your alarm malfunctions for any reason, throwing it will also help distract an attacker, buying you vital seconds to flee the scene and call for help. Once you have set off the alarm, leave the situation as quickly as possible. DO NOT wait to check that your alarm has had the desired effect.
If you are able to move to a busy area, shout the specific instructions "CALL THE POLICE!" This makes it clear that you need help and gives passersby a specific call to action. Studies have shown providing specific instructions such as "call the police" is a much more effective method of getting help when compared to saying "help me," for example. For this reason, many emergency response teams are trained to give specific instructions to bystanders, such as "CALL 911." Generally, the phrase "Call the Police" is a safer bet because it is also likely to be understood when traveling outside of the U.S.