No one likes to think about being in a situation in which they need to call for help, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, but effective way to feel safe, these are some of the best personal alarms and safety devices to have in an emergency.
From pepper spray and tasers to firearms, there are a lot of personal safety products out there. However, not everyone feels comfortable with the more hardcore types. Plus, most of them either require training to use or just aren’t very handy when you only have a split second to make a decision.
Personal alarms, on the other hand, are small, discreet, and easy to use. Some can be clipped to a keychain, while others can even be worn as jewelry to hide in plain sight. All of them will help you protect yourself whenever you’re on your own.
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Most Affordable: Safesound Personal Alarm Keychain
If you want a basic personal alarm that’s portable and easy to use, this is the best pick. The small device only measures three inches long and can be easily kept in a purse, backpack, or pocket.
To use, simply pull on the hand strap to remove the pin. This will immediately activate a 130-decibel siren that’s the sound level equivalent of a military jet aircraft taking off. The shrill noise will draw attention to you and either encourage your attacker to flee or call bystanders to come to help.
This alarm also has a keychain so that you can securely attach it somewhere that’s easily accessible as well as an LED light to use when it’s dark outside. Overall, it’s a great way to stay safe when you’re alone or walking somewhere that doesn’t feel comfortable.
It’s also affordable enough for you to stock up on and keep one in your car, your purse, and your gym bag. It also doesn’t need to be paired with a smartphone app to work.
Subtlest: Silent Beacon
Not everyone feels comfortable setting off a loud alarm in public, which might cause them to hesitate to use the personal alarm above. An alternative is the Silent Beacon, a small device that contacts 911 and preprogrammed emergency contacts at the push of a button.
You can keep it in your pocket, on a keychain, or around your neck on a chain or cord. It pairs with your cell phone via Bluetooth and, when activated, sends a text, an email, or a push notification, or makes a phone call. It also has a microphone and speaker so that you can have a conversation.
There are no monthly charges, nor do you have to purchase an additional cellular plan to use it. However, it does rely on your phone, so you’ll need to pair it to Bluetooth for it to work. Overall, it’s a great way to provide some peace of mind for you or your family members.
Most Stylish: Flare Safety Bracelets
Flare is a new company that fills a huge gap in the personal safety market. It designs stylish bracelets that double as safety devices for a discreet way to call for help in a scary situation.
Each bracelet contains a large black button on the inside. When it’s pressed, an automated call will be sent to your phone, giving you an excuse to leave.
When it’s pressed and held for three seconds, a text will be sent to a designated group of five preselected friends, along with your GPS coordinates. If you press the button for longer than that, your GPS location will be sent to a 911 dispatcher.
Whether you’re just feeling uncomfortable at a party, need your friends to know where you are, or need to contact the authorities, these versatile bracelets have you covered. The button is easy to use, but difficult to press accidentally. However, you will need to download the Flare app to use the bracelet’s features.
Best 911 Feature: InvisaWear Smart Jewelry
If bracelets aren’t really your thing, InvisaWear creates accessories that don’t draw attention but can seriously help in a time of crisis. You can choose from a variety of necklaces, bracelets, keychains, scrunchies, and athletic bands.
Each product contains a special charm that has a button on the back. When clicked twice, the charm will connect with the company’s app on your smartphone (required for use). It will then send a text to a list of preprogrammed emergency contacts, along with your location on Google Maps.
InvisaWear products also have a 911 feature that can be activated whenever the button is double-clicked. You’ll get an automated voice call through the app that will prompt you to speak to the police. (You can also cancel if you ever accidentally press the button.)
If you don’t respond, your GPS coordinates will be sent to a 911 dispatcher, and your emergency contacts will be notified.