Is a personal alarm the only genuine self help solution?
By Jeff King
A personal alarm is nothing more than a glorified siren. The theory behind it is relatively simple: if someone attacks, or the likelihood of being attacked is very high, you simply switch it on and the personal security alarm will start screaming with an impressive 120 or 125 decibels. If you are lucky enough, this will draw attention and the attacker will leave you alone.
Of course it is crucial that a person alarm cannot be stopped by an attacker. This is achieved by using a hidden switch that only the person owning it knows about. It is also crucial to understand that a personal alarm only has a certain effectiveness. It will not always deter attackers. This is why non lethal weapons are commonly used in conjunction. Personal alarms and mace pepper spray make a very good combination and are also very effective in deterring attackers from pursuing their course of action.
The personal safety alarms for personal protection are not the only way in which these can be used. Child safety personal alarms have the same basic construction, but serve a very different purpose. They are usually there to ensure that if a child gets lost; his parents will be able to locate him or her in the shortest amount of time.
Another interesting application of the personal alarm is its usage in locating a person after a catastrophe, like a hurricane or earthquake. With the recent occurrence of such events it might not be too long until these will surpass in popularity the traditional personal safety alarms, pepper spray included. Obviously this would only be true for those certain areas where this sort of event has a higher probability. The technology used by this new breed of personal alarms is inspired by that used by skiers to protect against avalanches, which contain a GPS enabled beacon, and a loud siren which goes on intermittently (in order to preserve battery power). As technology will advance more still, it is quite possible that these devices will become more and more effective.
The online market for devices such as the personal alarm has seen an explosive growth in the recent years. The offer though is slightly limited. The size of the device is constantly decreasing and so are the performances, while the prices stay relatively fair. This happens as the competition is getting more fierce by the day, with more and more manufacturers joining this promising market.
Altogether a personal alarm is a useful thing to have around. In conjunction with pepper spray it decreases your chances of getting harmed greatly and in the case of a disaster it can quite literally save your life. Of course some areas are more dangerous than others. The decision to purchase ultimately belongs to you, but it does seem a sensible thing to take precautions against these events even if the odds are relatively small.
About the Author
Jeff King is a technologist who writes on many consumer topics.
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