The best personal safety alarm
In an ideal world, you wouldn't need a personal safety alarm, but unfortunately, emergencies can and do happen. Personal safety alarms can scare off attackers and alert passersby that you need help. Plus, you can use them as medical alert devices, in case of a medical emergency.
This guide contains all the details you need to choose the best personal safety alarm for you, as well as the pros and cons of a few recommended alarms. Our favorite model is iMaxAlarm's SOS Alert Personal Alarm, a robust choice that reaches a whopping 130 decibels.
Considerations when choosing personal safety alarms
A personal safety alarm must be loud enough to startle potential attackers and to call the attention of people in a fairly wide radius. The volume of personal safety alarms is measured in decibels (dB) and is usually somewhere between 100 and 150 dB. We'd recommend choosing a model that sounds at a minimum of 120 dB, but the louder the better. To put it in real terms, an average car stereo at maximum volume reaches around 100 dB, a gunshot is around 130 dB, and a jet taking off produces 150 dB (at 25 feet from the plane).
The mechanism for setting off the alarm must be easy enough to manage in an emergency situation, but not so sensitive that you regularly set it off accidentally. The majority of personal safety alarms have some type of pin mechanism that you either pull directly from the alarm or twist and pull. Other models have a press-button mechanism, though these should require a firm press or a press and hold, otherwise they're far too easy to set off when you don't mean to. Make sure you also learn how to turn off the alarm in case you do activate it unintentionally.
You need to carry your personal safety alarm with you for it to be of any use. Some models have a keyring on top so that you can attach it to your car or house keys. Others have a carabiner, which can either attach to your keys or be clipped onto your belt loop for easy access. You can also find some models that come with a lanyard to wear around your neck.
Personal safety alarms are available in various colors and patterns. Some are bright, whereas others are more subtle. Some people prefer to have a bright, obvious safety alarm as a warning to would-be attackers, whereas others prefer a subtle alarm, so a potential attacker won't notice it and take it.
Some personal safety alarms feature handy LED flashlights, which are useful in dimly lit areas. Others double as whistles in case the battery has unexpectedly run out.
Expect to pay between $10 and $25 for a single personal safety alarm. If you want more than one alarm, you can save money by buying multipacks.
Q. Is there anywhere I can't take a personal safety alarm?
A. You may not be allowed to take a personal safety alarm on a plane in hand luggage or upon your person, but it should be fine in your checked luggage. Some venues (such as sports stadiums or concert venues) also have rules prohibiting people from bringing personal safety alarms, since they can cause problems if misused.
Q. Are personal safety alarms waterproof?
A. You may be able to find some waterproof personal safety alarms on the market, but the majority are not. However, all models should be able to survive a light to moderate rain shower, but certainly can't be submerged in water unless advertised otherwise.
Personal safety alarms we recommend
Best of the best: iMaxAlarm's SOS Alert Personal Alarm
Our take: This extremely loud 130 dB alarm will draw attention from all over in an emergency.
What we like: Simple pull-top operation. Includes a lanyard for wearing around your neck and a carabiner clip for keychains or belt loops. Compact and durable design.
What we dislike: Battery can't be recharged or replaced (though it should last for years).
Best bang for your buck: SLFORCE's Personal Alarm Siren Song
Our take: This basic pin-operated device offers excellent value for money.
What we like: Features a built-in LED flashlight. Sounds at 130 dB. Features a keyring to attach to your keychain/keyfob.
What we dislike: Fairly easy to set off accidentally.
Choice 3: ANRUI's Personal Alarm Keychain
Our take: The 120 dB alarm is slightly quieter than our other options but still loud enough to draw attention.
What we like: Discreet design in case you don't want people to know you carry an alarm. Twist-and-pull pin lessens your chances of accidentally activating the alarm. Easily attaches to keychain.
What we dislike: Not as durable as we'd like.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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