These devices help their users to protect themselves by emitting loud, piercing sounds. The sounds startle potential assailants and give users time to break away and escape. They can be especially effective when used together with other means like pepper spray.
Personal Alarm Sound
Sound represents the most important element of an alarm. The louder and shriller the sound, the more effective it is. Most experts recommend a buying an alarm that emits the loudest, most piercing sound as possible, at least 130 decibels. Because the sound is so loud it should be held away from the user, but close to the assailant. Alarms also vary according to continuity. Some alarms sound a pulsing tone, while others feature a continuous tone. Experts recommend a continuous tone as others may mistake the pulsing variety for a car alarm. Car alarms have become a near ubiquitous sound in urban environments and many people have come to ignore them. A loud, shrill, continuous sound causes greater shock in an assailant. You can also attract attention by sounding the alarm and then shouting for help. If you must choose between size and loudness, try to choose the model with the loudest possible sound that will still be easy to carry. Nevertheless, you should not rely on the alarm to protect you. It cannot disable, but only distract an assailant. Use the surprise to get away or use additional means to disable the assailant.
Personal Alarm Size
When buying a personal alarm you should remember that you will most likely carry it with you whenever you venture from your home. Therefore, the alarm should be as lightweight and compact as possible without sacrificing sound. Also, if you must use it, you will have only seconds, so you will need to do so quickly and deftly. Therefore, simplicity also represents a significant advantage. Having to fumble with different buttons and levers costs time and when faced with a true emergency many individuals do not think clearly. An alarm with a single button, lever, cord, or other feature allows the user to react quickly. Cords may not be as effective as they require the use of both hands.
Personal Alarm Power
Alarms generally rely on either gas or batteries to power their sounds. Each one offers benefits and drawbacks. Gas-powered alarms are simple in design and allow even the possibility of activation through pressure on the gas canister. Another advantage is the ability to check that the canister contains gas by simply shaking it. If the canister contains gas it will be audible. However, you should remember that airlines restrict bringing gas canisters on board. If you plan to travel with your alarm make sure that it complies with those restrictions. Also, many smaller gas-powered alarms may not produce sounds loud enough to ward off attackers. Finally, you should take care to keep the canister away from temperature extremes, as the canister could potentially burst. Unlike gas-powered alarms size does not influence sound for the battery-powered variety, allowing them to be more compact and thus more portable. Some people carry them on belts and are thus able to activate them almost instantly. You may even attach one next to your front door to protect against intruders. On the other hand, many battery-powered alarms emit pulsating instead of continuous sounds. Other features, such as strobe lights, on battery-operated models may confuse users who need to find the alarm feature quickly. Also, remember that you will have to check the battery regularly.
In general, personal alarms give users an extra security measure against attackers. When buying an alarm choose the loudest, shrillest sound possible contained within the most compact container available. Alarms may be powered by gas or battery and each offers both advantages and disadvantages pertaining to sound, size, and additional features. You should weigh all of these factors when choosing an alarm.