We spent 60 hours researching and testing more than 15 different types and styles of personal alarms and found that ease of use, convenient size and reliability were the most important factors for consumer who were shopping for personal alarms for protection. Vigilant 130dB Personal Alarm scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. This personal protection alarm comes in a convenient keychain style that also has a bag attachment. The 130dB alarm makes it one of the loudest personal alarms sold by the Vigilant Company. Features include an easy to find activate button, a hidden deactivation button, and the small, convenient size that makes it easy to carry.
Personal Alarm Buying Guide
There are two functions that a personal alarm provides. One is to protect you if you encounter a would-be attacker or if you are in an emergency situation where you need assistance. The other function it provides is to help you monitor people that are vulnerable and in your care. You can also provide a personal alarm to someone you know that would need to alert others in the event of an emergency or attack. There are three main types of personal alarms on the market.
- Keychain style
- Pendant style worn around your neck
- Smartwatch style that is worn on the wrist
It is not always a good idea to try and protect yourself if you have no self-defense training. If you are in a situation where you are in danger it may be difficult for you to call out or fight back. Many people become so terrified they freeze. If you have a personal alarm that is attached to your keys or bag, you can sound an alarm without having to call out or scream.
Personal alarms are designed to be heard as far away as 1000 feet away. They general cause the would-be attacked to become disoriented and panicked because you have drawn attention to what is going on. There are some types of personal alarms that require monitoring through a third party. These alarms are oftentimes given to elderly that live on their own in the event of a medical or other type of emergency.
You can purchase a personal alarm easily online and they are accepted in all 50 states. Laws allow citizens to use personal alarms to protect themselves. It is a great non-lethal method that is safe for all ages.
Determining your Needs
The first step in purchasing the right personal alarm for your needs should happen before you take a look at one personal alarm protect. You should determine what your specific needs are and what your objective is for purchasing a personal alarm. It will be helpful to ask yourself these questions:
- Why do you need to protect yourself? – Do you work late night and have to walk out to your vehicle alone? Do you jog at night or have to walk home after dark? These are all good reasons to have a need to protect yourself.
- Is the personal alarm for someone other than you? – Are you getting a personal alarm for your children or teens to carry? Do you have elderly parents that you want to provide self-protection from that they can easily carry and use? If you are purchasing a personal alarm for someone else, make sure that you choose a model that will be easy for them to use and carry.
- Where do you want to carry the alarm? – Some people like carrying personal alarms on their key rings while others may prefer one they can put in their pocket or clip to their purse or bag. Having a personal alarm and then tossing it into your bag won’t do you much good. Having to dig for your alarm in the event you are in danger gives the would-be attacker time to advance while you are frantically digging around. Look for a personal alarm that you can clip to the OUTSIDE of your purse or bag, wear around your neck or keep on your keychain.
Personal Alarm Features to Look for
There are several things you want to look for when it comes to purchasing the right personal alarm for your needs. You will have many options to choose from so being aware of the features beforehand will allow you to identify the features you want before you start browsing. It will make the whole process go much smoother.
- If you are choosing a pendant or watch personal alarm look for models that have an alert button that will immediately call for professional help. These work a lot like keychain alarms.
- Look for personal alarms that offer GPS locating. This is very valuable for children or elderly that get into unsafe situations so they can be located by law enforcement should the button be activated.
- Some models will offer communication capability between the person with the alarm and other users. Depending on the model, you may be able to set up contact between the user and multiple users.
- Fall detection is a feature that is helpful if the user is elderly and suddenly falls. This feature can make a big difference for an elderly parent that lives by themselves. They can fall without anyone knowing for hours. The alarm’s fall detector will automatically contact the needed people in the event it detects a fall.
- Speed tracking is a unique feature that can detect if the person holding the device suddenly gets into a vehicle and is traveling at a faster speed than they would if they were walking or running.
- Another useful feature is geofencing. This feature will notify a caregiver when the user wearing the alarm is outside of a specific geographic location.
- The ability to send notifications in an emergency and call people if needed. Also the ability to store multiple contacts.
- You want to choose a personal alarm that is simple to operate. The whole purpose of the alarm is to have something on hand that can be accessed quickly in the event of an attack. The main thing to look for is an alarm that will be ear-piercing and that will draw attention to your location and disorient the would-be attackers enough to chase them away or allow you time to get away. These are perfect for college students, young women who live alone, people who walk or jog early morning or late night, people who jog in more remote locations, children, and those who leave work late night and walk to their vehicles alone.
- Non-movement detection is a helpful feature that can alert a caregiver if no movement is detected for a period of time from the user. This is very good to have if the user is ill or recovering from an illness or injury.
Personal alarms are a great means of providing self-protection for people of all ages from children to the elderly. They are not meant to be a cure-al solution but they can definitely help by drawing immediate attention to you and any would-be attacker. This increases the chances that they will run off or that you can buy some time to get away.
If you often are in less than safe situations by having to walk home or into a parking lot at night, live alone, or your children walk to or from school, a personal alarm can be a very good thing to add some safety to those situations. Since these alarms are accepted and legal in all 50 states, you can purchase one no matter where you live.
There are many different styles of personal alarms from varieties that hang on your key chain to those that are worn around your neck or wrist. Other models can be clipped to your belt, purse, or bag for easy access as well. With all of these choices available we have provided the information you need to know to understand the differences between personal alarms as well as how to determine your needs and find the right model for you. No one ever wants to be in a dangerous situation but being prepared in the event you encounter one can make the difference in the end result. Most attackers look for people who are alone in darkened areas. They don’t want attention or for others to see them. Setting off your personal alarm will startle them and in many cases the attacker will run away. This is the ideal situation when you encounter trouble like this.
The three top-rated personal alarms we have featured above are examples of the kind of alarms you want to find for you or your family’s needs. All three selections are affordable, small and compact, easy to use and have loud alarms of at least 125 db.
The information you have learned by reading this buying guide is how to choose the right personal alarm for your specific needs. Understanding features, how to operate the device properly, and how to keep them easily accessible by keeping the in the right place (i.e. watch, around neck, keychain, outside of purse or bag, etc.) will help you choose the perfect personal alarm for your needs.