Quantifying the number of crimes and assaults on college campuses across the United States, particularly against women, is difficult to do. That’s because many of these types of crimes, unfortunately, go unreported. This is due to a number of reasons, chief among them, victims are either embarrassed or ashamed that something like this has happened to them, or worried that people won’t believe them.
This is the stark reality. But you can take steps to help lower the risk of becoming a victim, and that starts with preparing yourself with the right tools to keep yourself safe and protected.
Among the vast array of tools available now are personal safety devices and personal alarms, which are useful for a wide variety of situations, including:
In your dorm room
o The grocery store
o Gas station
o Place of work
It is critically important that you take your safety and security seriously, which means taking the necessary precautions. Remember, it’s so much better to error on the side of over preparing for the situations you may encounter.
There are two types of personal security devices we’ll talk about here: personal alert security devices and personal alarms. Let’s first take a look at personal alert security devices.
Personal Alert Safety Devices
An ideal safety option for college students, this type of device allows you to alert others if you find yourself in a troubling or dangerous situation. They generally work in conjunction with your cell phone and its GPS.
Carry the small device wherever it’s convenient for you, and by simply the press of a button, an alert is sent to any number of people, from a friend to a parent or other family member, alerting them that you may be in trouble.
Personal alert safety devices possess many advantages. One of the aspects that make this a good option over simply using a cell phone to call for help is the ease of use by just the press of a button in order to alert someone that you are in trouble. It saves on fumbling over your phone, trying to dial the right number and having to talk to someone. It also negates the possibility of the person you called not picking up the phone. Instead, they will get an alert. Additionally, you may be in a situation where you cannot risk being obvious by dialing a phone, in which case the button can be pressed discreetly without fear of being seen.
These types of devices are extremely easy to use.
While the function of a personal alert safety device is to send an alert to a friend or family member, a personal alarm is a safety tool that emits a high-decibel, ear-piercing sound that will hopefully scare off an attacker, as well as attract attention from other people in the area.
It’s difficult to explain just how loud and uncomfortable a personal safety alarm sound is in person, without actually hearing it. The sound is almost stunning, in that it can temporarily paralyze an attacker and give you the time you need to run and escape.
So now the question is, how do you pick out a personal safety alarm? Let’s take a look at five factors to consider.
Ease of Use
Perhaps the single most important factor to consider is how convenient the alarm is to use. In order for it to be effective, you must have it close at hand so that if you’re attacked, you can access the alarm in an instant. Remember, your attacker won’t wait around and give you time to find your personal safety alarm and activate it.
For this reason, a keychain alarm makes a great option. You can easily carry your keys almost anywhere, as you’re out walking around campus or walking to your car in a parking garage. Having the alarm on your keychain means it’s right at your fingertips.
Another solid option is to keep your personal alarm on a clip that fastens onto your backpack, purse, belt or a pocket. All of these are easily accessible should you need to push the button and activate the alarm.
Size & Weight
As technologies advance, personal safety alarms are getting smaller and smaller, as well as easier to carry. With all of today’s options super lightweight, the burden of a heavy alarm shouldn’t be an issue. But the overall size of the alarm should be considered. Think about the size of your hands and what is most convenient to carry and access.
If you have very petite hands, then a smaller alarm may be the best option, while those with slightly larger hands may prefer an alarm that’s a bit bigger so that they can grasp it better.
Choose an alarm that uses a battery size that is popular and therefore easily accessible. That way, when you need replacement batteries, you’ll have no trouble finding them.
Also, remember to keep track of when you replaced the batteries and always keep them fresh so that if you should ever actually need to use the alarm, you can be sure it’s in proper working condition.
Personal safety alarms can be activated in a number of ways, depending on the alarm and the manufacturer. Some may twist or pull, while others activate with the simple push of a button. Make sure you choose an alarm that activates in a manner that suits you best. Due to personal limitations, not everyone will find it easy or convenient to twist or pull, so a push button alarm is often the best and most popular option.
Volume & Decibels
When selecting a personal alarm, look for one with at least 120 decibels. This is the minimum decibel level you want to ensure what is hopefully a disabling sound to your attacker. A loud, high-pitched alarm means more time for you to escape, as well as attract attention from nearby people.
Form Your Plan of Action
The best way to stay safe at college, whether on campus, in a dorm or apartment, or in a parking lot, is to take the time to form a safety game plan.
Think about ideas like always walking with someone you know or in a group. Never walk on campus alone at night. Let a friend or family member know where you are and where you’re going, as well as how long it should take you to get there and your route of travel.
Never linger around your car at night. Check that it looks safe, get in and begin driving. And arm yourself with the right combination of tools to help keep you safe, from pepper sprays and personal alert safety devices to a pen light and personal alarm.
Here at CHIEF Supply, we want to recommend the Brite-Strike Technologies 3-in-1 Personal Safety Alarm.
This alarm was created specifically to reduce incidents of assaults and violence against women. Designed as an overall personal protection program for women, whether on campus, while jogging or walking, or strolling anywhere, it’s equipped with a screeching alarm measuring in at 120 decibels.
Besides the screeching alarm sound, it also features flashing red lights which can further draw attention to an emergency situation. And lastly, it comes with a powerful LED flashlight to help light your way.
Attacks on campus can be scary to think about, but the more you prepare and make yourself aware of the potential dangers, the safer you will be.