The best personal safety devices improve your safety and peace of mind. However, they come in all different shapes and sizes with varying features. It’s hard to determine the right safety device that fits your lifestyle. While many devices only provide a personal alarm or siren, these don’t address the uncomfortable, dangerous and emergency situations you may encounter in your life.
This is why we’ve listed out all of the features and options available to you in our 2021 Women’s Personal Safety Guide
Portability And Accessibility
Your personal safety device should function as a portable security system that is easily accessible whenever you need it. While many devices can be stored in your purse, the the best devices can be kept on your keychain, purse or backpack or discreetly worn as an accessory like a necklace or bracelet.
While free apps for your mobile phone are a low cost solution, accessibility becomes an issue in many uncomfortable or dangerous situations that arise. With your iPhone, there are multiple steps including unlocking it, opening the app and signaling for help that may not be possible in some circumstances.
One common safety tip, especially for college students, is to carry a list of your emergency contacts with you at all times. While physical devices cannot accomplish this alone, some are paired with a safety app that enables this. These apps can provide ease and convenience for storing emergency contacts, like family members, and you typically always carry your phone with you. In the event of an emergency, you can share these contacts with the necessary people with ease.
A great example of this is using a physical device to activate an automatic text message to notify designated contacts with a predetermined message.
There are two important factors to consider with safety devices in terms of battery life. The first is how long your device will list on a charge. It’s easy to forget to charge your device or you may be somewhere without access to a charger. This can be critical when you’re traveling and potentially have limited access to a charger.
The second factor to consider is if you can recharge your battery or need to replace it with a new battery. Replacing batteries can be time consuming, inconvenient and expensive over time. You want a device that you can consistently rely on with a long battery life that reduces the risk of it failing when you need it the most.
Automatic Text Messaging
Sending automatic text messages via SMS to designated contacts is an important feature for any robust safety device. This allows you to quickly notify your trusted contacts with a predetermined message so they know where you’re headed or that you reached your destination safely.
This is one of the most flexible features for a device that can be adapted for many different situations. Whether you’re going out with friends or on a date, attending a meeting in a new area or on your way home, automatic text messaging keeps your contacts in the loop and allows them to contact the right people if you don’t reach your destination.
Fake Phone Calls
Many situations don’t require calling an emergency dispatcher or the local police station. Some require something like a fake phone call to extricate yourself from an uncomfortable or potentially risky situation. When activated subtly through a device, you can politely excuse yourself to take the call and generate additional distance from the situation and evaluate your safety options from there.
Fake phone calls can also be used in other situations like a meeting with a prospective client that runs too long, a bad date or anything where you may feel unsafe but doesn’t merit the authorities yet.
Panic buttons serve as a deterrent in dangerous and unsafe situations. Many devices accomplish this with an alarm that plays a loud noise in addition to flashing bright lights. In many cases, these features can alert nearby people and potentially serve as an auditory weapon to disorient an attacker creating time for you to escape.
While a panic button may not be as strong a deterrent as pepper spray or a stun gun, many times they are easier to reach and properly activate. With the public around you and the attacker disoriented, you have time to activate other potential safety features on your device to connect with the proper authorities.
Emergency Services Connection
When you dial 911 during an emergency situation, you get routed to a dispatcher who diagnoses your situation and connects you with the proper services. Sometimes connecting with a dispatcher can take longer than expected which can cause you to lose valuable time. This is why some of the best devices can connect you with a private dispatcher service that decreases your wait time while increasing rapid response time.
Similar to many features above, connecting with an emergency dispatcher applies to many situations. You can use this in situations including witnessing a car crash, when you’re traveling or if you see another person in distress. This can be a powerful tool to not only improve your safety, but the safety of the people around you.
Sharing your location can be a good and bad feature depending on the situation, especially when it comes to your safety. With devices that pair with an app, sharing your location can be beneficial. Similar to sharing your location with friends through iOS, enabling this feature allows emergency dispatches to quickly send your location to the proper authorities.
This can be extremely helpful in many situations when it may be hard to find the street and cross street you’re on or if you’re traveling and aren’t familiar with the area. Sharing your GPS location reduces an extra step and allows emergency responders to reach you faster.
You may think of flashlights as something your parents told you to always carry in your car or in an emergency bag, but they are also an extremely useful safety feature. While cellphones have a built in flashlight, sometimes they aren’t as accessible as you need. This is why a device with a flashlight can be extremely convenient.
Whether you’re fumbling around for your keys, illuminating the path while you walk at night or using it to temporarily disorient a potential attacker, flashlights can be a necessary safety feature.
Selecting The Best Device For You
While these are some of the best safety features you should look for, some may not fit your goals or lifestyle. There’s a lot to consider when selecting a device including the safety of your city, the nature of your job, affordability, lifestyle and the peace of mind you would garner from carrying a safety device.
Depending on your lifestyle, you may want to prioritize something more portable and accessible while you’re running. If you’re traveling abroad, you may want to verify which features will work outside the United States.
In many industries, you may have to work late hours or meet clients alone like real estate, home healthcare and in hospitals. In these types of professions, you may want a solution that is flexible and provides multiple features to address the different types of situations that you will likely face. This is where something like an alarm device may not provide the necessary functionality.
Finally, a safety device is meant to protect you physically, emotionally and mentally. When using it, you should feel like you have an extra layer of protection wherever you go and are comfortable using it when necessary. Not only can it help protect you, it can help protect the people around you.
The POM Safe System
We built POM Safe as a comprehensive platform designed to improve your personal safety. Our POM device is a portable safety device that can fit easily on your keychain and connects with our safety app via bluetooth. With a simple tap, you can initiate automatic text messaging, a fake phone call, a virtual escort or connect directly with an emergency dispatcher. Our device is more than just an alarm, it’s a personal safety system designed for you.
Our free app allows you to store emergency contacts and important medical data from allergies to specific medications or chronic conditions. In an emergency, it’s simple to find and share with relevant parties. In addition, our app can share your location in the event of an emergency.
Recently, we created the Safe Score which gathers your city’s crime data and develops a safety score for you. The Safe Score helps you understand your city’s safety and enables you to make the best decisions when selecting a safety device. With a firm grasp on the risks within your city or cities that you’re visiting, you can improve the safety of yourself and those around you.