You see it on the news. You can feel it on the streets. There is no doubt there’s a sense that it’s less safe to go out in many cities without taking some extra precautions. More Americans are engaging in activities outside the home and there is no better time to invest in tech to protect your safety while you are out and about in public places.
I’m constantly thinking about a parking space as close to my destination to avoid any sketchy behavior, I don’t walk as much after dinner in the neighborhood when we used to enjoy a stroll.
While traditional personal protection gear such as mace and pepper spray have been popular in the past, they are illegal in certain states and difficult to get through airport security. Additionally, carrying a defensive device that can be used as a weapon can create more danger especially if falling into the wrong hands.
As important as it is to keep safe, it’s equally important that protective tech is portable and easily integrated into one’s life so it can actually be readily on hand. The following is a list of tech safety gear that is both discreet and safe.
Credit: she’s birdie
Birdie is a lightweight keychain accessory (about the size of a key fob but lighter) that emits a loud alarm and flashes a bright, strobe light to deter attackers. The device is easy to activate when needed as it works by merely pulling off/yanking the bottom portion of the design.
- Ease of use
- The sound emitted is 130 decibels, which is like hearing a jet engine flying 100 feet above you, is sure to shock & deter any assailant and attract nearby help
- Measuring at just 3.5″ x 1.125″ x 0.5″, it can easily be added to a keychain or bag
- At 2 oz, it is lightweight
- Can be bought in a variety of colors, including bright ones which make it easier to find in a bag or purse
- Nothing to charge or plugin as the provided battery can run the alarm & light for 40 minutes straight without the need for replacement
- When the battery needs to be replaced, you can simply buy and replace it with two CR2032 batteries instead of buy another device
- With each alarm purchased, the company donates a percentage of profits to partner organizations that support women’s safety, shelter, and health
- While this device doesn’t connect to an outside source such as contacts or 911 for further assistance, you can opt for the Birdie+ device which you can connect the device to the Birdie+app to access instant, 24/7 access to a live support rep, share your location with emergency contacts. The Birdie+ device requires an annual subscription plan.
- Will deter and distract predator but cannot disable/disarm one
At the time of publishing, She’s Birdie had over 7,700 global ratings with 77% of consumers giving it 5 stars.
Cost at time or publishing: $29.95
These standalone home alarms can be taken on a trip for a vacation rental, hotel room and a dorm. Dirt cheap and simple to install, what I love about these Sabre Door and Window Alarms is they are super loud and be heard up to a thousand feet away. When not armed to alert to an intruder, you can set it to chime if a door or window is opened during the day. This has got to be the easiest do-it-yourself personal safety door and window alarms with absolutely no wiring or central system to worry about getting hacked. Pop one out of the box with the self-adhesive pads, they will be operational in seconds.
- easy to install with adhesive pads
- emits a super loud 120dB alarm
- no monthly alarm fees
- battery operated and requires no wiring
- also works as a door chime
- great for an RV, hotel room, dorm room and small apartment
- not connected to central alarm monitoring
- requires replacing 3 AAA batteries
- once you stick them in place, they are difficult to remove
- not practical for a large house where sound cannot be heard from far away
Often used by police and military, tactical flashlights are typically used in conjunction with firearms for low-light identification. Where this type of product can benefit the average citizen is that it is so bright that it can stop the approach of suspicious people coming toward you as well as attract attention to your location to others. Incredibly well constructed, if the situation escalates and the suspicious individual gets close enough, the tactical flashlight can be used as a blunt weapon if necessary.
- Useful outside of emergency situations such as illuminating dark areas
- Legal to carry and accepted in places where other self-defense devices are not allowed such as theaters, offices, airplanes, etc.
- Long Battery life
- Made of durable materials and is very resistant to damage
- Some are self-charging and can actually be used to charge other everyday objects like cellphones
- No auditory component as a deterrent
- Assailant has to be in range for device to be used as a blunt-force weapon
- You cannot get support from others outside of your immediate location (contacts or 911 dispatcher)
Cost: Varies. While approximately 30% more expensive than regular flashlights, some solid options start at less than $100.
At the time of publishing, the GearLight LED Flashlight 2 pack had over 70,000 global ratings with 77% of consumers giving it 5 stars.
Get Flare is a personal safety device that comes as two types of bracelets, a cuff or stone. There are many types of stones or finishes to choose from so you can find a version of the device that suits your tastes. They are specifically designed to be discreet so that they are not jeopardized (or grabbed first) in a potentially dangerous situation. There are buttons on the underside of the bracelet that when pressed can get you help as it is connected to an app on your phone via Bluetooth. In addition to being able to text your GPS location to a pre-selected group of contacts or connecting to 911 if desired, Get Flare uniquely has the ability to have a pre-recorded call come through your phone with a push of a button so that it can deescalate a potentially hazardous situation with a fake call.
- Can trigger a pre-recorded call to your phone to get you out of situations
- You can get support from others outside of your immediate location (contacts or 911 dispatcher)
- No charging, plugging, or replacing batteries as the battery lasts 1-2 years depending on usage
- An email or text notification will be sent to you before your battery runs out.
- Comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty
- Works internationally with cellular data service or wifi
- Device works only with your cellphone within at least 30-50 feet; it works 100% when it is within 10 feet of your mobile device
- The Flare app is only available for iPhone
- Only option for when the battery runs low or dies is purchasing a replacement bracelet at a discounted price in whatever style you like
- 911 dispatcher contact doesn’t work internationally
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