If you want to choose a personal alarm for your kid, but don’t know where to begin, then this short and up-to-the-point review and test drive of three popular personal alarms will help you narrow your choices. Read further to learn why personal alarms are important, why they are trendy, rules and advice to follow, and why you need to buy one for your children.
What you’ll learn:
- Trend: why personal alarms are important
- Girl is testing three devices (video)
- Man is testing three devices (video)
- 7 rules and tips to follow before you buy a personal alarm
- Our test drive conclusions: Which one is worth buying?
Personal alarms are devices that are used to scare off an attacker or attract attention by emitting a loud shrill noise. While it has been long known that youth is a common target for perpetrators, personal alarms have gained popularity only in recent years and are becoming more recognized worldwide.
For example, not long ago Brown University made personal safety alarms free for all students. Among recent news, the Taipei City Government decided to give personal alarms to all elementary students in an effort to make the city safer. Last year the Taipei Department of Education had already spent more than $600,000 for providing first and second graders with personal safety gadgets.
As you can see, governments and various educational and non-profit organizations recognize the necessity and effectiveness of personal alarms as primary tools in fighting sexual assault and violence that kids and teens can be exposed to.
So why would you ignore your kids’ safety? Make sure you invest your time, effort and money in choosing the right personal defense device so that your children are protected at all times.
Now, you are ready to watch testing of 3 personal alarm devices that are presently available in the market. Watch the video or read the transcript, whatever it more convenient for you.
Girl is Testing 3 Devices
In the first video a father is looking at 3 options of personal alarms for his daughter Mila: BASU (Robocopp), VindiTech, and Vigilant.
From the video, one may draw the following conclusions:
- BASU, while coming with a nice and sleek design, is not easy for a teen to activate and deactivate.
- VindiTech is easier for a child or a teen to pull the pin and put it back in.
- Vigilant comes with a brutal manly design, which might not be very attractive for a kid to wear. It has 2 buttons, which can be inadvertently activated; the first one on the front is for turning the alarm on and the one on the back for turning it off, which is not at all obvious for a kid.
My teenage daughter is with me. She attends school and intramurals in the evening, so we’ve decided to buy a personal alarm to ensure her safety. Let’s unwrap it, shall we?
The first device is the most expensive one. It's a cool package, and you can instantly see what’s inside. It promises to protect you from criminals and animals, so you can take it along when you go camping and have an emergency. The label also says that you can use it in an airplane, but I don’t really see why you would do that. The package is difficult to open without scissors. Inside, you’ll find the device and a mounting carabiner to attach it to a backpack, for example. Mila, how do you like the device?
Testing BASU (Robocopp)
“Well, the alarm is small and compact. I can put it into my pocket or purse. The color is nice.”
“Do you understand how it works, how to turn it on? The button…”
“No, I can’t press it at all… What do you do if you’re being attacked?”
“What if I shake it? ”
“It doesn’t work.”
The device is supposed to signal and attract people’s attention. How should you do this? Throwing it is not a good idea, definitely. The bottom line is, although the device is small and nice-looking, my kid has no idea what to do with it.
Now you know what to do. To activate the device you should pull the pin so that the alarm goes off. Give it a try. It’s not easy for a teen to activate and deactivate it. It seems like it needs an upgrade before it becomes useful.
Our next device (Vindi) is in the white box. What do you think about it?
“Oh, this looks much better! The design is interesting, and there is a flashlight. ”
“Ah, there is a big button in the middle which is a big advantage for this device. How do I activate it? Obviously, not with the button, otherwise it could accidentally turn on inside your purse. Yep, that’s right. Seems easier, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, much easier, no extra effort is required.”
Okay, let’s move on to the third device by Vigilant. Wow, it has a brutal and strict design. It doesn’t look like it's made for kids. Yeah, the issue with the button is that it can be activated accidentally, and I have trouble turning it off. The catch is that it activates in the front and deactivates with this tiny button at the back. Is that convenient?
“Not really. ”
Not at all! The large front button is just a part of the design.
So to wrap up, we liked the first one, but she might be able to handle it in peril. The second one is good; it has a flashlight, and the pin pulls easily. The third one is definitely not for kids, and it’s not clear how to turn it on.
“I like the second one best; it is the coolest! ”Thanks, guys! Take care of your kids!
Man is Testing 3 Devices
UPD: 09/09/2018 Here’s another video where a man is testing the same devices. You can clearly see that it’s not easy, even for a man, to pull the pin on BASU, and the buttons on Vigilant are confusing and difficult to figure out especially in an emergency, when time is critical. As to Vindi, it’s OK. Below you can find our test drive conclusions.
These are the few rules and tips to help you choose the right alarm and prepare both yourself and your kids for any emergency situation:
- Buy a device that can be easily used. Even if your kid likes a particular device, but the usability is poor, do not buy it! The purchase is going to be a waste of money if your kid won’t be able to use it!
- Prefer devices with pins rather than buttons. Buttons can be accidentally pressed, which doesn’t really add any convenience and simplicity to the device.
- Prefer devices with relatively easy pins. Make sure your kid will be able to pull the pin, if not easily, then at least without much effort. In an emergency situation your kid has to act as fast as she can, so pulling a pin will not deter her and buy time for an attacker.
- Prefer the pins that do not fall out by themselves, otherwise, they become useless and would resemble devices with accidentally pressed buttons.
- Choose several good devices first, and then ask your child or teen to choose one from your selected options. This way you’ll prevent your children from choosing the device that doesn’t properly work and will also allow them to have the freedom of choice.
- Try to select the devices that might somehow appeal to your children: cute or colorful design with children’s favorite superheroes or cartoon characters; or look for something that your teens might appreciate likewise.
Samuel Siskind, a security expert, told Gadget Reviews about the importance of the product design.
“In any area of security (from physical to cyber) a device needs to be designed so that people will be inclined to carry it around — otherwise they won’t, and then be left empty-handed when the need to use it arises. The look and aesthetic appeal is important. How easy it is to carry around and safeguard (key-chain, carabiner, etc) is also very essential,” he said.
- After receiving a purchased device, walk your kids through the situations in which they should use the device, explain how exactly they have to use it and practice at home at least several time to pin and unpin the alarm.
How easy is an alarm to activate and use?
BASU: It was very difficult to pull the pin out of the BASU even for a strong male, let alone a child. However, BASU comes with a pre-installed carabiner (metal hook) making it easy to clip on a keychain or backpack or use it as trip wire for use outdoors or indoors as a burglar protection.
VindiTech: White and blue gadget has a relatively easy-to-pull pin. Both a man and a girl were able to pull the pin easily and put it back in. The device comes with a flashlight, which the girl really loved. Vindi is user-friendly and makes intuitive sense.
Vigilant: The device works a little bit different: there’s an alarm button instead of a pin. In fact there are 2 buttons: one on the front to turn the device on and the other on the back - to turn it off. Test drive proved that it was not very intuitive and convenient, and both the girl and the man struggled to switch the gadget on and off.
Sound pressure level
As you can hear from the video, all devices have the same sound level, which is 130 db.
Design and prices
Basu: stylish minimal design for young and hip people.
Vindi: the design is attractive for kids, works well for both girls and boys. The girl on the video liked Vindi device more than others.
Vigilant: sharp black design. The girl who tested the devices didn’t like it that much, she said it was not pretty enough for her. But we think it would work well for men.
UPD 09/19/2018. Look at how VindiTech has changed the design of their device! Now it’s even more attractive for a kid to wear! The nice little fox character can be appealing for a teenager likewise.Samuel Siskind