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The best personal safety alarm

Personal safety alarm devices

Traveling alone can be dangerous, especially if you exercise, shop or commute in the afternoon or evening. According to a study conducted by the United States Department of Justice, most violent crimes committed by adults occur in the afternoon and evening and peak at around 9 p.m. Personal safety alarms are small, discrete devices that can give you peace of mind while traveling and protect you from danger.

Usually about the size of a keychain, personal safety alarms are small devices that emit a loud sound — even as high as 130 decibels. With either the push of a button or the pull of a cord, these devices are activated and can deter attackers or alert others to your emergency. Before you buy, consider how and where you intend to use your personal safety alarm, what extra features you may need or which attachment is most preferable. You may want one that is as loud as a car alarm, like the MaxxmAlarm SOS Alert Personal Alarm, which is a top pick among personal safety alarms.

What to know before you buy a personal safety alarm

Alert mechanism

Usually, there are two ways a personal safety alarm is activated: with a button press or removal of a bolt or pin. Button-activated safety alarms are similar to a vehicle key fob and likewise are activated by a simple button press. Pin-activated safety alarms are similar to a grenade. By pulling on a cord, loop or ring, you remove a bolt or pin from the device and activate the alarm.

Deactivating an alarm varies between models. Make sure you know how to deactivate the alarm before using the device.

Attachment options

There are multiple ways to attach a personal safety alarm to your person, clothing item or equipment you may be carrying. Some models have clips or carabiners you can attach to a belt loop, zipper or backpack strap. Other models have neck or wrist lanyards that allow for fast and easy access, but can also get caught on door handles or other objects and accidentally trigger the alarm. Some personal safety alarms are designed like a keychain and can be carried with your other keys. Consider which is the most preferable and useful attachment option before you buy.


Typically, personal safety alarms are powered by either internal batteries or changeable batteries. Internal batteries cannot be changed and have a limited lifespan. Once the internal battery loses power, the device will need to be replaced. Safety alarms with changeable batteries allow users to replace depleted batteries with new fully charged batteries and typically use cell or AAA batteries. Most personal safety alarms do not alert the user to low battery power, so make sure to occasionally check your device to ensure it’s working.

Intended use

Personal safety alarms can be used in a variety of ways. Typically, safety alarms are used to deter or call attention to an attacker. However, they can also be used to signal to others if you get lost or in the event of an emergency, such as a natural disaster. By activating your alarm, it will be easier for your hiking group, rescuers or first responders to find you in a critical situation.

What to look for in a quality personal safety alarm


Usually, a personal safety alarm is most effective when it plays a loud alarm. The louder the alarm, the more people it can alert to your location. Also, a loud alarm can deter or startle attackers, giving users time to run or get into a defensive posture.


Some personal safety alarms include a built-in whistle in case the device’s battery depletes or malfunctions. Considering nearly all personal safety alarms do not alert users to low battery level, having a built-in whistle ensures that users can still draw the attention of others or deter attackers.


Personal safety alarms with flashlights are ideal for campers, hikers and hunters or for emergency situations. The audible alarm will attract the attention of party members or rescue workers while the flashlight illuminates your surroundings or provides a visual indication of your location.

How much you can expect to spend on a personal safety alarm

The price of a personal safety alarm can vary slightly depending on any additional features. Usually, a personal safety alarm will cost anywhere from $8 to $25.

Personal Safety Alarm FAQ

Should I get a personal safety alarm that is colored or plain?

A. The color and appearance of your personal safety alarm is your choice, though there are some things to consider before buying. Colorful alarms are easy to see and could deter would-be attackers before needing to use the device. Darker, more concealable devices allow for the element of surprise. The shock of the noise could thwart the efforts of an attacker.

Are personal safety alarms waterproof?

A. No. If your personal safety alarm is submerged in water, it could corrupt or destroy the device. However, most models are meant to be worn close to the body and can be exposed to sweat without risk of device failure.

Will my personal safety alarm alert me when the battery is low?

A. No. Consult the manual or instructions provided by the manufacturer to determine the battery life of your personal safety alarm. Also, keep in mind how often you use the device, as the longer it is active, the more battery it uses.

What’s the best personal safety alarm to buy?

Top personal safety alarm

MaxxmAlarm SOS Alert Personal Alarm

What you need to know: Simple and easy to use, the MaxxmAlarm SOS Alert Personal Alarm is an ideal fit for joggers or commuters who walk alone.

What you’ll love: When activated, the device is similar in volume to that of a car alarm. 

What you should consider: Though it should last a long time, the battery is not rechargeable or replaceable.

Where to buy: Amazon

Top personal safety alarm for the money

SLForce Personal Alarm Keychain

What you need to know: This keychain personal alarm is very affordable and can be used in emergency settings.

What you’ll love: As a durable and cost-effective personal safety alarm, it includes a flashlight and durable attachment clip.

What you should consider: The lanyard has the potential to catch on door handles or other objects and accidentally sound the alarm.

Where to buy: Amazon

Worth checking out

Vigilant Personal Alarm

What you need to know: This alarm is a good fit for hikers and campers who risk becoming lost or separated from their group.

What you’ll love: This alarm is very loud and has a fake off button to confuse attackers. The built-in emergency whistle is useful should the device malfunction or battery deplete.

What you should consider: Dropping the device can trigger the alarm.

Where to buy: Amazon


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Gerrad Frei writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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