What do you do in case you’re being attacked on the street? Situations can be very different, and an attempt to protect yourself is not always a good idea. As a rule, many victims are too traumatised and scared to shout for help in unfamiliar and dangerous situations. 

But it is much easier to give an emergency signal by using a personal alarm – a compact keychain alarm that spreads the sound 1,000 feet away. The device is so simple that it’s outrageous and there’s a wide range of shapes and colours to give you plenty choice. In addition, it is the only self-defence device that is easy to buy and is allowed in all states.

More than 44,000 different models are sold – how can one not get lost? We have chosen the 10 best personal alarms for different people and situations.

Table of Contents

How does it work? Personal alarms operate on the same principle – after activation, they start making a loud sound, which should attract the attention of others. Often, this cannot only attract the attention of people passing by but can also have a psychological effect on the attacker – the alarm sound can greatly disorient him.

The device has become quite popular, giving rise to a lot of articles in the press, as for example an article state by The Telegraph on personal alarms advising them as a way to protect a child who returns home from school alone: «The piercing screams of such alarms generate up to 140 decibels - six more than a Concorde taking off at full thrust - which should, in theory, stun and disorientate an attacker. This will give a kid vital seconds in which to run away, and may attract the attention of bystanders.» 

They differ not only in shape and colour. Some of them can be activated by pressing a button, while others – by pulling out a special pin. Which one is more convenient and more practical? Let’s find out!

What personal alarm will suit YOU best and solve YOUR problem? 

In what situations can a personal alarm save your life? In a parking lot if someone wants to take away your keys, in a park, campus or any other public place. The requirements for each person are different and the most popular resonate in several models: for drivers, athletes, kids, college students, young women, the elderly, etc. Thanks to our tips, you will easily pick the model that is right for you.

Do you want your children to call for help in a dangerous situation? Buy them a personal alarm disguised as a teddy bear keychain. They will love this cute toy and it will not attract too much attention on his bag.

If you are the driver who often returns to the parking lot late at night, it will be useful for you to have a personal alarm in the form of a keychain-car alarm for your car keys. You will not have to unfasten it because all you will have to do is to press the button.

Are you a fragile girl who needs a stylish and compact keychain that’s suitable for your handbag? No problem – you will like a personal alarm with minimalistic design solutions.

Do you like jogging early in the morning or late at night but you are a little afraid of strangers? Buy a keychain with a special attachment that allows you to comfortably keep it in your hand so that you are always ready!

Are you living with an elderly person who may start feeling unwell and need help? Buy a handy keychain on a long cord. It will help in case he falls ill or in other emergency situations – all he has to do is to wrap the cord around his hand, and in case of any problem, pull out the pin easily. The volume within the house will be enough. It will really help especially if an elderly person starts feeling unwell in the other room or on the street and cannot ask for help.

Are you afraid that your personal alarm will not operate well when it rains? «Sound grenade» is not afraid of water – even if you throw it into a puddle, the signal will not disappear.

Expert Opinion: Cheryl Michaels, Security Consultant

Cheryl Michaels, Security Consultant

Cheryl Michaels is the Associate Director for Seattle Pacific University's Office of Safety and Security and Deputy Coordinator for Students. Also, Cheryl is an owner of Educational Safety LLC, a company specializing in security consulting.

I am going to show you how to use a personal safety alarm. The device that we have in front of you is called a personal safety alarm. Something like a car alarm but for your person. It is a great tool to use as a deterrent to prevent a crime from occurring. The device is activated by pulling the pin. The alarm is 130 decibels and is deactivated by putting the pin back into the device. You could see that the strobe light went off when the pin was activated. But you can also use a button on the side to create a flashlight. We recommend this device for students, both men and women, to carry. We encourage it more than, say, pepper spray or any other device that would require training behind it.

Top 10 Best Personal Alarms

1. B A S U eAlarm, America's #1 Emergency Alarm — ROBOCOPP SOS Personal Alarm — a stylish, waterproof original «sound grenade»

B A S U eAlarm, America's #1 Emergency Alarm
✔ The World's Smallest SOS Alarm
✔ COMPACT: 2.79 x 1.22 x 0.51 in
✔ BATTERIES INCLUDED: Last Up to Five Years

This is perhaps the most promoted device among personal alarms. It has appeared recently but became widely known after the U.S. swimmer-Olympian Ryan Lochte had partnered with ROBOCOPP and said, "I do not go anywhere without ROBOCOPP", quotes him TIME.

The second name of this device is «sound grenade». And this is not an exaggeration but rather a successful metaphor since the device operates on the principle of a grenade – you have pulled out a kind of pin and the grenade works. The siren sounds in a deafening way by dispersing the sound 900 feet away until you insert the pin back. The model is waterproof so you do not have to worry about its performance even in the most horrible downpour. The shape resembles a USB flash drive rather than some kind of a protective thing. The keychain is attached to that same pin that is very convenient and allows you to act quickly. Downside: it is too small.

ROBOCOPP SOS Personal Alarm: Check the current price

Yeah, “sound grenade” is a hardcore and stylish stuff. But it has a big minus: it is too small. It will be hard for a child or an elderly person suffering from arthritis to pull the pin out of such a little thing.

Personal Alarms - Kids | Women | Students Guard | 120 db - Safe Sound Personal Alarm Panic Keychain - LED Flashlight

This nice alarm is big enough to make it easy for both a kid and an elderly man to pull the pin, apart from being very loud. Your kid will be enjoying merry eyes of the device and they will become friends while you will be sure that your kid is under the protection and can send out an SOS at any time. Even though you are not around, this 120db siren will get everyone’s attention in the neighborhood – at a distance of as much as 1000 feet. Apart from that, it is one of the rare models with a built-in flashlight.

The girls and women who often have to come home late will like XORXL as well. Be it on an unfrequented street, in a dark car park or near the home, the alarm will always be on guard. If you feel threatened, carry the alarm clutched in the fist and sharply pull the cord as the circumstances require.

The device will also come in handy in a hike where there is a high risk of getting lost in an unfamiliar territory or being left behind the group. Cell phone reception is not available everywhere while XORXL is always ready to send out an SOS. And make sure that you use a personal alarm in case if you hike alone – your life may depend on it.

XORXL – Personal Alarm:  Check the current price

3. SABRE Personal Self-Defense Safety Alarm on Key Ring — Best personal alarm keychain for drivers

This model will suit a keychain of car keys – it looks like a keychain-car alarm and can be activated by pulling the pin. The volume here is lower - 110dB. This parameter allows the device to disperse the sound 600 feet away, depending on stranger noise. But you can be sure that the parking lot attendants will definitely hear the sound. The keychain is presented in three colours: black, pink and red. 

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

SABRE Personal Alarm:  Check the current price

4. Vigilant 130dB Personal Alarm - Backup Whistle – for car drivers

This alarm would be an ideal purchase for those who drive cars: it can be easily attached to a keychain or clipped to a bag or purse. The Vigilant features 130 dB personal alarm that you can activate by pressing a button. There’s also a backup whistle that’s built-in in case of battery failure. The device comes already preloaded with heavy-duty alkaline batteries that are easily replaceable.

Vigilant 130dB Personal Alarm:  Check the current price

5. SABRE Runner Personal Alarm - 130dB — Best personal alarm for runners

A morning or evening jog is many people’s favourite activity. And if you were suddenly attacked at this time, the best means of protection would be to use your marathoner skills. In addition, you can give an emergency signal with a special keychain built in a special fastening strap. Simply pull out the ring to activate the siren. It is convenient for the athlete because the keychain is always at hand and does not bother you – you do not have to go into your pocket or bag. This one-size bracelet is fastened with Velcro, so it will perfectly fit any hand.

SABRE Runner Personal Alarm:  Check the current price

 6. Vigilant 130 dB Personal Rape/Jogger/Student Emergency Alarm with LED Light — Best personal alarm for the elderly

Vigilant 130dB Personal Alarm
✔ It runs twice as loud (real 130dB RMS volume) and twice as long (up to an hour of alarm time) as normal personal alarms
✔ Pull the wrist strap with attached grenade style activation pin for up to 1 hour of continuous piercing alarm

This model is suitable for the elderly because it has a convenient long cord and a high-sound level of 130dB. With the help of the first one, you can comfortably attach the keychain to your arm and easily remove the pin if necessary. The sound is dispersed 1000 feet away, so if you live in the same house, you can always summon some help. On the street, your neighbours or passers-by will definitely hear the sound of the siren. Plus, a flashlight is built in the keychain, which is useful in a dark corridor or at night. You can activate it by pinching the button and it will illuminate as long as it is held.

Vigilant Personal Emergency Alarm: Check the current price

7. Personal Safety Alarm for Women - Ahh!-larm!

Ahh!-larm! from Blingsting looks super flashy and stylish and is intended for women who care about what accessories they wear. The device features 115 dB siren that can be activated by a specially designed tension button: you have to hold the button briefly before it sets off, and then just as gently press it on again for it to stop. Ahh!-larm! comes with a 12 Volt 23 A battery that is easily replaceable. The device has been featured in major national publications and has gained a popularity across numerous demographics. This product is easy to recommend because it delivers as promised. Available in 2 sizes and 6 colors to match any bag, nails, or even shoes!

Last update on 2022-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ahh!-larm!: Check the current price

8. ANRUI Personal Alarm Keychain SOS Emergency Self Defense for Women | A designer personal alarm for girls

This keychain looks like a typical trinket on a baby or a female handbag and does not attract too much attention. In case of emergency, it is simply detached from the ring and then a typical alarm sound is activated. We must congratulate it since the signal is loud, and despite the compactness of the keychain, it disperses around 900 feet away. An oval model is sold in 2 versions – 1 pack and 2 pack.

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ANRUI Personal Alarm: Check the current price

9.Personal alarm keychain with a special smart app.

In the run-up to Christmas, developers sell the keychain with a special smart app. By paying around $4, you will buy a set with an extension, which, according to the manufacturer, will send an alarm signal to your smartphone when your child activates the keychain – it is suitable both for iOS and Android.

10. Bear Gentleman Personal Alarm — Best personal alarm for children

It is really hard to please a child: she or he will probably not like an ordinary and boring personal alarm. But he will not be able to resist a keychain in the form of a teddy bear. The manufacturer presented six different colour options, so you can choose the most suitable one. The design has been slightly modified here compared to the other keychains: the bear is attached to a ring and can be activated by pulling out the second cord. Thus, you will not have to pluck this lucky charm in case of danger – all you will have to do is to pull out a special cord. The manufacturer specifies a volume of around 120-130dB, which is dispersed 900-1000 feet away. The important thing is to teach your son or daughter not to panic and to quickly activate the siren in case of emergency.

Price: Check the current price

What is the best personal alarm to buy? Comparison Chart

Model Sound volume Distance Sound Disperses


120dB ~900 feet


130dB ~1000 feet

 SABRE for drivers

110dB ~600 feet

Vigilant for car drivers

130dB ~1000 feet

SABRE Runner 

130dB ~1000 feet

Vigilant Personal Rape/Jogger/ Student Emergency Alarm

130dB ~1000 feet

Bear Gentleman

≧130db ~1000 feet


120dB ~900 feet



115dB ~850 feet

The comparison of 3 personal alarms

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.

Trend: why personal alarms are important

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.

What do buyers say? A teenage girl is testing 3 devices

In the first video a father is looking at 3 options of personal alarms for his daughter Mila.


From the video, one may draw the following conclusions:

  1. BASU, while coming with a nice and sleek design, is not easy for a teen to activate and deactivate.
  2. Second alarm is easier for a child or a teen to pull the pin and put it back in.
  3. 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.”

“I’ll scream?”

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.

Testing VindiTech

Our next device 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.”

Testing Vigilant

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 As to white and blue gadget, it’s OK. Below you can find our test drive conclusions.

7 rules and tips to follow before you buy a personal alarm

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:

  1. 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!
  2. Prefer devices with pins rather than buttons. Buttons can be accidentally pressed, which doesn’t really add any convenience and simplicity to the device.
  3. 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.
  4. Prefer the pins that do not fall out by themselves, otherwise, they become useless and would resemble devices with accidentally pressed buttons.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.

  1. 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.

Our test drive conclusions: Which one is worth buying?

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.

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. Alarm 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 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 has changed the design of this device! Now it’s even more attractive for a kid to wear! The nice little fox character can be appealing for a teenager likewise.

When will your personal alarm be able to help you?

Very often, in an emergency situation quick feet and self-defence skills are much more useful that any device. With regard to personal alarms – they replace cries for help. But sometimes they can really scare the robber. So, when is a personal alarm most effective?

  • If you have business with a cautious attacker, who is conscious of his actions, then he will likely decide to escape after hearing the alarm, especially if there are people around who are willing to help you. These things are usually able to scare petty thieves and hooligans who are interested in getting money.
  • A personal alarm will be also good for a child who returns home during daylight hours when there are many people around. When it is dark outside, it is best not to trust the keychain and pick up your child yourself.
  • It is also useful as an SOS signal for elderly people living with you in the same house. It is the best replacement for all sorts of bells because the volume is much higher.

If you are dealing with a serious attack on you and not a clash with a petty thief, it is likely that even best of the best personal alarm will not able to change the situation because here you will need an active protection. Take care of your important people, and for walking under a full moon on empty streets, choose something from our TOP-17 Best Self-Defence Products where we have chosen items for different situations. For those who often walk on dark and empty streets – big and powerful stun guns are able to scare anyone only by looking at them. For forgetful people, a pepper spray on a keychain is available, which will always be at hand. To protect against attacks in an elevator or in other enclosed spaces – a shot pepper gel is available, which does not splatter. And if you are afraid of aggressive dogs – special dog-repellents for protection will be really useful to you.

Tips and advices on YouTube

Where Did This Idea Come From? | Personal Alarms Reviewed

Best Personal Alarm For Outdoor Use - eAlarm+

Personal Alarm Keychain (product review)

Add comment


0 #1 Author, "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains" & "TobakkoNacht - The Antismoking Endgame"Michael J McFadden 2022-01-16 02:36
Could these alarms be discreetly attached to go off as a Catalytic Converter was being removed?