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Sound the Alarm: The Best Personal Audible Alarms

Perhaps one of THE BEST personal safety and security devices out there (at least in my humble opinion) is a small, cheap, and simple device known as the personal audible alarm. These come in several shapes, sizes, styles, colors, etc. While there are slight variations in design, almost all of them function the same. When activated, they emit an alarm that can be heard for several hundred yards.

For context, a loud rock concert registers approximately 115Db. Anything above 125Db can begin to cause physical pain. A jet engine registers about 140Db. Most of these personal audible alarms will clock in between 120Db and 140Db. That’s LOUD! When the goal is to bring immediate attention to a bad situation, these little pocket sirens are hard to beat. There are several reasons why I’m such a fan of these. Let’s break down a few of them.


The vast majority of these devices cost under $20. Stocking stuffer for Christmas anyone?? (Yes, I DID get my wife and all my kids…and my Mother-In-Law…and my little sister ALL one for Christmas one year!) At this price, there’s no reason why someone can’t buy one (or three) and keep them on their person, their purse, their backpack, etc at all times.

Ease of Use: 

In the world of personal safety and self-defense, simple and effective are the names of the game. The keychain versions of these devices (the vast majority of them) can clip to your belt loop, purse strap, backpack loop, etc. Or, here’s a crazy thought, you could put one on your key ring and have it in your hand almost the entire day! A simple pull of the safety chain auto-activates the piercing siren and draws everyone’s attention to the situation. This will stop a crime in progress more than 95% of the time by itself! When the threat is over, you push the emergency plunger back into the device to turn off the alarm and now it’s ready to use again when needed. Super simple.

Legal and Ethical Risk of Use: 

This may seem like a small matter when your life is being potentially threatened but believe it or not, this is a huge reason why many people choose not to carry a gun. They either don’t want to be sued by the family of the attacker (yes, that 100% can and does happen) or they don’t want to live with the haunting thought that they had to take someone else’s life. It’s a serious and perfectly logical moral and ethical dilemma for sure. These personal audible alarms carry no risk of death, no civil or criminal penalties, and can be employed “just in case” without having any collateral damage if the situation turns out to be a false alarm. In contrast, you don’t want to “accidentally” shoot someone!

Subtle appearance: 

The last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself. In the self-defense and personal protection space, we have a concept called the “gray man theory”. Briefly, the gray man theory is simply an attempt to blend into your environment and not stick out in a crowd. If you’re “invisible” to those around you, they can’t do you harm. Dressing for the environment, speaking like the locals, and not wearing overtly “tactical” looking bags, gear, or even clothing. These are just a few of the ways that tactical operators move through a crowd unnoticed. From a civilian personal safety perspective, you don’t want to draw attention AS A TARGET and you also don’t want to draw attention TO YOUR DEFENSES. The element of surprise is still king in the combat arena. If the bad guy knows what personal safety tools you’re using, it makes it much easier for the bad guy to defeat them. These little keychain alarms blend in very well and don’t draw people’s eyes very easily. That’s a big win for you and the element of surprise when that shrieking siren catches a would-be attacker by surprise!

If you’re serious about your safety, a personal audible alarm is a great addition to your tactical toolbox!