In this day and age, you can never keep yourself too safe as a woman, and personal safety devices are really worth looking into. It’s a fact of life that as far as personal safety is concerned, it’s better to be prepared than to be caught unawares. Here, we’ve rounded up a litany of options that will help you feel safer without compromising on style.
Most of the items listed below are classic “panic button” devices (or apps) that are concealed within a smartwatch or piece of jewelry, but which will contact either the authorities or pre-selected emergency contacts when activated. Other options include an array of alarms that can be turned on instantly with the dual aims of scaring any would-be attacker off and attracting the attention of passersby to help.
No matter what kind of personal safety device you prefer to carry, there is an option for everyone on this list. These could help save your life.
The main idea behind Undercover Colors, a date rape drug-detecting nail polish, is that a woman wearing it could simply dip a finger in her drink and her nail polish would change color if a date-rape drug (specifically rohypnol or GHB) were detected. Largely geared towards the bar scene, this product could only be an asset to women.
Since being announced in 2014, Undercover Colors has been seeking funding and working on research and development, which might have paid off — recent updates to their website and statements from the founders suggest a release is coming soon.
Wisewear’s Socialite line is a combination of a safety device and a simple smart bracelet. The bracelets can do smartwatch things like notifications (the bracelet vibrates when you get notifications that you prioritize) and fitness tracking, but a distress message can be sent to designated contacts with just a few taps.
With a forked, distinctive look and gold, rose gold, and palladium options, the Calder also looks fantastic as a piece of jewelry, along with the more expensive Duchess and the less expensive Kingston. Having to charge the bracelets every few days is somewhat of a drawback, and a Bluetooth connection to your phone is required for the distress messages to be sent out, but they’re beautiful for devices that do a lot of things in a very simple way.
Wisewear – Currently sold out but we’re hoping it comes back in stock soon!
Although not as subtle as some of the silent panic button options on this list, the Siren ring debuted in 2014 with the simple and direct intention of deafening any would-be attackers. With just a simple counterclockwise twist, an ear-splitting alarm shrieks out of the top of the ring to scare away any would-be attackers. Siren also has a more distinctly jewelry look to it, making it blend in more effectively with outfits.
Siren – Starting at $200
Similar to the Siren ring, the Ahh!-larm is a heart-shaped keychain that emits a 120 dB siren wail when activated by firmly pressing a small button. Keychain options are a nice alternative in the personal protection accessory market due to their unobtrusiveness.
Blingsting – $22
Billing itself as a “ring with a panic button”, Nimb will send a message detailing your location to safety circles filled with trusted contacts that you designate, all with a three-second button press. Now available for preorder, the people behind Nimb are promoting this for a variety of situations — college students have an easy way of alerting parents if they’re in trouble, those doing extreme sports or traveling have a way of reaching help even in remote locations (provided there’s cell reception in the area), and older customers are encouraged to wear the ring as an alternative to the Life Alert button.
When connected through the accompanying phone app, there is even a built-in chat feature that allows you to contact those in your safety circle with more details. After successful crowdfunding campaigns, Nimb has seen shipping and production delays, but the ring is expected to ship next year.
Nimb – Available for preorder
Roar for Good wants to cover all the bases with Athena. This small button can be either a loud or silent alarm, the latter discretely notifying trusted contacts. Most importantly, Roar for Good gives back — portions of every sale are donated to organizations that serve victims of abuse and provide empathy training to abusers.
One of the main criticisms of the personal safety movement is that little is done to prevent attackers from becoming attackers in the first place — Roar for Good has heard that message loud and clear.
Roar for Good – $129
The innocent appearance of this teddy bear keychain hides its true function: yet another ear-piercing siren wail, this time at 130 dB, that sounds when an alarm bolt is pulled. This keychain would be a good option for children as it looks more like a toy than anything else, but he’s cute enough to be a comforting companion to anyone.
Amazon – $10.99
Going back to the basics (several of them). Available in a range of colors from Amazon, this stun gun also comes equipped with a flashlight and a 120 dB alarm, making it useful for emergency situations and finding your keys in the dark alike.
Amazon – Starting at $14.75
Wearsafe knows that if you get yourself into a tough situation, it will likely be difficult to make a phone call. With that reasoning, the Wearsafe Tag was designed to be discrete. Just hit the button and the Tag will connect to the Wearsafe app on your phone will alert all of your emergency contacts to the fact that you’re in distress.
Wearsafe – $60, and monthly service charge of $5.
ROBOCOPP touts the Sound Grenade as the world’s smallest SOS alarm, featuring a 120 decibel alarm. These small, unobtrusive alarms can be attached to a bag or keyring with an included carabiner clip and are activated by simply pulling the pin out of the top of the device.
How loud exactly is this? You can compare it to that of an ambulance siren, so you are sure to be heard if you ever have to set it off. And at just $16.88, it is highly affordable.
Dormco – $16.88
You might not know this, but all Apple watches feature an SOS signal after the watchOS 3 update. Emergency services will be dialed simply by pressing and holding the side button. The call will be routed through your nearby iPhone, or through the watch itself if you have access to Wi-Fi or another phone number associated with your watch.
Apple – from $329
A personal safety app, SmartWatcher is compatible with smartwatches, phones, and even fitness trackers. The app allows wearers to contact their predetermined “personal safety networks” at the touch of a button in the event of an emergency. Once alerted, your contacts will be able to track your location on a map, and can either contact emergency services on your behalf or you directly.
As an added safety measure, there is an additional feature they call “Continuous Safety Monitoring”, which periodically asks the wearer to confirm that they are safe. If the wearer does not confirm their safety, members of their personal safety network will automatically be notified.
App Store – free/subscribe for $0.99 per month or $9.99 annually
The bSafe app offers a wide array of personal safety features — fake calls, location sharing, real-time GPS tracking, automatic alarms, and an alert that will notify your personal safety contacts that you’re in trouble. Combining all of the dependable features of other personal safety apps and devices, this is an all-of-the-above option and has been around for quite a few years now.
Companion is a bit different than the other apps on this list. The basics are the same — select trusted contacts to watch over you — but the implementation is a little smarter. Those contacts will be able to track your location on a map, while the app can alert them using contextual cues.
If you start to run suddenly, if your phone is dropped, or if you don’t make it to a certain place at an estimated time, the app will know to ask you if everything is OK. If you don’t check in as OK, the app will alert those trusted contacts. It’s one of the few things on this list that can send out alerts even if you aren’t able to push a panic button.
App Store – free
The Circle of 6 app allows you to pre-select six contacts to send a pre-programmed message with just a couple taps, should you find yourself in a dangerous situation. There are also personal safety app standbys like the fake call and location sharing. But, one thing often overlooked is that most victims of abuse are attacked by someone they know — Circle of 6 provides resources and educational material to help users recognize signs of a relationship that has the potential to become abusive.
The winner of the 2011 Department of Health and Human Services Apps Against Abuse technology challenge, Circle of 6 also comes with a ringing endorsement from the former vice president Joe Biden.