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A personal alarm is a small hand-held electronic device with the functionality to emit a loud siren-like alarming sound. It is activated either by a button, or a tag that, when pulled, sets the siren off.
It is used to attract attention in order to scare off an assailant. The sound emitted can also have the effect of distracting, disorienting, or surprising the assailant.
The volume varies from model to model, with some models having 130 decibels. Some personal alarms are also outfitted with an LED light for normal lighting purposes or to help deter an assailant. Due attention must be given to the fact that these devices can give a 'false sense of security' and therefore place the individual in danger.
According to the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, the best way to use a personal alarm is to activate it, to drop it on the floor near the assailant, and then to immediately run away.
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- "Personal alarms". London, England: Suzy Lamplugh Trust. Archived from the original on 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2017-12-28.