Like insurance, personal alarms are one of those products that you hope never gets used. It’d be wonderful to live in a world where getting lost, stranded, injured, or worse wasn’t something we needed to worry about.
But for the world we live in, it pays to be prepared.
What’s a Personal Alarm, and Who is it For?
Personal alarms are typically small devices that a user keeps on them in case of an emergency. Typically used with young children or the elderly, they allow quick, easy communication when your loved ones need it the most.
Personal alarms are designed to always be on, monitoring the user’s location by GPS, and incorporating a sort of “panic button” that allows them to call for help. By using a SIM card, you can not only track location, speed, and other variables, but also make and receive emergency calls, or those from a hand-selected whitelist of numbers.
Why Do You Need A Personal Alarm? Can’t You Just Use A Smartphone?
Modern smartphones are many things, but simple isn’t always one of them. Especially in case of an emergency, children and the elderly can get lost in a maze of touchscreens and menus, unable to get the help that they need when they need it the most. Also, a smartphone requires the person in danger to take action themselves: which might not always be possible.
Personal alarms are designed to circumvent these risks entirely. They’re easy to use, so help is literally just a button push away. And with advanced GPS tracking and push notifications, the device can inform you if your loved one is in trouble, allowing you to act in time.
Personal Alarm or GPS Tracker: What’s The Difference?
Though they’re technically GPS trackers in a sense, personal alarms are a specialized tool for a specific use. Most GPS trackers aren’t designed for personal use, and don’t offer safety features — like the ability to call for help — that personal alarms do.
Using a dedicated GPS tracker in place of a personal alarm is a bit like trying to pound in a nail with a screwdriver: you can technically do it, but it’s better to use a tool that’s suited to the task.
What Features Do You Need?
The best personal alarms tend to have certain features in common: but to know what you need, it helps to understand what different features actually do.
Fairly self-explanatory, but worth going into just in case: GPS trackers follow the device wherever it goes, giving an accurate representation of where it is: usually down to a couple of metres.
Geofencing is the act of designating areas — usually as safe or prohibited — and informing you when the device crosses over them. So if an elderly relative wanders away from their nursing home, or your child takes a wrong turn and heads toward a bad neighbourhood, you can take action before something goes wrong.
An easy to find, easy to use way to get help in an emergency: one button press contacts an emergency service, or other designated number. So elderly relatives can get medical attention, and your child can get in touch with you if they get lost walking home from school.
Some personal alarms offer mobile calls to a limited set of “whitelisted” numbers, allowing real-time communication, and averting a crisis.
Who Is It For?
In order to find the best personal alarm for your needs, it’s worth thinking about who’s going to use it, and under what circumstances.
For Kids, you’ll want something durable. Features like Geofencing and location history let you know where they’ve been, and track them down in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to go with a personal alarm that they won’t easily lose, like the Kids' GPS Tracker Smart Watch.
For Seniors, it’s also a good idea to go with something close at hand, though the GPS Tracker Smart Watch will be a better fit fashion-wise.
Accessibility is also worth considering. Something like the 4G Ultra Slim GPS Tracker — with its easily-activated big red SOS button — is great for anyone who needs something simple and easy to activate, regardless of age.
Choosing The Best Personal Alarm For Your Loved Ones
Choosing a personal alarm can seem daunting, and it’s tempting to procrastinate, rather than worry about frightening “what if?” scenarios. In our opinion, it’s better to deal with the anxiety head-on. In a perfect world, your loved ones would never need a personal alarm: but in our imperfect one, knowing that they’ve got access to help in an emergency means one less thing to worry about.
Ultimately, choosing the best personal alarm comes down to finding the best fit for the person who’ll be using it. You know your loved ones better than anyone: you know what their tendencies are, what they need, and what they’ll actually use in a time of crisis.
But if this guide and your knowledge still haven’t quite answered your questions, our representatives are always happy to help you find the right personal alarm for your needs and budget. Spy gadgets are our passion — we live and breathe this stuff — so we’re always happy to help out.