Personal Emergency Alarm: What You Need to Know

A personal emergency alarm is an excellent way to help you feel safe when in a vulnerable situation and quickly alert others if in danger, but with so many alarm systems on the market to choose from, it’s hard to know which one is right for you.

In this guide, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about personal alarms to help you decide which type will best suit your needs.

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How these devices work

Personal emergency alarms are a form of life safety monitoring technology which allow you to notify your close contacts when you’re in a potentially vulnerable situation or quickly raise a distress signal if you ever find yourself in an emergency where you need help or assistance.

They usually allow you to nominate who you would like to be notified when the alarm is activated, whether that includes a list of trusted contacts, a professional security provider who will take action in line with your instructions, or both.

Who might need a personal emergency alarm

A personal safety alarm can be helpful for anyone that might fear for their safety or could be at risk in certain situations. They are often used by individuals in a wide range of scenarios, such as:
  • Lone workers who could be injured while on the job.
  • Children travelling to and from school, sporting or other activities.
  • Teenagers who are out with friends.
  • Anyone walking or travelling alone late at night.
  • Stalking or domestic violence victims.
  • Athletes who like to train alone.
  • People that live alone.

Types of personal alarms

When shopping for an emergency alarm, you’ll generally have the choice between two types:

Emergency alert pendants

Emergency alert pendants are generally the preferred option for the elderly or for individuals that might require emergency medical assistance, but they can also be used as a personal safety device. This is typically a small unit which is worn on a chain around your neck or in your pocket or bag. The wearer can quickly press a button on the unit to raise the alarm and request help in an emergency. Most modern pendants are also equipped with fall detection technology which will also send out an alert if it detects a fall or other unusual or erratic movement. Emergency pendants are generally fitted with an inbuilt speaker which allows the wearer to have a two-way conversation with the responder at the other end to help them determine if emergency or other assistance is required. Many also feature location-tracking functionality.

App - based personal alarm

The most popular safety alarms for individuals tend to be app-based systems, largely because they’re discreet, convenient, easy to use and offer excellent communication, tracking and monitoring functionality.

As most people never leave their home without their phone, their emergency alarm will generally be with them wherever they go and will be easily accessible if they ever need to use it.

App-based safety alarms are often able to:

  • track your movement using GPS, Wi-Fi and your telco provider’s network location
  • automatically notify trusted contacts when in a potentially dangerous situation
  • allow your trusted contacts to view a live video and audio feed from your phone when the alarm is activated
  • detect a fall, sudden impact or unusual movement, and
  • provide detailed journey information and alarm activation records.

It is however important to note that many app-based systems can only be configured to notify a pre-selected list of trusted contacts in an emergency, which can present issues if your contacts are unavailable or don’t have their phone on them.

If you need more reliable support, opt for an app with live monitoring from a professional security provider, which will ensure a distress call never goes unnoticed.

Features to look for

It can be hard to know what to look for when choosing a personal alarm. To make it a little easier, here are some valuable features you might want to look for when deciding which system is right for you:

Journey tracking

A reliable map system that tracks your movement and records your journey while providing real-time updates to your emergency contacts.

Audio and video

Activates a live audio and video feed when the alarm is activated allowing your contacts to hear and see what’s happening in real-time, while also taking recordings which can be used as evidence.

Automated alerts

The ability to pre-set a timer before entering a potentially dangerous situation which will alert your contacts and/or security provider if not disarmed before the scheduled time.

24/7 live monitoring

Round-the-clock monitoring from a professional security provider who can dispatch police or emergency services to your location.

Movement monitoring

Automatically detects sudden changes in speed, impact or non-movement.

Easy activation

Smart and simple functionality that makes it easy to activate the alarm in an emergency.

Heartbeat signals

Sends regular, discrete signals when tracking is activated to provide reassurance that tracking mode is active and working.

Duress alarm with multiple setting options

The ability to choose whether you want to activate an attention-grabbing siren with flashing lights when under duress, or if you want the alarm to remain silent and discrete.

Customisable contacts and communication

The ability to nominate individuals or groups of trusted contacts that will be notified whenever you start a journey, also allowing them to view your current location.

Social media connectivity

The ability to publish live updates to your Facebook or Twitter feed for maximum exposure if desired.

Leaders in LIFE SAFETY monitoring

At Calamity, our life safety monitoring services are second to none.

Utilising the latest cutting edge technology, our range of personal alarms and life safety devices are designed to keep you safe in any situation. Connected to our state of the art Australian monitoring facility, our safety solutions are backed by a team of trained security experts who are always ready to take immediate action in an emergency.

To find out how we can protect you, contact our friendly team who will be able to recommend the most suitable personal safety solution based on your individual needs.