New safety devices sound alarm when in danger

By Tera Roberson – Special Projects Producer

HOUSTON – It took mere seconds — 10 to be exact — for a brazen criminal to run up on a woman in Southwest Houston, push her down to the ground, snatch her purse and run away.

She’s not the only one. In November 2017, KPRC2 News shared the story of a woman who was attacked and robbed in the parking lot of an Ikea in west Houston.

In both cases, the suspects attacked before the women could even react.

[MORE: Parking lot safety tips you need to know]

Officer Danielle Delgado with Meadows Place Police Department said there are a few key things a woman can do to stay safe while she’s out and about every day.

Check your surroundings.

  • Take a look around and make sure that it’s safe before you get out of your vehicle.

Stay alert and off the phone.

  • Hang up right before you pull into your driveway or park in any shopping center or parking garage.

Have a game plan.

  • Keep items on the front seat if possible, so you can grab everything at once when you exit your car.
  • If you see someone strange lurking around your home, or parking area, keep driving.

“You don’t have to stop in your driveway and get out of the vehicle. Continue driving, contact your local law enforcement and let them know that there was an issue,” Delgado said. “Describe the suspect — what they were wearing. Maybe he’s still in the area. Maybe he just victimized somebody else and you were potentially going to be that victim.”

She said there are also new safety devices that sound alarms to help you call attention to yourself when you’re in danger.

“Some attach to your key ring, attach to your phone and even attach to you personally,” Delgado said.

We took a look at three safety devices, designed just for women. Not only do they keep women safe in dangerous situations, but they also serve as a chic accessory.

First up, we tested out the Robocopp Sound Grenade, portable SOS alarm. It’s $16.88, and with the pull of a pin, it sounds a 120-decibel alarm.

Next, we tested Athena safety wearable, from the Roar for Good Company. Athena, which is $129, comes in black, rose gold and silver. It uses your smartphone’s GPS to pinpoint your location. The lightweight device can attach to your shirt or even your purse.

All you have to do is set your status, let your contacts know where you are, and they can track you. Feel in danger? Just hold down the button for three seconds and Athena will emit a 95-decibel alarm.

It also sends a message to your friends, who can then call 911 and give them your location.

Lastly, we tested out Ahh-larm, which manufacturers dub as a “super-loud personal alarm” — and it is. The pink heart-shaped device is adorned with glitter, and with just the push of the red button, it sounds a 115-decibel alarm.

All three devices worked well in attracting attention to our victim.

Though Athena’s alarm wasn’t as loud as the others, at just 95-decibels, Delgado said she likes the device’s GPS tracking.

Delgado said while all of the personal safety devices can help in a dangerous situation, she wants to make sure women remain vigilant when it comes to their personal safety and not just rely on the devices.

“You need to rely on your gut instincts,” she said. “If something is telling you that it’s not right, it’s probably not right.”