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BASU.com alarm finds its way onto UNT campus

BASU.com alarm finds its way onto UNT campus

A study abroad student in Paris stays safe with an eAlarm device attached to her backpack. This small device is only about three inches tall, can clip onto any bag or purse and is TSA approved for travelers. PC: Courtesy of BASU.COM

BASU.com alarm finds its way onto UNT campus
June 06
19:12 2017

Matt Harvey | Staff Writer

A new personal safety alarm is finding its way onto UNT’s campus and helps protect against crimes and attacks by blaring an alarm similar to an ambulance or a large rock concert.

The BASU.com eAlarm, a handheld alarm with a look similar to a USB drive, is an alarm designed for commuters, travelers and outdoorsmen.

Jill Turner, the PR Director for BASU.com, said the device is primarily intended to prevent crimes and attacks before they begin, rather than help defend against them once they’ve begun.

“It’s the future of personal safety,” Turner said.

The International Centre for Comparative Criminology claims that 68 percent of criminals will leave a crime scene completely empty handed once an alarm is sounded. Turner said the area of UNT and Denton has seen a surge in the purchase of this device.

While she cannot release exact details of the sale number, Turner said the number of UNT students using the device is over 100.

In a personal safety market dominated by pepper spray and knives, Turner said the eAlarm offers a “safe alternative” to the risk associated with physically debilitating personal safety products.

“A lot of the time, people carrying weapons for personal safety are not professionally trained,” Turner said. “So things like pepper spray and knives actually end up either harming the victim or enabling the attacker. The eAlarm doesn’t pose that risk.”

The standard level eAlarm comes in five colors. The device emits a 120 decibel sound which can be used for many reasons such as scaring away potential dangers and calling for assistance. Courtesy of BASU.COM

The device was released in July 2015, and was absorbed by BASU.com in April 2017. The alarm itself is a device that can go on a keychain. A person in distress pulls the clip from the top of the device to activate it.

With the surge in sales on campus, some students are taking notice.

Andrew Barstow, a music junior at UNT, thinks the device can offer some important benefits to students.

“It seems like a great idea,” Barstow said. “The diversity of it is what’s interesting to me. The fact that it can be used in urban situations, walking to your car and what not, but also in the wilderness against hostile wildlife.”

Turner said the wildlife aspect was an important secondary benefit to the alarm for those who would use it during hiking and camping trips. Turner also included coyotes on the list of animals repelled by the device. BASU.com’s website also notes the device was successful in repelling 81 percent of bears.

Police find this useful as well.

Corporal Kevin Crawford, UNT Police Department’s community relations director, said alarms cause a psychological response that forces people to look for what’s out of place. Crawford said that this type of device could definitely assist in preventing attacks.

“That’s exactly what alarm-based safety devices are about,” Crawford said. “They’re designed to prevent attacks, but they’re not going to be effective in deterring one once it’s begun if there’s no one around to hear it.”

Crawford noted however, that while alarms are helpful, they can sometimes suffer from the bystander effect.

“In our society a lot of times people aren’t paying attention to their surroundings or have a ‘not-my-problem’ type of mindset so there’s still that risk associated with these devices.”

Featured Image: A study abroad student in Paris stays safe with an eAlarm device attached to her backpack. This small device is only about three inches tall, can clip onto any bag or purse and is TSA approved for travelers. Courtesy of BASU.COM

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