PITTSBURGH – There are wearable safety devices, alarms and even weapons that people use to protect themselves from attackers. But, the latest safety devices are available on your smartphone.
Yes, there’s an app for that.
“There’s so much more danger out there now, so there’s much more to teach people about,” says Jody Salerno, owner of the company Personal Safety Alliance. Her company specializes in helping clients to protect themselves.
There are dozens of personal safety apps available on your smartphone.
One example is BSAFE. The app calls police automatically.
“It not only has a microphone, it has a camera and real time,” says Leann Allen of the Personal Safety Alliance. “God forbid something does happen, it’s on video, audio and all I do is hit one button and police are called immediately.”
BSAFE’s tracking system follows you as you walk. You can also choose up to six contacts who are alerted immediately if something happens.
But safety experts say, while it only takes a second to have an app call for help, it’s going to take a lot longer for first responders or your family to get to you in case of an emergency. A lot can go wrong between the time you call for help, and the time help arrives.
“You need to be your own first responder,” says Salerno. “You can’t be self-reliant on these apps to save your life.”
“They’re good to have, but at the same time, I think everyone’s so focused on walking around on their phones all the time… they’re not looking around, not aware of their surroundings,” says Renee Mauro, a client of Personal Safety Alliance.