A new personal alarm device is now available as a way to scare off a potential attacker. The manufacturer of "Sound Grenades" have sent some of their new product to the public safety department of Florida Southwestern State College.
"It makes people feel safer," said FSW Director of Public Safety Rick Parfitt. "If they feel threatened, they could easily pull this (pin,) toss it, and the loud screeching sound would hopefully distract a potential attacker. They don't want that attention."
Parfitt said the small Sound Grenades, which emit a piercing noise when a pin is pulled on the device, offer students - or anyone else - a non-violent way to protect themselves. The devices cost about $10, and come with a small carabiner clip so they can attach to a key chain or book bag.
Some FSW students told Fox 4 that they think Sound Grenades would be a welcome alternative to pepper spray.
"It seems less harmful than pepper spray, because pepper spray can blow back at you," said freshman Cassie Thomson.
"Sometimes with pepper spray, you could miss," said sophomore Maryann Bodra. "With the noise, somebody's bound to hear it."
Parfitt said while he likes the idea of the devices, there's no substitute for being aware of one's surroundings.
"The idea is you want to know what's going on," he said. "You don't want to be surprised."
Sound Grenades, manufactured by BASU, are available online at sites such as Amazon.