Personal Safety Technology
Technology is not a substitute for common sense. Regardless of what personal safety devices or apps you may use, the key to staying safe is avoiding situations in which such products may prove necessary.
Real estate professionals must therefore be proactive, instituting and following policies and procedures designed to keep you out of harm’s way. Such fundamental safety practices include:
- Being aware of your surroundings
- Meeting a new client in your office
- Working in pairs when appropriate, and
- Having a client walk in front of you at a showing.*
Although these practices provide you with increased control over your environment, it is impossible to control the unknown. Unfortunately, there are predators waiting to attack when you least expect it. And, even if you implement safety measures, you may still be caught off guard. For that reason, numerous personal safety applications have been created which allow you to send an alert if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.
Below are a few apps:
- Real Alert was developed by real estate agents for real estate agents. This app allows the user to sound an alarm, call 911, alert a friend, locate a hospital, and record “creep data.” The app is compatible with iOS and Androids.
- SafeTREC works by launching the app and holding your thumb down on the safe button. If you release your thumb and do not input your 4 digit pin number, the local police will be notified. SafeTREC works anywhere in the U.S. and is available for iOS and Androids.
- EmergenSee was originally seen on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” This app allows the user to stream live video, audio, and GPS information to emergency contacts. The app also has capabilities which provide for a security escort and anonymous crime reporting. EmergenSee is compatible with iOS and Androids.
While a cell phone app can be useful, there may be times when your phone is not readily available. For that reason, you may want to consider wearable technology.
Below are examples of wearable personal safety devices:
- Guard Llama was one of seven companies chosen to participate in REach®, a growth technology accelerator program capitalized by NAR. Guard Llama offers a personal emergency response system. The system consists of a remote that operates through a smartphone app to dispatch emergency services by using cell phone GPS location information. The remote can attach to a purse, belt loop or key chain.
- Life Protect is primarily advertised as a medical alert system, but it can also be used as a personal safety device. Life Protect offers a mobile unit that can be worn with a pendant or key chain clip. It has unlimited monitoring range where a cell phone signal is available and uses the same tracking technology that 911 operators use to locate people with cellular phones.
These are only a few examples of personal security devices – there are many more; some of which are even disguised as jewelry. If you are interested in purchasing a personal security device or app, you should research your options to choose the best product that benefits and works with your lifestyle.
Some factors to consider are:
- Whether the device must be used in conjunction with a phone and, if so, is your phone compatible
- If the device must be used with a phone, how close must the device be to the phone to operate properly
- Is the device waterproof
- Does the device or app send signals to the police and/or contacts that you program
- Does the device or app have access to your precise GPS location
- Does the device or app have audio capabilities once an alert is signaled
- Can you deactivate an alert
- Will the device or app work wherever you travel, and
- Is the device or app easy and convenient for you to access.
Ultimately, technology is not a substitute for implementing personal safety practices. However, it may prove useful in a troublesome situation.
*Additional safety practices can be found here.
Nikki J. Salgat, Esq. is associate counsel to the Arizona Association of REALTORS®. This article is of a general nature and reflects only the opinion of the author at the time it was drafted. It is not intended as definitive legal advice, and you should not act upon it without seeking independent legal counsel.Tags: apps, EmergenSee, Guard Llama, Life Protect, Real Alert, SafeTREC