Gear­ing Up

The Denver Post - - TRAVEL - BASU ealarm is $15.99; e-alarm Plus, $19.99; at


Trav­el­ers feel­ing the need for an emer­gency alarm to sum­mon help or scare away threat­en­ing animals or hu­mans have used ev­ery­thing from com­pressed-air horns to loud metal whis­tles. For re­ally pierc­ing pro­tec­tion, con­sider the pow­er­ful lit­tle bat­tery-pow­ered BASU ealarm. Think of it as a sound grenade that sends out a deaf­en­ing siren when you pull out the pin in­serted in one end of the de­vice. A plas­tic loop ex­tend­ing from the pin pro­vides a firm grip and se­cures the ealarm to a key ring, belt loop or any strap via an in­cluded metal cara­biner. The de­vice’s cheery color choices and diminu­tive size (2.79 inches by 1.22 inches by .51 inches deep), bely its fierce­ness. Yank out the pin, and an ear-split­tingly shrill 120-deci­bel siren will ac­cost any­one or any­thing in your path — and likely leave your own eardrums ring­ing even af­ter you have si­lenced the alarm by plugging the pin back into its slot. But wait, there’s an even more ag­gres­sive ealarm — the 130-deci­bel, slightly longer ealarm Plus. The ex­tra length ac­com­mo­dates an in­te­grated hook at the end op­po­site the “grenade” pin, adding the op­tion of a trip­wire alarm. Se­cure the hook (rope not in­cluded) to a sta­tion­ary ob­ject — say, a metal fence post or tree trunk or bike rack — and clasp the cara­biner at the armed end to your back­pack or lug­gage han­dle or bike frame. If any­one tugs on your stuff, they’ll get an in­stant ear­ful — and alert you and ev­ery­body in the area. Both e-alarm mod­els are pow­ered by two pre-in­stalled CR1632 bat­ter­ies. These pro­vide 30 min­utes to­tal siren power. You de­cide whether the sit­u­a­tion calls for a brief blast or a long, tor­tu­ous shriek. The sound and ca­dence of the siren will be­gin to weaken as the bat­tery runs low, a sig­nal to re­place the de­vice. Al­though it’s pos­si­ble to pry open an ealarm with a sharp knife and re­place the bat­ter­ies, loos­en­ing the cas­ing will free the pin, trig­ger­ing the alarm (ouch, I tried it). The man­u­fac­turer strongly dis­cour­ages tin­ker­ing, and my throb­bing eardrums agree.

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