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Unique Reliable Activation
Special Personal Alarm (PA) functions, for example man-down and pull-pin devices, are often used by security staff. Man-down may also be used by persons working alone who have medical risks or who might be in environments where they might be overcome by toxic fumes. PA’s with these special functions are prone to accidental activation. Response staff are prepared to expect false alarms. But for non-security persons such as university students and staff, the only alarm activation method that has been available has been the pressing of a button. Unfortunately there are several problems with this type of device that compromise the safety of the users. StreetCard™ was created to overcome these problems so that safety of everyone, can be maximized.
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Activation in Panic Situations
A Personal Alarm is intended to enable a person to signal for help in an emergency. The person may be an uninvolved witness to an automobile accident or an assault, or the person may be the object of a threatened assault. In reference to the latter case, it is known that many people under extreme stress approach a state of panic and lose most fine motor coordination abilities. For example see, “Psychological Effects of Combat” by Dave Grossman and Bruce K. Siddle, Academic Press, 2000. In such a situation, it may become difficult or impossible to activate a button or switch or lever on a Personal Alarm, particularly if it is recessed or covered or otherwise protected from accidental activation. Keying a code, such as 911, into a keypad may be impossible. If the device has a button on only one side, the simple action of determining the button location by touch and orienting the device so that the person’s finger can press the button may be next to impossible. Since time usually is of the essence in an emergency, the person will attempt to perform these actions very quickly, further increasing the probability of failing to activate an alarm.

StreetCard eliminates buttons! It requires only the fast and simple gross motor action of folding StreetCard by closing your hand. It greatly increases the probability that an alarm can be activated in an emergency, because it does not require of the user detailed fine motor motions such as finding and pushing a button. It does not require any visual or fine tactile clues to orient the Personal Alarm or release a protected switch or button. The action of closing the hand to fold StreetCard and activate the alarm is a gross motor action. It is much more easily accomplished than finding and pushing a button in an emergency situation. Thus the probability of an alarm being activated, and the speed at which it can be activated, are both increased. The result is reduced risk and improved safety for the StreetCard user.