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The 7 Most Popular College Safety Products in 2020

By collegemktgrp | January 16, 2020 | Brands/Advertisers

Making campuses safe and welcoming for students and faculty is an ongoing challenge for universities.

While still very rare, gun violence has been rising on campuses, which has driven schools to put more thought into how to make their academic environments safe. Other challenges include safety issues such as hate crimes and sexual assault.

To fight these trends, many colleges are taking advantage of new technologies to increase safety and response time to potential crises.

Some of these technologies include:

  • Face-recognition software
  • High-definition surveillance cameras
  • Emergency notifications via students’ smartphones
  • On-campus gunshot detection systems

It’s not just educational institutions taking extra safety precautions. Students are increasingly turning to safety products in anticipation of any dangerous situation that may arise during the school year.

The need for safety on college campuses is a new avenue of college student marketing for brands who specialize in safety products and technologies.

From bulletproof backpacks and stun guns to safety drinking glasses, here are some of the most popular college safety products we’re helping brands to market in 2020.

7 Best College Safety Products in 2020

Bulletproof Backpacks

Though on-campus shootings are rare, the overall uptick has driven more students (and their parents) to look for more ways to protect themselves.

What better way to do that than with a bulletproof backpack? Every college student needs a backpack anyway — this one just happens to also have bulletproof lining woven into its fabric.

In the case of a shooting, a student can use this to provide cover from all handgun bullets and even some shotgun rounds.

For students who don’t want an entirely new backpack, there are also bulletproof inserts that can convert any bag into a bullet-defying one.

Portable Phone Chargers

This may not seem like an obvious safety product, but for nearly all college students, their phone is their link to the rest of the world.

What happens when the smartphone dies during a long night out and a student finds themselves in an uncomfortable situation at a party, or can only get a ride with a stranger?

With a portable USB phone charger, that student can get their phone back online and call a Lyft or text a friend to come get them. Some popular brands out there right now are Anker, Poweradd, and RavPower.

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray may be old school, but it’s still a popular product for students looking to carry a form of self-defense on late-night walks back to their dorm rooms.

Pepper spray is a go-to choice for college students because it’s affordable, lightweight and compact, and non-lethal.

However, some colleges have begun to ban pepper spray or mace on their campuses, citing the fact that they can be used as weapons of assault in their own right. These students will need other options, like personal safety alarms.

Personal Safety Alarms

A personal safety alarm is a small, battery-powered device that usually connects to a student’s keychain. Trigger a switch or remove the pin, and the alarm emits a deafening tone meant to catch an assailant off guard and disorient them. The noise will also alert others in the vicinity that something’s wrong.

Since most of these devices are 120 dB or louder (the volume of a jet engine), you can pretty much guarantee these will have the desired effect.

Some of these come with a back-up whistle attached, which is handy if the battery has died without your knowledge.

Revolar, Basu, Vigilant, and Sabre make some of the most prominent personal safety alarms on the market.

Stun Guns and Tasers

Historically, several states have not allowed stun guns and tasers on campuses. But given the increase in gun violence, these laws have been changing to give students more options for self-defense.

Just last year, the state of Iowa lifted a ban on stun guns on its campuses. And Arizona has been looking at changing its rules, as well.

As the rules on campuses have been changing, we can expect an increase of sales of these self-defense devices to college students.

Safety Drinking Glasses and Straws

1 out of 13 college students report having been roofied. The real number is probably much higher, since it’s hard to know for sure if you’ve been a victim of this type of drug, which is odorless, colorless, and tasteless.

Unfortunately, these drugs are also known as “date rape” drugs, as this crime is often the intention behind the drugging.

Safety drinking glasses and straws look to change those stats and prevent date rapes. Imagine a cup or smart straw that changes color when a roofie is present. That’s the promise of these new technologies.

While still in development, we expect to see these products coming onto the market soon.

Smart Safety Tags

A safety tag is a small, wearable device (sometimes in the form of a bracelet or a clip-on tag) that can be triggered to send out an SOS in an emergency.

When a student activates the SOS distress call, the device will send an alert to 5 pre-determined emergency contacts with the precise location of the student. Many models can notify 9-1-1, as well.

In addition to sending an alert and GPS location, WearSafe also prompts the user’s phone to continuously record audio when triggered, and send a livestream to emergency contacts. This allows people to determine what the emergency is if you’re unable to talk or text.

A more immediately accessible version of this technology comes in the form of smartphone apps. There are many “panic button” or emergency alert apps that allow user to quickly and easily notify the 9-1-1 or emergency contacts of a threatening situation.

Communicating Safety Awareness to Students

Before students can decide to make use of any of the products described in this blog, they need to be aware of the potential dangers on campus and how to protect themselves accordingly.

Universities should make it a point to effectively communicate campus safety awareness and tips via social media, video, and through student ambassadors.

Meanwhile, brands looking to market campus safety products need to be in tune with this year’s college marketing trends, including the use of video on Instagram Stories, the popularity of minimalism in ad design, and the importance of mobile-first web design.

And brands selling the types of products discussed here can also be talking about campus safety tips as top-of-funnel content for new leads.

Get campus safety tips to share from our sister publication Collegiate Parent »

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