Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thrift Store Adventures: Panic Button!

This is one of my favorite thrift store finds as of late. This is the Panic Button - The Personal Protection Alarm For Street and Home Use:

Copyrighted in 1979, the Panic Button's packaging has huge amounts of graphic design and sex appeal. It seriously looks like a Dracula movie poster or something. Look at that awesome font and the dude cowering in the lower left corner. I'd totally go see Panic Button in theaters. 

The inside of the box doesn't get any less awesome either:

Is this a personal protection device or a work of art? I will display this! Okay, okay, I digress. The product was made by Clairol, the same company who makes hair dyes and stuff. I had no idea they made things other than hair products, so I checked out their website; I guess the Panic Button didn't do that well, because it is not listed on their website's product list (big surprise) nor can I find ANY information about it online. From what I've gathered, you are supposed to carry it with you in case you get attacked and press the "Panic Button." The button won't turn off unless you put in the correct combination on two dials on the top of the device (which I realized after testing it and having to remove the battery). I will demonstrate below. 

But first, this is very exciting! I JUST NOW read that there is a "battery included" and "door alarm attachment located in tray underneath!" I have had this thing sitting in my house for weeks and I was disappointed because the "Enclosed Street and Home Protection Booklet" was nowhere to be found! Okay, I'm about to look underneath...

Success!!! I practically had to disassemble the package to find this stuff, but it's all there! I'm not sure what it says about me that I'm so excited about this, but right now I don't care. I'm thrifty ecstasy. Here's what I just found:
  • Panic Button user's manual: this document is basically what you would expect. It has some pretty pictures and describes each of the Panic Button's features. The booklet does, however, make a point that feeling, looking, and acting self confident is, in itself, an element of crime prevention. And how could you NOT feel, look, and act confident carrying this bulky, black, plastic alarm!?
  • Battery: the battery is from the 70's and therefore super old. I would have taken it out and tried it in the Panic Button but all the battery acid leaked out, leaving the battery corroded onto the plastic.
  • Door Alarm: This attachment allows you to booby trap any door. I would just use it to prank my friends/family/random people and not give them the code to turn it off.
  • How to Protect Yourself and Your Property booklet: This is from the NYPD. It is full of general safety tips. I briefly thumbed through it and my favorite tip is, "If a person is following you, RUN AND SCREAM." I will definitely try that next time I am walking through the mall.
  • Cards:

  • Nothing too interesting, but the card on the middle right that simply reads, "The Police Department does not in any manner endorse or warrant the suitability of any product received with this booklet." There's also a "Full One Year Warranty" card that I intend to send in.
Obviously, I needed to try out my newly acquired Panic Button, and since the battery provided is 32 years old and covered in acid I decided to take one from my smoke detector. I am fully confident that my duplex mate now hates me because not only did I test the loud ass Panic Button and couldn't figure out how to turn it off, but I also tested the smoke detector to make sure the battery worked - and I couldn't figure out how to turn it off, either. I then looked at the tags attached to the Button, and saw that there is a code on the inside of the device which I can use to turn off the alarm. 

The inside of the device looks like this:

I don't generally see a product's electrical circuitry when I'm inserting its batteries, but then again, I don't usually mess around with 70's electronics. I then reassembled the Button and made a video so you guys can see and hear the Panic Button in action!

As you can see, even knowing my code, it took a while to dial it in and get that thing to shut up. In conclusion, this has been one of my favorite Thrift Store Adventures yet! I'm happy I found all that secret stuff halfway through writing this post. :)

I probably shouldn't have taken a picture of my secret code, though. Now, if he reads my blog, my future rapist will be able to turn off my Panic Button with ease and have his filthy, filthy way with me...


  1. Besides giving the other person a huge migrane from that God-awful noise it makes, what the hell is it suppose to do?

    You're better off taking that bulky thing and smacking them over the head with it.

  2. LOL most people don't even react to car alarms anymore, so how is this supposed to help? It does remind me of the Life Alert buttons you see advertised on TV for old people who fall and can't get up. But that one is actually connected to an emergency line that will come and help you if you press it. I mean, I guess you could put the Panic Button up to an attacker's ear and render them temporarily deaf and THEN hit them over the head with it like Miss Sassy Pants said. Just remember to carry some ear plugs for yourself.

  3. I think it would have been better if they had made it sound like gun shots, or a big dog barking, or better yet the roar of a T-Rex like in Jurrasic Park. If the rapist hasn't seen JP you would have to explain it to him (or better yet, show him the video on your smart phone), then he would be frightened and run away and you could go on your merry way down that dark alley

  4. Miss Sassy Pants: You're probably right, the Panic Button is probably meant to cause migraines. Very advanced technology. I don't know much that's worse than a migraine.

    Nicole: I love Life Alert! But yeah, just don't hit him in the head too hard; the manual said that enough force could cause the Panic Button to malfunction :|

    Hunkest: I like your thinking, but considering this is from the 70's you'd have to have the T-Rex roar on an 8-track or something instead of a smart phone. Along with going into the future and watching Jurassic Park.

  5. I feel like a Panic Button would simply piss off an attacker so much that they'd decide to break both your legs instead of just one...

  6. Haha, this is awesome. Wildly entertaining post. I lol'ed at the last sentence. You know electronics, you should see if you can change your code! Would be a fun adventure.