Long time readers know that I'm a fan of both versatility and visibility. There are few places where those characteristics are more important than when we're dealing with roadside emergencies. Typically, in such situations, we have a number of tools we use: glass breakers and seatbelt cutters for escape or rescue, and our emergency flashers and flares for visibility. Recently I received two products from SafetyBright.com: Their SafetyStick and a SafetyPuck. Interesting and serviceable products to say the least. Here's why.
Let's start out with a look at the SafetyStick (shown top). In this one tool you get:
- A glass breaking hammer / tip
- A seat belt cutter
- A flashlight
- A flashing emergency beacon
This single unit runs on two AA batteries. While most LED-driven lights these days require lithium 3V batteries, there are a few that take AAs. They are some of the best lights out there to have. They produce usable amounts of light for respectable run times and they do it on batteries that cost about $12 per dozen (as compared to $13+ per pair for the 3V batteries). Now, there is a distinct difference in the application. The SafetyStick isn't, nor is it meant to be, a tactical light. It's not meant to be used for searches or target identification. It's meant to find things you need in your trunk in the dark. According to the packaging the flashlight will produce usable light for approximately four continuous hours on one set of batteries.
If you use it as an emergency beacon, you push a button to activate the flashing red LEDs. They flash approximately three times per second and are visible 360 degrees. At night my testing showed that they could be easily seen well over 1/2 mile away and, on a clear night, we could see them at a mile with no difficulty. According to the packaging the battery life for use in emergency beacon mode is about 36 hours.
Two observations about the lights here:
1) You CAN use them both at the same time. Obviously this will shorten the battery life. If you can get four hours out of the batteries using the flashlight continuously, I'd venture to guess that battery life with both light systems activated would be under three.
2) At the bast of the light (at the hammer / cutter end) is a powerful magnet. So, when you're digging in your trunk you don't necessarily have to hold the light. You can attach it to the underside of your trunk lid. If you're using the emergency beacon to call attention to your position on the roadside you can attach the light to the side of your vehicle.
The window breaking / hammer is self-explanatory as is the seatbelt cutter. I didn't test the window breaker but I have no reason to think it wouldn't work. The seatbelt cutter is a single-edge device set into a recessed guide. It doesn't cut as easily as I'd like in an emergency but it does cut and with adrenaline pumping you'll have no issues. MSRP on the SafetyBright website is $24.95 and I'd say it's well worth that.
Moving on to the SafetyPuck - it's a bit more simple.
Meant only for use as an emergency beacon the SafetyPuck allows for nine different flash / lighting patterns. With one ON/OFF button you activate and go through the different patterns by pushing the button. Think of it as moving through your Christmas Tree lights until you've found the flash pattern you like. The SafetyPuck was also easily visible from a half-mile distance and we could see it at over a mile. The last two lighting patterns don't flash but allow you to use either one or two segments of the red LEDs as a flashlight.
In the center, on one side of the Puck, is a strong magnet allowing attachment to any side of your vehicle or inside your trunk lid, etc. The packaging says that the SafetyPuck is waterproof and that it floats... so I filled my kitchen sink and dropped the Puck in. When I double checked the packaging for the SafetyStick it too said it was waterproof so I put it in the sink too. A half hour later they were still going strong and I couldn't see any signs of moisture penetration anywhere.