In an ideal world, everyone would walk around with a Batman-style utility belt. When peril presents itself, we’d have grappling hooks, smoke screens, or whatever gizmos necessary to POW! our way to safety. Superhero attire probably won’t come into vogue anytime soon, but at least you can stash these instruments where you might need them most.
1. In your upstairs bedroom
Smoke and flames can block safe second-floor egress, making a window your best way out. The 13-foot Kidde Fire Escape Ladder hooks over a sill. Its flame-resistant nylon webbing and anti-slip steel rungs support an entire family: up to 1,000 pounds.
2. In your car
If your ride skids into a lake or flips over, you’ll want a LifeHammer nearby. One end of the roughly 7-inch-long tool is a double-sided hammer for breaking tempered window glass (laminated windshields are harder to smash). The butt houses a razor to slice jammed seat belts.
3. In your bag
Get lost in the wild, and you’ll quickly realize how feeble your cries for help sound. The lightweight polymer HyperWhistle emits a blast as loud as a jet engine: up to 142 decibels. The scream can travel up to 2 miles, and is so loud that it physically hurts—useful for scaring off muggers.
4. In your camp
Survival experts say pepper spray gives you a better chance of escaping an interaction with a grizzly bear than a firearm does. A 9-ounce can of Guard Alaska will blast a 20-foot cloud of pain containing 1.34 percent capsaicin, the chemical that gives hot peppers their spice.
5. In your wallet
Each stainless-steel Hostage Escape Card has six pop-out tools, weighs just 0.4 ounces, and fits neatly in your wallet. Use the rake and tension wrench to pick locks, the saw to cut zip ties, and the shim for popping cuffs—the card comes with a practice pair—or doing party tricks.
This article was originally published in the Winter 2018 Danger issue of Popular Science.