Pepper spray is considered a self defense tool by many people including military, prison guards, police and women. It is considered a non lethal weapon as it does not leave any lasting effects. The benefit is that when an attacker is exposed to the spray they will be subdued for at least 15 minutes but often as long as an hour. If you live in an area that is known for robberies or personal attacks or even encounters with wildlife, pepper spray is a great tool to have at your disposal. Even if you have never been attacked or been worried about an attack, having it at your disposal won’t hurt.
- Know how to use your it. Many people buy a canister and they don’t really know how it works. You need to know how to pull the trigger but you also need to know how to remove any safety features. You need to know which way the bursts of pepper spray will come out. These are important features to be aware of.
- Practice makes perfect. One of the best things that you can do if you plan to carry it is to practice aiming it at cut outs of a head. This way, you know how accurate you need to be in aiming at any attacker.
- Know that it will need to be replaced every three years. Many people will tell you that pepper spray will never expire and technically this is true but after three years the nozzle of the unit may no longer work, which will leave you in a bind when that emergency situation finally presents itself.
- Test your product every six months. When you test your product every six months you will know for sure that it works. If it is hesitant or doesn’t spray like it used to, even if it hasn’t been three years, it’s time to get a new canister. Better safe than sorry is the idea here.
- Keep it out of the heat. Many people put it in the glove compartment. The issue here is that when the canister heats up, it will often cause the seals to break so the unit will not function the way you need it to in the event of an attack.
- If you are going to carry pepper spray it should be readily accessible. In the case of an attack you may not be able to stop and go to the glove compartment. You should have the pepper spray on a keychain, in a pocket or even in a purse where it can be grabbed in a fraction of a second.
- When attacked you need to be prepared to have some of the OC spray come into contact with you. You may experience irritation of the eyes, cough and tightness of the chest. Being prepared for this will help you continue to move forward after your attacker is subdued.
- Do not warn your attacker or threaten your attacker with pepper spray. Instead, when the opportunity presents itself simply pump two or three bursts of the spray into the attackers eyes and face. It’s best to be at least an arms length away to avoid contamination yourself.
- If the first burst doesn’t work, spray two to three more times directly into the face and the eyes of the attacker. The OC spray will begin having an effect usually within 10 seconds, regardless of whether the attacker is under the influence or mentally ill.
- Do not wait around to be sure that the attacker will be completely subdued. As soon as the attacker slows or stops that is your chance and you need to run to safety. Your hesitation could be the difference between life and death, despite the fact that the spray will work for at least 15 minutes.
- Keep your eyes open when you spray. Many victims of attack make the mistake of closing their eyes when they spray but doing this could affect your aim and could give your attacker countless seconds to take control of you and your self defense product.
- Don’t be afraid to use a continuous spray. If you spray constantly for two to five seconds with your eyes open you will likely find that your attacker is subdued within two to three seconds, rendered blind and unable to move forward due to a coughing spell. Taking the time to aim for a mere two to five seconds could make all the difference.
- Don’t stick your arm toward the attacker any more than you have to. Most canisters will spray anywhere from two to 10 feet in distance. If you stick your arm out your attacker is more likely to grab it from you, rendering you powerless.
- Don’t be afraid to divert the attention of the assailant by perhaps waving your other arm or yelling stop very loudly. This will divert the attention of the attacker for a fraction of a second, which is all that you need to start spraying them without them realizing what is hitting them, at which point the pepper spray will begin to take effect and you will have an opportunity to escape.
- Try to spray the pepper spray in an “X” pattern across the face. This doesn’t have to be exact but spraying in this motion will ensure that both eyes, the nose and the mouth have been hit, which will ensure that the spray has the most profound effect.
These seemingly simple tips could be the difference between getting away from an attacker and being victimized. Whether it is an animal or another human being, these tips will help you be as successful as possible, allowing for the pepper spray to work for you so that you can escape to safety without the threat of your attacker coming behind you.