Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Should I Carry Pepper Spray?

Yes you should! Your life may depend on it. With the increase in crime today, pepper spray, stun guns, tasers and personal alarms are becoming increasingly popular to thwart off a would-be assailant. It is estimated that at least 15,000,000 American's now carry personal defense sprays, the majority of which are OC pepper sprays.

Law abiding citizens are realizing that they have to depend on devices like these to protect themselves and their families. There are around 40 manufacturers of pepper spray, who offer various sizes, formulations and spray types.

Pepper sprays normally come in aerosol type containers, some no larger than a tube of lipstick. Some are small enough to attach to a key chain. Some are disguised as a pager or baton. Most of these sprays can be fired several times and have a range between 8 and 20 feet, depending on model and size.

Remember, all activations will reduce the contents of the canister; smaller capacity models will therefore need to be replaced every 9-12 months if these testing procedures are adhered to. Always check manufacturers testing and replacement recommendations.

If you have to use your pepper spray in self-defense, make sure that you have some distance between you and your attacker if possible. You don't want the spray to affect you. Aim the spray at the eyes and facial region of the attacker, then release a 1 to 2 second burst of spray. After you have done this move away, but watch the attacker carefully as you do so. By watching the reactions of your attacker you will be able to tell if a further burst of spray is required. Remember spray and move, spray and move. Once the attacker has been incapacitated, seek help and call the police.

Most pepper sprays have a shelf life of 3-4 years although some expire after two years. The expiry date should be marked on the canister. Any use of the spray beyond the expiry date is HIGHLY unadvisable. Your life may depend on it working properly. Although the spray will work indefinitely, it will loose its potency over time.

Sprays should be tested right after purchase and then every 90 days. Fire the canister in half-second bursts. Testing must always be done outside. Make sure that the wind is blowing from behind you.

Pepper spray is legal to carry in most states. There are however, some states that have restrictions on pepper spray. Please check with your local and state law enforcement officials for restrictions and legality in your area.

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