Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How Old is Your Pepper Spray?

Are you one of those women that bought her pepper spray for self defense, 4 or 5 years ago, and still has it in her purse? If your answer is yes, then that's not a good thing... because it might not work!

Photo by Hillary Stein

Reliable pepper spray usually has an expiration date printed on it. The date is normally on the bottom of the product's canister. Many pepper spray models have a plastic container covering the canister. In order to see the expiration date, you will most likely have to take the bottom lid off the plastic container. Sometimes this little round lid is snapped or screwed on. Many containers have a key ring, which makes it easier for us women to pull the lid off.

Why do self defense sprays need expiration dates, you might ask? Well, we know that pepper can burn for years, but small pressurized canisters can't sustain air pressure too long. If you use an old pepper spray, it will not reach as far or reach anything at all, because the propellent used to keep the pressure high inside of it, eventually over time, will slowly leak out. On a separate note, if your pepper spray has been sitting unmoved for a couple of weeks on a shelf, it wouldn't be a bad idea to give it a shake. Doing so, might increase the pressure inside of it.

We recommend that women or men, change their pepper spray every two years. Plus, every 6 months or so, shoot a quick spray, to test it. Also make sure that you never leave it, for example, in a very hot car or in the sun, if you are at the beach. Heat will expand the canister and it can explode with the pressure! You don't want to be present if this happens... Stay safe and buy a new Mace or Streetwise pepper spray every couple of years. It's a small price to pay for your self defense!

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