Pepper Spray has proven to be an effective self defense weapon when used
properly. This guide will provide information on the safe use of pepper
Select the Correct Type of Pepper Spray for your Situation
The fogger pepper spray typically have a higher pressure so
they can achieve adequate distance, but tend to have less distance then the
stream sprayers. They cover a wider area making them easy to aim and are
more effective when used against a group of attackers or an animal. Because
they cover a wider area, they deliver less volume per area making their
strike less concentrated. They are highly effected by wind and should not be
sprayed directly into the wind. They should not be used indoors unless
necessary. They are usually more expensive than other options.
These pepper sprayers offer longer distance than other
sprays. They deliver a high volume to a small area giving a concentrated
strike. They are more difficult to aim and are somewhat effected by wind.
They are usually the least expensive option.
Pepper spray is now available in a Gel
formulation. This is a sticky pepper spray making it harder to remove and
more effective when used in the rain. It's a heavy liquid, usually under
higher pressure, giving it the longest distance stream. It doesn't
contaminate the air like a fogger, or to a lesser extent, like the stream or
spatter sprayers. This allows it to be used safely indoors. Because of it's
advanced features, it is a more expensive option.
Foam pepper spray is delivered in a stream
however, it contains a foaming agent that causes the pepper spray to spread
on contact. Because of it's spreading action, accuracy is less critical. It
has a distance similar to a stream sprayer and is effected somewhat by wind.
It's foaming action can be effective when used against someone wearing
glasses or goggles as it will coat the lenses.
This pepper sprayer is similar to the stream sprayer
but delivers more volume per burst. For this reason, they will have fewer
bursts per ounce. However, the higher volume will provide a more
concentrated strike. Their distance is a little less than the stream
sprayers, but they are less effected by wind. They are a cost effective option.
Safety Tips on the use of pepper spray
Be aware of your surroundings so that you can
anticipate the need for pepper spray. For example, if you are walking
through a high crime neighborhood, you see a suspicious person following
you, you hear an animal growl, or you are alone at night in a dark area. In
these situations, keep your pepper spray in your hand and ready to use. If
you keep pepper spray on your key ring or in a holster, you should remove it
now. When you are holding the sprayer in your hand with your finger on the
trigger, be sure you know which way it will spray! You
should also be aware of the wind direction. If you have had the pepper
spray for awhile without using it, this would be a good time for a quick
test to be sure it still has pressure.
After using your pepper spray:
If your attacker is an animal, most often the
animal will retreat or at least break off it's attack. While the animal is
reacting to the pepper spray, slowly back away, but be ready to use the
pepper spray again if necessary. Most animal attacks are a result of the
animal defending it's territory and once you are outside it's territory, it
will no longer consider you a threat. If you turn and run, the animal may
regain it's courage and pursue you.
If your attacker is a human, results are less predictable.
The top priority of most attackers after a direct hit to the face is to find
fresh water to get relief from the pepper spray. If the attacker is under
the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may attempt to continue the attack
however, they will be severely disadvantaged. In those cases, you should be
able to escape to a lighted area where other people are nearby. If that is
not possible, you will have to defend yourself against a partially blind,
coughing, choking attacker making it easier to further disable the attacker
with a stun stun, club, your fists, or your feet.
If you are confronted by multiple attackers, make sure you
spray at least one of them, the leader if possible. Most likely, the others
will come to the aid of the sprayed victim allowing you to escape. Once the
other attackers see the results of the pepper spray, they may not risk being
What to do if you are sprayed:
If you get pepper spray in your eyes, you will experience an
extreme burning sensation. Immediately rinse your eyes with fresh cool
water. If the burning persists or gets worse, seek medical attention. Never
rub your eyes!
If you get pepper spray on your face or hands, wash with a
mild soap. Pepper spray can be easily transferred. If you have pepper
spray on your hands, do not touch your face. Avoid touching your face for at
least an hour after washing your hands. Lemon juice can help neutralize the
pepper spray on your hands.
If pepper spray is discharged inside or spilled from a
leaky sprayer, you may notice burning eyes, scratchy throat, and runny nose.
If this happens, open windows and doors to get fresh air circulating in the
room. It may take a few hours for the air to completely clear.
How to Use Your Pepper Spray:
What makes pepper spray an effective weapon is
that it allows you to keep a safe distance from your attacker. You should
maximize this distance by holding your arm extended when you use the
sprayer. It provides a longer distance spray, helps you aim more accurately,
and minimizes blow back. Whether your attacker is a person or an animal, aim
for the face. If you make a direct hit to the eyes, the attacker will be
temporarily blinded allowing you to safely escape. If you strike the face
but miss the eyes, the attacker's eyes will still burn. It will be
difficult to see and difficult to breath making the attacker less dangerous.
If you have a small volume sprayer, spray in short bursts.
This conserves pepper spray and if you miss, you can make a correction on
the next shot. If you have a large volume sprayer, spray a continuous
discharge moving your aim as necessary to get a direct strike to the face
Sometimes you can avoid a confrontation by warning the
attacker that you have pepper spray and are about to use it. Hold it out
towards the attacker and shout, "I have pepper spray, don't come any closer
or you will be sprayed"! Many people are aware of the sever pain it
causes and will choose to move on to a more defenseless victim.