Pepper spray is proven to be extremely effective for self-defense. It is safe with proper handling, yet effectively diminishes the capacity of an animal or human threat. Canisters are widely available and legal to carry in jurisdictions. When used properly, pepper spray is a valuable part of your personal protection plan. Here are five things you need to do in order to effectively deploy pepper spray.
Advantages of Pepper Spray
There are many advantages for self-defense including the following:
- Convenience: Small size is a great advantage, such as with the common “key-chain” type canisters. Typically these devices have a 10 foot spray distance. This allows you to defend yourself and your loved ones from a safe range.
- Inflammatory Agent: Pepper spray will automatically slam the eyes shut, allowing you to quickly escape a threat. The properties of pepper spray are usually effective against attackers that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and may be tolerant to pain.
- Non-Lethal: One great advantage of pepper spray is it can be used against any threat, unlike firearms which require justification for use of deadly force.
- Multiple Shots: Pepper spray canisters contain several shots. This allows you to take follow-up shots and defend against multiple attackers.
- Force Multiplier: Pepper spray is a force multiplier that allows you to overcome a disparity of force against your attacker.
How to Use Pepper Spray the Right Way
- Accessibility is Key: Get comfortable with having your pepper spray close to you and ready to activate. In real life scenarios, always have your pepper spray ready in your hand. Make sure that your grip is on your device.
- Proper Grip: Your thumb will be used to activate your device, not your index finger. Your thumb will give you the most power and will leave your four fingers free to grip the pepper spray. This grip method will allow you to strike a potential attacker.
- Know Your Product: It is important to know the distance your product can spray and the number of shots your canister can deploy. Small canisters may have a 10 foot range and up to 25 shots.
- Spray Patterns: Pepper spray has a fog or stream pattern. Spray your attacker from ear to ear across the eyes, taking away your attacker’s vision. If you need to, reverse the pattern and spray back across really saturating the eye area. With a fog delivery system, spray in an up and down pattern across the face.
- Present with Authority: Your body language must reflect confidence and authority. When you are out in public, constantly be aware of your surroundings and scanning for any potential threats. Keep your head up and shoulders back. When you are ready to deploy your pepper spray, you may give a verbal command such as “Stop, Stay back!” Your attacker’s momentum may be going straight towards you. You need to step off of this line of attack. They will be temporarily blinded, but will be going for the last spot they saw you. Step to the side to divert your attacker and make your escape quickly.
Pepper spray should be an integral part of your personal protection plan. Review your skills and stay consistent with keeping your pepper spray accessible. Do not become complacent.