Dos and Don’ts of Using Pepper Spray

Pepper spray and gels are effective self-defense tools. They can reach attackers at a distance, provide instant stopping power, and allow you to get away safely.

There is a right and a wrong way to manage this self-defense tool. Here is a closer look at what you should and shouldn’t do if it is your go-to option.

What You Should Do with Pepper SprayWhat You Shouldn’t Do with Pepper Spray
Practice using your pepper spray. Different containers can offer various ranges and distances for deployment, so understanding what to expect won’t catch you off-guard if you need to use the item.Don’t leave your pepper spray in an inaccessible area. It should be in your pocket or purse in public. It helps to follow the 21-foot rule at home to ensure this self-defense tool is always within reach.
Keep a container of pepper spray on your person whenever there could be a situation where it is needed. Even an evening jog around your neighborhood isn’t entirely safe, so bring this resource along.Expired pepper spray may not be as effective as a new product. Even if you haven’t deployed your container, upgrade to something fresh to ensure you can defend yourself.
Each pepper spray dispersal pattern has different benefits to consider. The stream option is the most prevalent since it has excellent wind and contamination resistance. Foams and gels are also possible.Avoid firing your pepper spray when the wind could blow it back in your face. Try to be downwind from the assailant. This advice is especially important for those using foams or gels.
Be aware of the various laws and regulations regarding the use of pepper sprays. Although this self-defense resource is legal in all 50 states, some have regulations or restrictions to follow. Some cities have specific rules to follow.Try to maintain some distance between you and a potential assailant. Pepper sprays are less effective when fired at close range because you could experience the same symptoms as the person you’re trying to avoid.
Remember that pepper spray is a tool, not a weapon. It is meant for self-defense, not offense. When you learn extra defensive tactics to protect yourself, you’ll have multiple ways to escape a potentially harmful situation.When an attacker comes at you, don’t turn your back on them. Always keep your eyes on the individual to ensure your spray targets an appropriate location. Some people may continue running at you, so have a place to sidestep.
Try to warn an assailant that you’ll dispense the pepper spray before applying the product. Taking this extra step provides insurance that your decisions will be seen as self-defense instead of a potential attack.Although it is a slight risk, a pepper spray canister can malfunction. Don’t ignore other tools or self-defense methods in case you find yourself in this situation.

Pepper sprays are an effective tool for self-defense, but only when you know when and how to use them. Keep this information in mind while looking for your preferred product to ensure you get something that meets your needs.