Self Defense With Pepper Spray

Proper use of pepper spray can be an effective first line of defense during an attack. Self defense pepper spray can quickly immobilize perpetrators and aggressive animals. With effects lasting as long as 45 minutes, these sprays give potential victims ample time to flee the scene and secure help from law enforcement.

The active ingredient in pepper spray is capsaicin, which is derived from chili peppers. The effectiveness of pepper spray is measured in Scoville Heat Units, or SHU. Most canisters purchased by consumers carry a strength of 2,000,000 SHU. Law enforcement pepper spray can carry a higher intensity of up to an average of 5,300,000 SHU.

Pepper spray works by causing intense inflammation. When sprayed into the eyes, it immediately causes swelling that involuntarily closes the eyelids and produces an agonizing burning sensation. The person then begins to cough vigorously as the pepper enters the throat. Difficulty breathing and copious release of mucus from the nose ensues. Though it is considered a less-than-lethal agent, pepper spray has been known to be a contributing factor in rare cases of death.

Many people like to carry animal repellent spray when out biking, hiking or running. These sprays are specifically formulated for use against aggressive dogs and bears. Also made with capsaicin, the repellent can deter an aggressive animal by exerting the same effects that humans endure. Many outdoor enthusiasts and workers enjoy better security knowing that animal repellent spray can help protect them from attack.

It is imperative that self-defense spray is used properly. Users must be sure to point the opening away from their faces and direct the spray downwind. Misfiring of the canister can cause users to inadvertently spray themselves and become disoriented in a dangerous situation. Though the use of pepper spray of any kind is not recommended in windy conditions, pepper gel can minimize overspray of bystanders and is less effected by wind. In addition to the effect that the capsaicin has on the aggressor, the gel tends to offer yet another layer distraction as it tends to stick to the face and eyes. If exposed to OC spray, decontamination sprays and wipes are available and offer effective means for removing the capsaicin.

Easily carried and concealed, self-defense sprays are an easy, effective means of self-defense. With the potential to rapidly render perpetrators or animals helpless, potential victims are given time to leave and get help.