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Pepper Spray

Capsaicin, pepper spray's main ingredient, is derived from raw peppers and is the ingredient responsible for their "hot" nature. When pepper spray gets into contact with a person's face, the mucous membranes in the eyes, nasal area, mouth and internal airways react defensively towards the Capsaicin in the spray.

The person immediately starts to cough and produce tears, saliva and mucous in the nasal pathways and lungs in a bid to eliminate the foreign chemical that is causing trouble. Most often, the affected person will rub their eyes in an attempt to get some relief but this only makes things worse as the active ingredient in the pepper spray penetrates even deeper into the eyes and skin pores making the overall burning effect even more unbearable.

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A typical blast of pepper spray on a person's face leads to immediate incapacitation that can last anywhere between 30 to 45-minutes. The effects of pepper spray are however temporary meaning they do not cause any permanent damage to the affected person. The main idea here is that the pepper spray allows you to flee imminent danger very quickly so that you can seek help or get into your car or run away from the scene of an attack without getting hurt.

Pepper Spray Pros: Pepper spray has a measurement of how strong its active ingredient (Capsaicin) is when used on an attacker. The measurement is known as the Certified Heat Rating or CHR. Pepper spray as a tool of self defense has various advantages. The most significant advantage is that it is simple and easy to use. All you need is one quick press that is directed at your attacker's face and you are good to go.

5 Key Tips and Techniques for Use of Pepper Spray

  1. Shout STOP! Shouting "STOP!" or "FREEZE" helps to divert the attention of the attacker. Shouts are often used in martial arts as a means of diversion. You can alternatively divert the attacker's attention by raising the hand that is not grasping the pepper spray.
  2. Do Not Extend Your Spraying Hand Out This is very important. Never extend or overly reveal the hand holding the pepper spray as the attacker may smack or take the spray away from you. This will leave you defenseless. The best reaction is to aim, shoot and then quickly back away from the attacker.
  3. Stay Alert and Focused When Using the Pepper Spray Stay alert and keep your eyes open and focused on the attacker when using the pepper spray. Also, mind your timing. Most sprays have a range of about 6 to 8 feet. You should always make sure that the attacker is within range before deploying the spray. It is highly recommended that you use the element of surprise to catch the attacker unawares.
  4. Aim Directly At The Face If you are alert and sharp, you will get this right the first time. So, regardless of whether you are using a get, fogger or stream spray, it is vital that you aim directly at the attacker's face and eyes.
  5. Practice You must establish beforehand where and how you will carry your pepper spray. It is advisable to carry your spray container in the same place at all times. You can purchase pepper spray in a wide range of camouflaged containers like lipstick, perfume, pen or keychain.