How to Use Pepper Spray?
Pepper spray is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound designed to irritate the eyes to cause tears, pain, and temporary blindness) that can be used as a less lethal weapon. It was developed for use by police officers, and private citizens for self-defense, and non-lethal military use; it became infamous in the United States of America when it was used against protesters at the 1997 World Trade Organization conference in Seattle.

The active ingredient of this spray is capsaicin, a nonpolar compound derived from hot chili peppers. In its pure form, capsaicin is a colorless crystal. This spray has been used for over three hundred years in law enforcement and self defense weapons

The first preparations were developed in the 1830s when investigators at England's Royal Botanic Gardens discovered that powder from the seeds of "Capsicum frutescens", one species of chili pepper, could be used to make an irritant oil-based spray. Around 1900, law enforcement officers in the Western United States started using this type of weapon for capturing fleeing criminals and disabling attackers; it was also used for riot control early in the 20th century.

This spray was first used in the United States in 1967 with a formulation developed by the Dow Chemical Company. By 1983, all major American police departments were using it as an alternative to their standard riot guns. In 1988, the U.S Department of Defense began large-scale production and distribution of this spray under contract with its producer, ADAM Research Corporation.

Formation of Pepper Spray

When you hear pepper spray, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a canister of searing hot liquid. The truth is that not all sprays are the same. There are two basic types of these sprays: water-based and oil-based. 

This spray made with an oil base is more potent than those that contain just water or other solvents because it will cling to clothing, skin, and hair longer than water-based solutions, causing significant pain and irritation. While it is more damaging than a water-based spray, the oil base is a much less effective solvent.

Pepper Spray

As such, it will not remove all the spray residue left on your gun or a pocket knife after use so you are left with an oily residue. Some of the best sprays available on the market today have been tested by law enforcement and have proved to be 99% effective when used as directed at a distance of 3-5 feet. It is important to know that this spray is classified under federal law as "a tear gas device" and not as a firearm in itself.

The Right Way of Using Spray

Whether you’re a student in a class or are attending an event where there are crowds of people around, it can be hard to defend yourself. That’s why many people carry this spray on them for protection. This article gives some tips and tricks on how to use pepper spray effectively and efficiently.

Step 1: Prepare Your Hands 

Do not hold the stream in your hands for the entirety of its length if at all possible- it will get too hot and may injure or burn you. Hold the spray in your palm, just below your fingers, and point the spray away from you and to the side so it can shoot.

Step 2: Use Two Hands

The spray reaches its maximum effectiveness when it’s fired at two hands. When you’re not holding or pointing at the stream, use both hands to cover your face and eyes. You will be unable to see anything for a few seconds.

Step 3: Aim

Always aim for your eyes or mouth first, because these areas are much easier to hit than other areas of the body and will be naturally less sensitive to chemicals.

Pepper Spray

Step 4: Don’t Spray it in the Air

If you look at the canister of pepper spray, you will notice a warning on it. The warning says not to hold it and spray it in the air. You do not want to shoot a stream into the sky or anything else because it’s possible that people from a distance will inhale this and suffer from some of its effects. If you are in danger, point the stream directly at your attacker’s face.

Step 5: Run Away

Running away is most likely your best bet for getting out alive if possible. As in the previous step, if someone is currently attacking you, you can point the stream at them and either blind them or make their face taste some spray. However, this should not be your first option. If necessary, run away and let your pepper spray do its job.

Step 6: Carry it with You at all Times

These sprays like this stay effective only for around 10 minutes before they start to lose effectiveness. It is also recommended that you wait a while after use before having another spray as taking one beforehand may interfere with its effectiveness when used again later on.

Benefits of Carrying Pepper Spray

Many people around the world carry pepper spray for self-defense. This is mostly because it has proven to be a reliable weapon and is easy to carry. There are several advantages of having this spray and you should consider whether it would be important for you to have one. Here are some of the most important benefits that these sprays have shown themselves:

This spray still can cause serious injuries, but these wounds are not as extensive or life-threatening as those caused by other weapons such as guns or cool knives. On top of this, this spray has been known to temporarily paralyze an attacker, giving the potential victim a chance to escape safely with just minor injury consequences.

They are very easy to carry, as they come in small sizes, and this makes them convenient in any situation. You can also carry them in your purse or even attached to it, hidden from sight. This is why you should consider having a spray if you are often out at night or if you often go hiking and camping.

The best sprays come with a very long range, up to 10 feet which is more than enough time for you to run away from danger. They also have an effective stream that shoots about 15 feet and gives the attacker a burning sensation all over their body.

Also Read: Does Pepper Spray Expire?

Downfalls of Carrying Spray

Pepper spray is a chemical weapon that causes the eyes to burn and the skin to blister. It can be carried with you wherever you go and is often considered a safer alternative to other forms of self-defense. However, this spray has its shortcomings, as any self-defense tool does. 

There are some drawbacks to this spray, and while they are not enough to make it completely useless, they may give you a reason to rethink your choice of self-defense weapons. Although this spray is a very effective weapon for self-defense, it has its downsides. Here we will discuss some of the negative aspects of carrying and using this spray. 

  • The burn from the spray typically lasts longer than the actual threat. Although the burning sensation will only last a few seconds, the person being sprayed must wait until the burn goes away before they can use the pepper spray again or they will be in danger.
  • The burning sensation from this spray usually affects only one person being sprayed, not everyone around them. Due to this fact, a large group of people can be sprayed without any of them being affected by it.
  • If a person is sprayed with pepper spray while they are trying to defend themselves, they may not have time to avoid it or run away from their attacker. If they fight back against their attacker, the pepper spray in their eyes may weaken their ability to defend themselves.
  • Some people can't handle the pain of pepper spraying. If a person is sprayed with it, it may be too much for them and cause them to lose consciousness or fall down and not be able to get up again. 

So these are the downsides of carrying this spray (and frankly all forms of defense), and now you know what they are so that you can judge if they're worth it or not when making your decision on which defense weapon is best for you.

Read More: How to Get Pepper Spray Off Skin?