9 Do's & Don'ts of Owning Pepper Spray Responsibly

#1 DO Use Your Pepper Spray for ONLY for Self Defense

Pepper spray is legal to use and carry in all 50 states for self defense purposes (with some state restrictions on size, formulas and shipping). In general, a self defense situation justifying the use of non-lethal pepper spray is when you have a reasonable fear for your life or safety. 

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#2 DO Keep Your Spray at Close

Pepper spray is a wonderful, low cost, and low tech safety tool to help you protect your safety in many situations.  However, the spray has to be within arms reach and easy to get to when you need it.  Consider the situation you want to feel safer and purchase spray styles easiest to carry in the situation.  Many times multiple sprays are warranted to have it where you need it, when you need it. 

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#3 DO Practice Using Your Pepper Spray

When you encounter a dangerous, threatening situation is NOT the first time you want to be using your pepper spray.  We recommend (and many of our best sellers include) a size appropriate inert , water-based practice spray.  The inert spray will simulate the feeling, distance and volume if spray available in a real pepper spray product of equal volume.

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#4 Do Aim Your Pepper Spray at the Attacker’s Face

Pepper spray is more effective when it reaches an attacker’s mucus membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth with the eyes being the most important.  The goal of any self defense spray is the temporarily disable and attacker, so you can escape to safety.  A spray to the eyes will cause the most immediate action. 

If you aren’t feeling confident about your aim, consider a fogger pepper spray model (not recommended for windy environments).

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#5 Do Familiarize Yourself with your State’s Laws on Pepper Spray

In most cases, pepper spray is legal in all 50 states for the purposes on self defense if you are 18 or older and have not been convicted of a felony.  However, a handful of states have laws regarding legal sizes, formulas and shipment of pepper spray products.

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#6 Don’t Use a Pepper Spray Past its Prime

All reputable pepper spray products include a manufacturer expiration that is generally 3-4 years from the time of purchase.  This date identifies when the active ingredients expire.  However, we recommend replacement every 2 years for the best product performance.  Since pepper spray comes in an aerosol based canister, it can lose pressure and spray distance over time.  This is especially true for canisters stored in less than optimal environments (i.e. too hot, too cold, thrown at the bottom of a bag)

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#7 Don’t Store Pepper Spray in Extreme Temps

Pepper spray canisters can fail, leak or degrade in quality when being stored in environments that are too hot or too cold.  For example, we don’t recommend keeping your pepper spray in a car or glove box due to the extreme high and low temps a car’s interior can reach.

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#8 Don’t Spray Pepper Spray Upwind

Pepper spray can “back spray” in certain windy environment.  Be mindful of which way the wind in blowing when spraying pepper spray.  However, a direct hit of pepper spray will always pack more of a punch than being caught in the back spray.

#9 Don’t Get to Close to Your Attacker

Pepper spray has the advantage of spraying on average 6-20 feet in distance (depends on canister volume).   Stay as far from your attackers as possible and at least 1-2 arm lengths away.  When using your pepper spray in self defense you can keep your distance and escape to safety.

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