Replacing Pepper Spray: How Often and Why

When to Replace Pepper Spray
If you are going to take steps to increase your personal safety and self defense options, such as investing in the purchase of a pepper spray canister to carry with you, then it is imperative that you store it properly, occasionally test its effectiveness, and replace it when necessary.  Otherwise, at the moment you need it most, you will not be able to effectively protect yourself from a potential attack or a dangerous situation.

Proper Storage of Pepper Spray Can Affect it Potency
Many people who purchase pepper spray think that a great place to keep it is in their purse.  While this means that it will often be nearby if you need it, consider the fact that if you carry a larger handbag (like the ones that are stylish), you will have to do quite a bit of digging in order to get your hands on it.  Unless you plan ahead and dig out your pepper spray before you head out on your own, and keep it in your hand or an easy to reach pocket, then it will be fairly useless when it comes to self defense.  Also, a canister of pepper spray can be activated or accidentally sprayed in your purse, so be sure to get a model with a cover or other spray safety mechanism.  Pepper spray holsters that can be attached to a pocket, keychain or waistband also allow you to take the pepper spray with you whenever you need it, without haphazard storage habits. 

Another popular storage spot for pepper spray is in the glove compartment of your vehicle.  Again, this keeps it handy, however, exposing the canister to the extreme temperature fluctuations can not only lead to possible leakage of the canister.  If some of the pressure leaks out as a result of the temperature fluctuations, the spray will be less forceful and cover less distance, and likely will decrease the level of protection.

How Often Should I Replace My Pepper Spray Product
Even if you properly store your pepper spray canisters, it is a good rule of thumb to replace the canister at least every 1 to 2 years and certainly by the canister expiration date.  Like any aerosol can, pepper spray canisters will lose some pressure over time, and you don’t want to find out the hard way that, when you need it most, the propellant has weakened and your spray is more like spit.  When you need it, you need it to be powerful. 

Even if there is an expiration date on the canister that says it should still be good, err on the side of being too cautious.  Some experts recommend changing your pepper spray canister every year on your birthday.  Consider it a present to yourself—your safety!  Plus, this way you will never forget to replace it and you can rest assured that you have a fresh can that will protect you in the event that you should need it.