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How To Choose The Best Pepper Spray For Your Needs

One of the most popular self-defense products currently available is the defense spray. It is easy to use, easy to carry, economical, highly effective, and requires no long-term training. Self-defense sprays are often erroneously referred to as tear gas, which is one of the side effects or Mace, which is the name of a specific manufacturer. Initially, self-defense sprays were developed for use by law enforcement officials. However, pepper sprays, as they are more popularly referred to today, have grown in popularity for personal self-defense.

One major advantage associated with the use of pepper sprays is that they are not lethal and don’t impose any long-term effects on an assailant. This is not the case with the use of a firearm since it employs deadly force and presents potentially significant psychological and legal consequences for the users.

The following are the most critical considerations regarding the application and purchase of pepper sprays:

1. Purpose

Like other non-lethal self-defense products, pepper sprays are designed to create a barrier between an attacker and his victim thus providing a few more precious moments to escape.

2. Formulation

Pepper sprays typically comes in 3 basic types of chemical formulations:

OC �" Oleoresin Capsicum
CN �" Alphachloroacetaphenone
CS �" Orthochlorobenzalmalonigtrile

Sprays that contain CS and CN are regarded as old school and are often ineffective against persons who are psychotic or on drugs, have a delayed effect of as much as 30 seconds, sometimes take days to wear off, may cause long-term reactions and/or toxic reactions, and are considered possibly carcinogenic, and not as effective as OC. CN and CS sprays are not recommended since they are not reliable.

OC sprays contain a natural chemical that comes from hot pepper plants. OC sprays work instantly by causing temporary blindness by dilating the capillaries in the eyes. If inhaled, OC causes instant inflammation of the lung tissue, which results in uncontrollable coughing. Either condition can be highly disabling even for psychotic individuals or those on drugs. OC effects dissipate quickly without any risk of permanent damage or long-term side effects.

3. Strength

The strength of a pepper spray is generally measured using the heat-generating capacity of the hot peppers used in the manufacturer’s formula. The capacity is indicated in Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). It is good to note that different hot peppers produce varying SHU levels. For instance, a standard bell pepper produces 0 SHU, while a Jalapeno pepper can generate up to 5,000 SHUs and a Habanero pepper can generate up to 30,000 SHUs. It is also good to note that a 10 percent concentration of Jalapeno pepper spray cannot be as effective as a 1 percent concentration of Habanero spray. In its purest form, OC has a heat rating of up to 15,000,000 SHUs. It has been determined by chemists that a SHU rating of more than 4,000,000 is likely to lead to tissue damage. Pepper sprays that contain formulations beyond this range are not recommended since they are considered excessive.

4. Delivery

A carrier agent is needed for suspending the OC in solution and help in delivery from the pressurized pepper spray can. A carrier known as HFC 134A is highly recommended and very popular today because of its dispersal abilities.

Dispersal density and spray patterns determine the size of droplets sprayed at the attacker. Smaller sized air-borne droplets are more efficiently disbursed into the lungs and eyes. Pepper spray provides spray patterns of 3 types: fog, mist, and stream. The mist and fog options deliver the smallest droplet size but are limited in range (4 to 8 feet) and are easily affected by the wind when used outdoors. The stream option has a range of between 15 and 20 feet and is less likely to be blown back by a breeze or the wind. For home defense, it is advisable to use mist and fog sprays while stream sprays are recommended for outdoor use.

5. Capacity and Size

A pepper spray device’s size is usually proportional to its capacity. Capacity is usually measured by the number of ounces of spray material in the container that determines how many seconds or shots it fires. Pepper spray models come in varying sizes with the smallest just ½ oz. (it can provide up to 20 half-second bursts) to larger 16 oz. canister-style units. The smaller varieties are easy to carry in a purse, key chain, belt holster, or pocket, while larger units are designed primarily for home defense and vehicles.

The Bottom Line

Pepper spray devices are some of the best self-defense options for those reluctant to use firearms but still interested in increasing their chances of survival and escape in case of a serious confrontation. Irrespective of your sex, age, employment, social status, physical abilities, daily routine, or location… you are always at risk of being the victim of a crime. It is worthwhile to take the necessary steps to confront the risk faced every day. Pepper sprays are great tools for self-defense that are both effective and affordable. Be prepared! Don’t be a victim! Be armed! Be Safe and Feel Safe!

Stu Ross, the owner of All Out Security Solutions is responsible for presenting this article. AOSS is dedicated to personal safety and victim avoidance through educations as well as providing effective tools for self-defense to reduce the chances of becoming the victim of a crime. AOSS publishes a highly informative e-newsletter providing important insights and regular tips on personal safety, crime deterrence, and victim avoidance. AOSS provides an extensive line of non-lethal personal protection and self-defense products that consist of hundreds of items not available in local retail stores that provide affordable self-defense solutions for your family, you, your business, and your home.

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