Many women either have or have had pepper spray in her bag at some time or another.
95% of those women have never used their pepper spray and about 80% of those women won’t use it even if they found themselves in a threatening situation. They won’t because they don’t know how.
Your best defence against attackers is knowledge and awareness but having some kind of deterrent is great and it goes a long way in giving you peace of mind. I think pepper spray is an excellent choice as part of your personal safety arsenal; it is non-lethal, easy to use and carry and best of all is that if the kids accidentally get hold of your spray and use it on themselves or one another, (other than some burning eyes and mouths) they will be perfectly fine.
Choose the best option for you: There are many different makes and types of pepper spray, each with its pros and cons. I like my pepper spray to have a clip or some method to attach it to my belt or my bag so that it is easy to access. It is no good having your spray lost in your bag somewhere because believe me when you need to use it, you don’t have time to hunt through all your possessions.
Understand how it works and how to use it: The effective ingredient in pepper spray is oleoresin capsicum, which is a concentrate extract from hot chilli peppers. The two main types of pepper spray are fog and direct stream.
The fog offers a larger area of disbursement but has a shorter range and it does not work very well in windy conditions – it could blow back at you. The direct stream sprays considerably further and is less effected by strong wind. However you will need to be a bit more accurate with the stream.
Pepper spray is as effective against aggressive animals as it is against humans. It affects the eyes and mucous membrane of the nose, mouth and air passages, causing temporary blindness, difficulty in breathing and disorientation.
Practice: Always practice with your pepper spray out-doors or you will end up gassing yourself and it is a good idea to use it against something like a tree (alien of course). Before using your spray, ensure that you have disengaged the safety mechanism. Each brand of pepper spray is different so it is vital that you practice using your spray BEFORE you need to use it in an emergency.
To use your pepper spray, aim it directly at your attacker’s face and place your thumb or forefinger on the “trigger button”. Spray in a quick S pattern across the face and neck area. Practice a few quick bursts as you quickly move away from your deadly attacker tree.
Remember that if you are faced with a real attacker, your pepper spray takes anywhere up to 20 seconds to take effect so don’t stand still, move! Even if your attacker covers his (or her) face when you spray, the active ingredient will still take effect. Make sure that you keep your distance until the attacker has stopped coming after you and then make your getaway.
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