6 Facts You Need To Know About Pepper Sprays!
Many South Africans are opting to carry Pepper Spray canisters as a means of self defence, but are you aware of all the facts related to them?
What is a Pepper Spray?
Pepper Sprays contain ingredients that result in coughing, inflammation around the eyes, temporary blindness and a burning sensation on the skin. All the effects of pepper sprays are not permanent but last long enough for you to get away from your attacker.
What is a Pepper Spray made of?
The active ingredient in a pepper spray is oleoresin capsicum, an extract from hot peppers.
What is the difference between Mace and Pepper Spray?
- Mace is a tear gas and is categorised as an irritant. Pepper spray is an inflammatory agent.
- Mace results in eyes watering and a burning and stinging feeling on the skin. In addition, headaches, dizziness, coughing and a tense feeling in the respiratory system may be experienced. Pepper sprays cause temporary blindness and will incapacitate an attacker.
- Mace may not be effective if the attacker is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Mace is commonly used as a brand name associated with self-defence products.
How to use a Pepper Spray?
- ONLY use your pepper spray as a form of self-defence. Take time to practice with it at home and learn how to use it quickly and efficiently.
- Use your thumb to spray, not your index finger. Doing this allows you to grip the can better and help prevent the attacker from grabbing the can.
- If you are able, spray directly at the face and eyes of your attacker for a few seconds or until the attacker looks like they are debilitated, then run away as fast as possible and get help.
- Make sure that you spray away from yourself at all times and try to remain calm.
- Ensure you keep your Pepper Spray in a place where you are able to use it quickly.
- The pepper spray may not fully incapacitate your attacker but it will provide you with a means of escape.
KEEP AWAY AND OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN!
Different types of Pepper Sprays
There are two main types of pepper sprays - Jet and Fog
Jet / Stream – The stream can cover a distance of between 4 to 5 metres, depending on the size of the canister and the amount of propellant. It is effective even under windy conditions because it sprays with a higher force, not droplets like the Fog / Mist type, and is less likely to blow back in your direction. Use with a side to side motion.
Fog / Mist – The mist can cover a distance of between 1 to 2 metres, but is not very effective in windy conditions where the spray may blow back towards you. Use with an up and down motion.
How often should you check if your Pepper Spray is working?
The liquid inside your pepper spray will last a long time but check it every 3 months to make sure it is functioning correctly. If you can, replace your spray every year. When you do your Pepper Spray check make sure you are in an open area with no wind. Ensure that there is no-one near you (including your pets).