As an inflammatory agent, O.C. pepper spray will cause an attacker’s eyes to water and close, cause him to cough uncontrollable, and leave him totally disoriented. It is, however, important to know that to cause these desired results, you must score a direct hit to the facial area. Though pepper spray will slightly irritate any skin from head to toe, only the mucous membranes produce the effect necessary to allow for your escape. Different situations require different versions of these products, which we have discussed in our article “I want to buy pepper spray, but what type should I get?” There are, however, significant other factors to consider when actually using the products that you purchase. How close to the attacker am I? Am I inside my home or outside in a parking lot? Is there more that one bad guy? These are just a few ways that the situation in which you may find yourself, may differ. The more you know about how to use your weapon, the more likely you are to successfully defend yourself. It’s is for this reason that we recommend reading anything you can on self defense tactics, such as the booklet “The Facts About Defense Sprays And How To Use Them To Bring Criminals To Their Knees.” There are also a multitude of self defense classes that can be taken which include training on the use of pepper spray, and even stun guns.
Aside from these resources we can give you a few pointers:
1) Always hit him in the face; the eyes, nose, and mouth are your target. Test fire your pepper spray device, outside in an open area to make sure you are comfortable using it. Practice removing the safety. You don’t want to be caught fumbling when you don’t have a second to spare.
2) It is possible to get pepper spray on yourself when you are shooting an attacker, especially if he is holding, or very close to you. Though we never recommend you close your eyes when aiming toward an attacker at any distance, if he is holding on to you and you know exactly where his face is, turn your head away from his, close your eyes, and let it fly! As soon as he releases his grasp, immediate run out of the contaminated area and do not touch or rub any area around your face or eyes. For information about how to remove any accidental splash back from your skin, please visit our page titled What if I Hit Myself with Pepper Spray?
3) Using a larger, in home, model it is possible to contaminate an entire hallway or room, making so that an intruder can not walk through the area without being hit. Remember though, never back yourself into an area that doesn’t have a phone to call the police. As an added point: if you are like many people today who now have no home phone, and rely totally upon their cell phones for home usage, never go to bed without it on your nightstand or other easily accessible area.
4) Replace any pepper sprays that are past the expiration date; you wouldn’t rely on a smoke detector with dead batteries, so don’t rely on an expired unit. It’s a small price to pay to keep yourself safe.
5) Most importantly, never leave home without it. Don’t leave it in you pants from yesterday, in you other purse, or in the glovebox of your car. Pepper spray can do nothing to help you if you don’t have it. Take it with you!