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Pepper Spray

Pepper sprays cause extreme inflammation of mucus membranes in the eyes, nose and mouth to debilitate an attacker. They impair vision, breathing and inflict a lot of pain. The substance that causes this is oleoresin capsicum which is derived from the fruit of pepper plants. It is a sticky flammable organic substance, insoluble in water, that contains capsaicin which is the actual chemical component that affects the mucus membranes. Pepper sprays are standard issue with police departments and security firms across the nation because they are highly effective.

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Pepper Spray Demonstration

 

Duration of Pepper Spray Effects

The length of time the debilitating effects of peppers spray lasts depends on the strength of the formula. The time range is between 15 minutes to a few hours. Most pepper spray products also contain a special dye that will adhere to the skin for a few days. The dye can used by law enforcement to identify the assailant. Please refer to the following blog article about pepper spray strength.

How to Pick the Strongest Pepper Spray

Pepper Spray Lethality

Pepper spray is considered a less the lethal weapon. It is not designed to cause death or permanent injury and in most cases its debilitating effects will subside within 15 minutes to several hours. Deaths related to pepper spray use involved persons with preexisting health conditions or gross abuse of the product. Deaths are so statistically very rare you need not be concerned that your use of pepper spray for self-defense will cause a fatality.

Pepper Spray Expiration

Pepper spray canisters contain a pressurized aerosol component that propels the oleoresin capsicum. With the passage of time the pressure will fade. An expiration date is printed on must pepper sprays. A good general rule to follow is to replace it after 2 years. To maintain the effective life of a pepper spray product, it should be stored at 59 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme heat or cold will degrade the aerosol propellant and reduce the life of the product.

Testing Pepper Spray

Pepper spray should be tested every 5 or 6 months. Test the spray by activating the trigger to release a propellant burst for about 1 one second. Do not test it indoors. The test should be conducted in an open outdoor area with minimum wind present.  If there is wind, make sure it is blowing in same direction as the spray. Set up a target made from disposable material such as cardboard. Stand about 10 – 12 feet away from the target and attempt to hit it with the spray. It is a good idea to purchase as special test canister for practice. The more you practice the greater your proficiency will be in an emergency situation.

Pepper Spray Legality

Pepper spray is legal in all 50 States of the nation. However, you must be aware of local restrictions imposed by municipalities, government buildings or special security zones.  For example, pepper spray cannot be carried into Court Houses or the restricted area of airports. Check with your local police department for guidance.