Pepper spray is most effective when used the right way, and without knowing how to use it correctly you can put yourself at risk for pepper spray failure. Although using it is a straightforward process there are still some guidelines you should follow:
1. Get comfortable holding the pepper spray
One concern you may have is if the attacker will be able to take the canister away from you. The best way to eliminate this risk is to get comfortable holding the canister and to make sure you get a good firm grip.
Using your thumb instead of your index finger will allow you to wrap your four fingers and palm around the pepper spray forming a secure grip. Not to mention your hand will form a fist like position which you can also use to defend yourself if need be.
2. Know the Number of Shots remaining
You want to make sure you know how many shots of pepper spray are remaining in your canister. The last thing you want happening is your pepper spray running out when you need it the most.
3. Keep a safe and appropriate distance
Most pepper sprays can shoot up to 10 feet so be sure to know how much yours can spray up to. Keeping a good distance between you and the attacker will not only make you safer but will also give you the ability to get a more accurate aim.
4. Keep your arm slightly bent
Unless there is a safe distance between you and the attacker you should never reach out at an arm’s length when deploying pepper spray. Doing this increases the risk of the attacker knocking the canister out of your hand. Instead keep your arm slightly bent and use the spare arm to guard the other.
5. Make sure its accessible
Pepper spray won’t do you any good if it’s buried in your bag or if you leave it at home. Always make sure it’s in your hands when you are in a vulnerable situation such as a parking lot, an alley, or even when entering or exiting a building.
In order to maintain a low profile you can have the pepper spray in your pockets while keeping your hand on the canister in a ready to deploy position.
6. Know how to arm and disarm your device
A lot of pepper sprays will come with twist lock technology which allows you to switch the canister into safety mode so it doesn’t discharge accidentally. Only disarm the device once you know you’re in a safe place.
7. Aim for the eyes
In order to maximize the effects of pepper spray you want to aim at the attackers eyes which will temporarily shut their eyes and allow you to escape. If you are using a gel or stream spray pattern make sure to aim from ear to ear and if you miss go back in reverse and spray again. On the other hand, a cone or fogger spray pattern requires you to aim up and down while aiming towards the face, the eyes being the most important.
8. After you hit the target move to the side.
After you have hit the target and can see they’re in pain you want to move to the side and escape the area. If you move backwards the attacker will still know where your last position was and will most likely move forward. Moving to the side will confuse and disorient the attacker while giving you time to escape safely.
9. Practice beforehand
Our last tip is to make sure you get enough practice. The more familiar you are with how to hold, spray, and aim your defense spray the more effective it will be. So purchase a couple extra canisters and do some practicing in the backyard or outdoors.
In conclusion, you want to make sure you remain calm and keep your eyes on the threat when deploying pepper spray so you know that you’ve hit your target. Lastly, remember to always stay alert and be aware of your surroundings so you can prepare for any potential threats.
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