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Packed Heat in a Can Guarantees Good Self-Defense

May 16, 2008
Self-defense is an increasingly necessary component of safety in today's world. From the city to the country, harmful and dangerous characters lie in wait for hapless victims. For those without proper physical training, self-defense weapons are a necessity. One of the most basic yet effective of these weapons are pepper sprays.

Can you recall the intense burn of a jalapeno on your tongue? Imagine a mist containing that same type of burning sensation. This is the essence of pepper spray.

Pepper spray, otherwise known as oleoresin capsicum, is an efficient tool in self-defense. It comes in small, easily concealable canisters, sometimes disguised as pens or other ordinary accessories. When used properly, pepper spray creates an escape route from dangerous situations.

Derived from oils found in peppers such as cayenne, pepper spray is a compound that irritates the eyes, causing pain and temporary blindness. It is called a lachrymatory agent for this reason. Its effects depend upon the concentration, but whether it is encountered from a few feet away or directly in the face, the power of pepper spray is undeniable.

While it is often used as a riot control measure in the form of a projectile fired from a paintball-type gun, the personal form of pepper spray can easily be placed in a purse or other carrying case. Wherever you choose to carry it, be sure that you have quick access to it in case of emergency.

A direct shot in the face from a pepper spray canister will cause up to a half hour of blindness. It also causes uncontrollable coughing and an intense burning sensation on the skin of the attacker. The body of the attacker will usually hunch over to try and breathe for fifteen minutes. The after effects may last for hours. Obviously, the effects are quite severe. They begin immediately upon contact. It has been determined that pepper spray does not cause long-term damage from a single instance, but multiple exposures will cause an increase in eye sensitivity.

The obvious advantages of pepper spray cannot be mentioned without bringing up the dangers. In an enclosed space, pepper spray can irritate the user as well, since the mist will fill the air around the user. The mist will be less concentrated then a direct hit, but still cause many of the effects listed, just in a less intense form. So, take care if you ever need to use pepper spray in a stairwell or other enclosed space.

Pepper spray cannot be completely neutralized, though there are some remedies to lessen the burn. While it cannot be washed off by plain water, many soaps and detergents will cut through the oils. Milk, which is often used to lessen the burn when eating hot peppers, may also help relieve the effects on the skin.

Pepper spray is legal in most of the United States, though with some restrictions in certain areas. For example, in Massachusetts pepper spray may only be possessed by persons with legal firearm cards. In Wisconsin, the concentration of the chemical is limited to a certain amount, while in Washington D.C. it must be registered with the police department before being legal to carry. Other states and cities are more lenient with laws regarding pepper spray. Be sure to check the legality in your own area before purchasing and carrying it.

While it has its major disadvantage in small spaces, the power of pepper spray will ward off any assailant when used correctly. With its compact size and ease of use, pepper spray will surprise anyone seeking to harm you. It is the self-defense tool with the most bang for your buck.
About the Author
Steve Lane is an expert in the field of self defense, home security and crime prevention and operates an online business named Self Defense and Surveillance Shop. Visit his store to learn some ways you can protect yourself and your loved ones from crime at: http://www.laneselfdefense.com
http://www.lanesurveillance.com
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