What is pepper spray?
Pepper sprays are the number one choice when it comes to self defense products. Such sprays are typically composed of Oleoresin Capsicum contained in highly-pressurized canisters. This nasty little cocktail coming from chili peppers basically causes inflammation. Although it does not sound particularly deadly or threatening, this inflammation happens where it hurts the most: the eyes, the nose and the throat.
To cut a long story short, it makes sure to mess up your assailant's senses enough to disable him. It's pretty impossible to concentrate, much less try to mug somebody, when your eyes, nose and throat burns like heck, with tears and mucous spilling all over the place.
How should you use it?
It is a reliably simple process: make sure there is a bit of distance between you and your assailant and mace him (or her) in the face for a few seconds. After this short burst, step back as quickly as possible and check if your assailant is adequately disabled. If your assailant can still see and poses a threat to you, spray another burst into the face and run away as quickly as possible and seek police assistance.
When should you use it?
Use these sprays strictly for self-defense purposes only, as any other use of such sprays would most likely land you in jail. To be more exact, only use these sprays in self-defense situations where you find yourself in danger of personal harm. So, do not use mace when you are quarreling with a neighbor. Do use mace when you got a mugger threatening you at knife-point or when a dog is chasing you down the street.
However, make sure to check national or state laws regarding pepper spray before you buy a canister. While it is freely available in all states – there are some restrictions in certain areas.
When you want to boost personal or home security, pepper sprays are an inexpensive and non-lethal alternative to firearms. Just keep in mind, however, that even this non-lethal alternative has great responsibility attached to it. Make sure you know when and how to use pepper spray, and do not just spray it around willy-nilly.