Issue 21

Pepper Spray The Right Way

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In our opinion, all things being equal, it is difficult to find ANY self-defense device that has more positive aspects than pepper spray.  There are devices that do a specific task better, but none are as versatile as pepper spray.

For instance, a handgun is obviously a better option to have when confronted by an attacker that ALSO has a handgun, or when there are multiple attackers.  But unless you have one of the VERY difficult-to-obtain Concealed Carry Permits, you are limited to having some other type of self-defense device when you're away from home or business.

When used properly, pepper spray gives you the opportunity to slow-down or disable virtually all attackers - whether they're the two- or four-legged types.  They can buy you valuable time to get to safety.

So how do you choose the correct pepper spray for your lifestyle?

1.  Determine when you may need it.  If you're a woman and you will be "out on the town," consider getting one of the "disguised" versions for your purse.  They have them that look like everything from a ballpoint pen to a lipstick case.  You can be safe and chic all at the same time!  There are also versions that attach to your keyring or that have straps to hold them in your hand while you are out jogging or walking the dog.

2.  Do you have children?  While pepper spray is considered a non-lethal product, it can still cause a great deal of pain - and possibly injury - if a child gets ahold of your spray.  Be sure you consider how you're going to store your spray.

3.  Do you travel out-of-town a lot?  Different types of public carriers have different rules for transporting sprays.  Make sure you know the rules before you travel.  If you're traveling out of California, learn the laws in the states where you're traveling.  Virtually every state is different.

Of course, you need to learn how to use it properly - get training, get training, get training (BTW, we have a DVD of our Defensive Sprays and Stunning Devices workshop coming out in early 2010!).

Safety Tip:  Don't leave your pepper spray in your car, especially during the summer months.  Temperatures over 120F can render the active ingredients useless.

Next Issue:    Training for Unusual Situations.


Bison Risk Management Associates is a Northern California-based company providing Personal Safety and Emergency Preparedness training, workshops and consulting for individuals, businesses and organizations.

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