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Pepper Spray Frequently Asked Questions

The best pepper spray in the world or the most extensive training will amount to nothing if you don't do two things: Carry your pepper spray wherever you go and practice using it!

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about pepper spray. If you can not find the answer to your question here, please e-mail us and we will try answer any questions you have. You can find more information on pepper spray here pepper spray information.

1. What is Pepper Spray?

2. What should I know about purchasing defensive pepper sprays?

3. Do I need to practice using my pepper spray?

4. Is Pepper Spray Safe to Use?

5. Is pepper spray ever fatal?

6. What´s the difference between Mace and Pepper Spray?

7. Does pepper spray come in different strengths?

8. What is the real effect of Pepper Spray?

9. When is it Ok to Use Pepper Spray?

10. Is Pepper Spray always the best solution?

11. Is Pepper Spray the Best Non-lethal Protection?

12. Can children use pepper spray?

13. How long does pepper spray stay potent?

14. What is the legal way to use pepper spray?

15. Is there anyplace where I can never carry my pepper spray?

16. Is pepper spray legal?

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1. What is Pepper Spray?
Pepper spray is made up of an active ingredient called OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) and other inert ingredients. They can be water or oil based. The best formula being oil based as oil based products do not have the problem of separation.  Separation is where the final blend will not stay blended and the oil (OC) will separate from the water base. This is very similar to putting oil in water. The oil will want to rise to the top. All OC products that the Pepper Spray Store sells are non-toxic and non-flammable. The effects of the pepper spray last between 20 and 90 minutes, giving the user plenty of time to escape their terrifying situation. Pepper spray units can be fired multiple times and can have a range of 8 to 20 feet, depending on the particular model you purchase.

The newest defensive spray agent, Oleoresin Capsicum, is a derivative of hot cayenne peppers. OC is an inflammatory agent and unlike tear gas it is effective on those under the influence of drugs and alcohol. When the OC contacts the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat, and lungs), symptoms will appear instantly. The capillaries of the eyes will immediately dilate, causing temporary blindness. Inflammation of the breathing tube tissues will cause difficulty in breathing; however the victim will still be able to breathe. Pepper spray will not deteriorate with age and will not cause lasting aftereffects, however the short-term effects are quite effective.
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2. What should I know about purchasing defensive pepper sprays?
Aside from size and capacity, and spray pattern of pepper spray, the formulation can also be a consideration.

Size and capacity: Sizes can range from a 1/2 ounce personal pepper spray up to 9 ounces for the bear pepper spray. Keychain sized defensive sprays or sizes easily carried on a belt or in a purse are ideal for most situations. Even the smallest units have enough in them to handle multiple attackers if done properly. The two main factors you want to look for are the range and the number of shots. A 6-8 foot range is plenty since that is where most personal assaults will take place. Most defensive sprays are also classified by number of one second bursts. A good 1-2 second burst will disable almost any assailant.

Spray Pattern: There are two basic types of defensive spray patterns, stream and mist. Stream patterns give good range but require aiming directly at the face. Cone mists have shorter range but you don't have to aim as well. If there is a breeze, a stream is more controllable. Mists can be blown off target or even back to the sprayer. OC pepper spray works best when it hits the eyes and is inhaled. The mist is inhaled instantly while the stream might take longer for the person to breathe in the pepper spray. In all cases, it is critical to hit the attacker in the face!

Formulation: OC comes in concentrations of 5%, 10%, 15%, or even higher. Bear pepper spray is rated at 20%. Because of different marketing that has evolved around these defensive sprays, the percentage is not always a good indicator of effectiveness. MVRSECURITY Self Defense Products only carries the highest quality pepper sprays, including Mace brand, that have been proven to be most effective.

Other factors: Many pepper sprays come on keychains. This is a sound idea because since most people usually have their keys with them, they will also always have their pepper spray with them. But don't forget about the times you don't have your keys. The small investment in an extra pepper spray could actually save your life!
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3. Do I need to practice using my pepper spray?
Practice is the Best Pepper Spray Technique, It is vital that you give some thought in advance to how you will carry your pepper spray canister. Consider carrying the device in the same place whenever possible. That way, you won´t have to think, "where is it today?" in the heat of the moment. Try various carrying methods and practice drawing the weapon. Make sure you can draw your pepper spray quickly from wherever you´re keeping it. Good, accessible locations include inside a pants pocket, especially for the models with a clip.

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4. Is Pepper Spray Safe to Use?
Pepper Spray is Safe to Use, Pepper spray affects the mucous tissues of the nose and eyes. It really hurts for about 20 minutes which is enough time to get away, call the police and drop by Starbucks. Pepper spray is non-toxic and non-flammable.

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5. Is pepper spray ever fatal?
Pepper Spray is Rarely Fatal, Although there is no known specific lethal dose or lethal concentration of OC, pepper spray has been implicated in the deaths of some people who were sprayed with it. These people suffered anaphylaxis, a violent allergic reaction that can be life threatening. Symptoms can include airways obstructed by swelling, fainting, and shock. Asthmatics are at higher risk of having an adverse reaction to pepper spray.

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6. What´s the difference between Mace and Pepper Spray?
Original Mace vs. Pepper Spray, All of Mace´s products now are either straight OC Pepper Spray and /or OC /Tear gas combinations or foam. Don't get Mace confused with Pepper Spray. MACE (the actual chemical compound) has not been used for 15 years. Mace is an irritant that is very similar to tear gas. Unlike pepper spray Mace will NOT cause inflammation of the capillaries causing temporary blindness, nausea, cut off all but life support breathing and create a very strong burning or stinging sensation. It is important to note that Mace is also a brand name. Mace pepper spray is a 10% solution in a nationally reknowned brand name. Oleoresin Capsicum or OC is a naturally occurring substance derived from cayenne peppers. This not the same as the original Mace product.

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7. Does pepper spray come in different strengths?
The strongest concentrations are 15% active ingredients and rated at 2 million scoville heat units. The high scoville heat rating is more important than the percentage of pepper spray ingredients

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8. What is the real effect of Pepper Spray?
Direct facial contact and inhalation of the spray will induce coughing, choking, and nausea, as well as dilating the eye capillaries resulting in temporary blindness. The mucous membranes will swell to prevent all but life support breathing causing the assailant to be temporarily incapacitated. Skin contact will cause a burning sensation which is aggravated by rubbing the area. A one second burst of oc pepper spray can affect an attacker for up to 45 minutes effectiveness without causing permanent damage.

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9. When is it Ok to Use Pepper Spray?
Chemical sprays are for personal self defense only to fight off an attacker. Pepper spray is not to be used offensively to protect property or on someone you merely dislike.

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10. Is Pepper Spray always the best solution?
Pepper Spray May not Always be the Solution, A person threatening you with a lethal weapon can injure you mortally in less time than it takes you to draw and aim your pepper spray. An assailant may be able to take your canister away from you and use it against you. If this is happening, try to throw the spray away out of reach. Your pepper spray could backfire at you in wind. Both wind and rain may reduce its range and effectiveness. The best safety measure is to avoid unnecessary risks whenever possible. Avoid areas known to be dangerous, never go with pepper spray where you wouldn´t go without it.

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11. Is Pepper Spray the Best Non-lethal Protection?
Pepper spray works on everyone drunk, drugged or crazy. It works. All tear gases do not work on the drugged, drunk and crazy the way pepper spray works.

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12. Can children use pepper spray?
Keep Away from Children, Kids like to play with novelty things and weapons. Most children will want to try it out , either spraying a burst of pepper spray into the air, or maybe at the neighbor´s cat. Many children end up accidentally spraying themselves.

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13. How long does pepper spray stay potent?
Usually all other sprays expiration date is 3 to 4 years from the date of purchase. Although the spray life is indefinite it does start to lose potency over time. Any use of the spray beyond the expiration date is highly unadvisable. We strongly advise you to replace your pepper spray every year! That way you are always assured of the potency of the spray.

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14. What is the legal way to use pepper spray?
Using pepper spray irresponsibly can incur criminal or civil liability. Spraying an innocent victim in the face can be a crime. Much like a punch in the face, it would be charged as assault or battery in most jurisdictions. The justification for using pepper sprays must either be self-defense from personal injury or an arrest situation, and the force must be reasonable under the circumstances. For example, the law says you can´t lawfully spray someone in the face for using obscene language or because you are simply afraid because they look mean.

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15. Is there anyplace where I can never carry my pepper spray?
Yes. You cannot carry pepper spray on board commercial aircraft. This is a Federal crime that can carry up to a $25,000 dollar fine. It is ok to carry pepper spray in your checked baggage although it is highly advisable that you notify the ticketing agent when you check your baggage. Also since 9/11/01 you may have issues when carrying pepper spray into secured locations such as a Federal buildings, State buildings or anyplace where you pass through a security checkpoint. Although there are no laws that we are aware of you should use your common sense here.

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16. Is pepper spray legal?
Check the Pepper Spray Laws in Your Area
Pepper Spray laws can be different in different areas. Some states regulate or forbid tear gas, or some may allow cities to make their own assorted laws regarding tear gas. Many countries, including Canada, also forbid tear gas. For this reason, it´s a good idea to call the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over your destination before you bring pepper spray there. Pepper Spray is legal in all 50 states. However, possession and/or use may be regulated or prohibited by law in some jurisdictions. Check with your local police department.

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