There are so many types of pepper sprays on the market today that it has become confusing for you to decide which one to get. There are three basic chemical compounds that compose these defensive sprays.
- Orthochlorobenzalmalonitrile (CS)
- Alphachloroacetaphenone (CN)
- Oleoresin Capsicum (OC)
CS and CN irritate the membrane tissues and cause stinging and tearing. They can take from 5 to 30 seconds before they are effective and may not work if someone is drunk, on drugs, psychotic, or can't feel pain. The time delay and the fact that they may or may not be effective, is enough to turn people away from the self defense sprays. OC, does not have these limitations and is a far superior product.
But I hear about people who aren't affected by pepper spray?
What you have heard about are the man made chemical compounds commonly referred to as CS or CN. These are your tear gases. Military personnel are subjected to similar chemicals in the course of their training to simulate a chemical attack in a war time situation. After repeated exposure, a resistance is built up so the "gas chamber," as it is called, does not affect them as much. And it's true that some people are just not as affected as others are. Other law enforcement personnel, martial artists, and yes, even determined criminals can fight through the effects of CS or CN chemical sprays.
Chemical Compounds that make up defensive sprays:
- CS (Orthochlorobenzalmalonitrile)
- CN (alphachloroacetaphenone)
- OC (Oleoresin Capsicum)
Pepper Spray, on the other hand, has the effect of putting a brick wall in between the assailant and the sprayer. When someone gets a full blast of OC pepper spray, they stop what they are doing. They stop what they are thinking. Even people previously mentioned that could withstand the effects of tear gas, are very personally affected by OC pepper spray. This includes people that are drunk, on drugs, or psychotic.
Ok, so how do I decide which one to buy?
Once it became known that OC is superior to CN and CS, many brands became available with different concentrations, formulations, sizes, and spray patterns. Choosing the right spray is a critical decision if the spray ever has to be used in a self defense situation.
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!
What else 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.
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. Worth Protection Security 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 key chains. 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!
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!
The Most Often Asked Questions About Mace Brand Defense Sprays
What is Mace?
Mace is a registered trade name for our unique brand of aerosol defense spray. It is also the name of the manufacturer.
What is a Mace Aerosol Defense Spray?
A Mace brand aerosol defense spray is a humane and effective self defense device containing OC Pepper, Tear Gas or both. It is an effective means of non-lethal self defense for people concerned with personal safety and security.
Can I use my Mace Spray after the indicated expiration date?
Like any pressurized aerosol device, over time the unit may not spray as far as expected, if at all. Mace recommends replacing your spray after the expired date shown on your Mace Spray.
At what temperature should I store my Mace Spray?
Do not leave your Mace Spray in any area that may exceed 125 degrees F or drop below -15 degrees F. Excessive heat or cold may cause the can to leak or burst.
Can I bring my Mace Spray on an airplane?
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) allows one Mace Spray per traveler in your checked luggage only. Sprays are not allowed in carry-on luggage or at any time in the passenger area.
What are the different "Mace" formulations and how do they work?
Triple Action is a blend of OC Pepper, CN Tear Gas and UV Ultra-Violet dye. This formula combines the coughing, irritation and watery eyes of Tear Gas and the eye-shutting, "burning" effect of Pepper to disorient an attacker. The spray should be aimed at the face of an attacker.
PepperGard and Pepper Mace are 10% OC Pepper solutions with UV Ultraviolet dye. Pepper Sprays cause the eyes of an attacker to slam shut, create an intense burning sensation to affected areas and disorient an attacker. The spray should be aimed at the face of an attacker.
Pepper Foam is a 10% OC Pepper formulation with UV Ultra-Violet dye that sprays in a thick foam. The foam acts to "blindfold" and disorient an attacker and cause the same "burning" and closing of the eyes as traditional liquid pepper sprays. The spray should be aimed at the face of an attacker.
What do I do when my Mace Unit expires or is empty?
Your Mace Unit does contain chemicals and should be disposed of in accordance with all local, state and federal regulations.
Are Mace Sprays legal in my city or state?
Though legal in all 50 States, a number of cities and states have specific regulations pertaining to the purchase, possession and use of Aerosol Defense Sprays. If you have a question you should contact your local Police Department. Aerosol Defense Sprays are meant for defensive purposes only are can only be sold to or used by persons 18 years of age or older.
How "Hot" is my pepper spray?
OC pepper is generally measured in terms of Scoville Heat Units (SHU's) or on a percentage basis. For example, one spray might be 10% 500,000 SHU while another is 5% 1,000,000 SHU. Either spray will be effective in most cases. See also https://worthprotectionsecurity.com/blog/?p=23
How effective is my defense spray?
Aerosol defense sprays are effective in most, but not all situations. Attackers under the influence of drugs or alcohol or people with special training, i.e. military or martial arts training may not be affected as others.
Pepper Sprays can not be shipped to Alaska, Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts or Wisconsin.
However, Michigan and New York are authorized to receive Bear Sprays and Dog Repellents. Click Here for Michigan Approved Sprays.
For even more Pepper Spray Information, check out our
Pepper Spray FAQ and Pepper Spray Techniques Guide
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