- The first, and most obvious, thing to do is to have your pepper spray quickly available to reach in an emergency situation. Seconds can become a life/death situation if you are confronted with an attacker. Do not keep your pepper spray in your glove box. Keep it on your body at all times, whether that be a keychain pepper spray, lipstick pepper spray in your purse or a mace pepper gun in a holster: it does no good if it is not with you.
- Yell ‘FIRE!’ (not HELP or STOP!) at your attacker. This serves several purposes. It will confuse your attacker because he is expecting to you yell for help or to yell at him to stop. He is definitely not expecting to hear that there is a fire. This will buy you valuable seconds to get your pepper spray into your hands and positioned for self-defense. It will also alert people in the area that there is something wrong in the immediate area that they should be concerned about and dial 911. (Sadly, statistics say that most people will not get involved if they hear someone yell for help, but they will get involved and call 911 if they believe a fire is flaming in the area.) This simple action allows you to spray your attacker when he is off guard.
- Elevate the pepper spray product to face level with your attacker and keep it at arm’s length from your body ideally. If you are in hand to hand combat with your attacker, spray it on your hands and rub it in his eyes. (This keeps the pepper spray from blowing back into your own face. (We want to hurt your attacker, not you!)
- Maintain your concentration of pepper spray on the attacker’s head, keep the actual stream steady.
- Spray your attacker with a second burst, if needed, and then move away. Exiting to a safe space is the goal!
- Remember, pepper spray doesn’t work instantaneously. It requires a few seconds to permeate the membranes. But your attacker will go down and be in excruciating pain while you have given yourself an escape route from the emergency situation.
- Look for a self-defense spray product that has a UV dye in it. Most of them do. The UV dye will not wash off; providing police an easily identifiable target.
It is worth noting, that pepper spray comes in various spray patterns: cone, spray and stream are common. As a general rule, you will find that having a stream pattern is preferable in self-defense spray models built for long distances, such as the Mace Pepper Gun.