Crime Tracker: The Pros And Cons of Pepper Spray - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Crime Tracker: The Pros And Cons of Pepper Spray

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KHQ.COM - Pepper spray is an effective weapon, but there's a lot to consider when it comes to using it. The Spokane County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit says it can scare off a potential attacker, but there are caveats.  Deputy Christopher Johnston recommends pepper spray because it can be used from a distance. 

The spray is made of peppers and can burn a person's skin, cause their eyes to involuntarily close and make their nose run. Johnston recommends pepper spray that deploys in a stream. He says the stream is the best way to avoid cross contamination. 

He says fog pepper spray and fan pepper spray shoots into wider areas, which can spread the pepper spray to an unintended target.  He says wind can also cause the spray to spread and even hit the person deploying it.  

It's also important to practice deploying pepper spray. Practice will allow you to know exactly what to expect if you must use the pepper spray in an emergency. It will also allow you to see whether the aerosol can is still effective. 

Over time, it can fizzle out and not deploy as effectively as it did when it was first purchased.   Make sure your pepper spray is in hand if you are in a potentially threatening situation.  It won't do any good if it's in the bottom of your purse. Finally, Deputy Johnston reminds us that the best way to avoid being attacked is to avoid dangerous situations whenever possible.

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