The most popular, non-lethal, personal defense product on the market today is the self defense spray (also known as pepper spray). The primary chemical compound used in self defense spray today is OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) which is a natural chemical derived from hot pepper plants. OC pepper is an inflammatory agent which causes two reactions when an individual is sprayed with this type of pepper spray. First, the person's eyes clamp shut, hard. If the person manages to open their eyes, they are unable to see well because the OC pepper dilates the capillaries of the eyes and causes temporary blindness. Second, an immediate fit of uncontrollable coughing doubles the person over and often sends them to their knees. The OC pepper causes an instant inflammation of breathing tissues making breathing difficult. The condition is temporary but very debilitating. OC pepper has the affect of putting up a "brick wall" between the assailant and victim even if they are on drugs, drunk or psychotic.
OC pepper usually comes in concentrations of 1%, 5% and 10%. These percentages alone do not determine the effectiveness of the pepper spray. A pepper spray's effectiveness is more accurately determined by the heat generating capacity of the OC pepper which is measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). The higher the SHUs, the more effective the pepper spray.
Stun Guns are electronic devices that disable an assailant with as much as 300,000 volts of pulsed electrical current. When used properly, stun guns are effective in putting a large person on the ground in seconds and disabling the assailant for a half hour or more.
Stun guns are not actually guns. They do not shoot anything. The stun gun has two electrodes that protrude from the end of the device. When the electrodes are pressed against the assailant and the trigger is pulled, a high voltage, low amperage current travels from the electrodes through the assailant's clothes into their body. The pulsed current causes the assailant's muscles to work extremely fast, depleting them of needed blood sugars. The entire process takes only a few seconds and is very painful. Once the assailant is hit with the voltage the muscles refuse to work and the person is disabled. This gives the victim time to escape and get help.
Stun guns will not permanently injure or kill anyone regardless of the voltage. Voltage ranges from 50,000 to 300,000 volts depending on the model. While the higher voltage models disable a person faster and are far more intimidating, they are no more likely to injure a person.
Customers frequently ask if they can get shocked if the assailant is holding on to them when they use the stun gun. This is not possible because the electrical charge coming from the stun gun is "used up" in the muscle tissue of the assailant and does not have enough power to come back out of the assailant's body and into the victim. The only time a user might be shocked is if the stun gun is soaking wet or the trigger is pulled accidentally.
Most personal alarms are electronic or aerosol devices that emit extremely loud, high pitched siren-like sounds. Personal alarms startle and distract an assailant making the attacker fearful of attracting attention. The alarm's loud sound makes the risk of continuing the attack too great for most assailants.
Electronic alarms are typically activated by either pushing a button or pulling a pin out of the unit. They emit a siren-like sound in the 95-130 decibel range. Listening to these alarms for more than a few seconds is extremely uncomfortable. Most electronic alarms are small and can easily be held in the hand or clipped onto a purse or belt.
Residential burglar alarms and other types of home protection products are gaining popularity as the nation's crime rate increases. Several types of security systems are described below:
Infrared Motion Detectors
Developing a Plan of Action
Experts in the field of security and protection all agree that the best way to take charge of your safety is to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Criminals rarely put real thought into assault and other crimes. Almost never is their violence "person specific." They are looking for vulnerability, an "easy mark," someone who is not aware of their surroundings. A well rehearsed plan of action can take you and your family off the target list.
Home Safety Tips
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