One of the keys to effective use of Pepper Spray is timing. Exactly when you bring a spray to aim at an assailant can be critical to the outcome of a situation. First, make sure the Pepper Spray is readily available and, second, through practice, learn how to use it quickly and accurately. Now, when faced with a potentially threatening situation, it’s only a matter of when you decide to react.
The timing of Pepper Spray use is controlled by three things: prior awareness, the distance involved when the assault actually takes place, and whether or not your movement or physical capabilities are restricted by the assailant.
The first timing factor is prior awareness, which was covered in the last section. An un-anticipated assault will be covered shortly. Just remember, that if you have any forewarning at all, it will probably be very short, and you may have only seconds to react. Under these circumstances, timing is critical! Timing refers to exactly when you un-clip your Pepper Spray and raise it up to spray the assailant.
In situations where you see the assault coming, DON’T pull the spray out immediately to threaten the assailant. To repeat, DO NOT pull your Pepper Spray out until you’re ready to use it! Do not threaten with it! Showing the spray before you shoot tells the assailant what you’re going to do and gives him the opportunity to prepare for and react to it. And what’s worse, he may have his own weapon. Showing him your spray may cause him to brandish his weapon and escalate the situation to a far more dangerous level. Many of today’s criminals carry weapons “just in case.” When you pull out your pepper spray, be ready to use it! The more swift and unexpected your countermeasure, the more successful your defense will be.