If you’ve watched the YouTube videos, you probably have a good idea why pepper spray goes by the nickname “Liquid Hell.” And chances are that watching on YouTube is as close as you ever want to get to it.
For decades, law enforcement agencies have used this potent combination of plant extract, liquid and aerosol propellant as a non-lethal deterrent. Some civilians also carry it — and occasionally use it — for self-defense or home security.
Pepper spray cannister with pistol grip
Homeowners interested in adding another layer of protection may consider augmenting their professional security monitoring with secondary measures. Before you incorporate pepper spray into your home security plan, however, you should familiarize yourself with the ins and outs and pros and cons.
What it is and how it works
The active ingredient in pepper spray, oleoresin capsicum (OC), is an inflammatory agent derived from the chemical that makes chili peppers taste hot. The difference is that OC contains higher concentrations of this chemical than even the hottest pepper.
Pepper spray has quick and debilitating effects on the eyes, skin, nose and throat. The eyelids involuntarily squeeze shut and the capillaries of the eyes become dilated, causing impaired vision. Breathing becomes difficult as the spray irritates the mucous membranes. Contact with skin creates an intense burning sensation.
Depending on the circumstances, the effects of pepper spray can last several minutes or a few hours.
Some of the pros and cons
Advantages of pepper spray for home security include:
- It’s inexpensive and generally easy to obtain
- It doesn’t require extensive training
- It incapacitates without using deadly force
Drawbacks of pepper spray for home security include:
- Trigger locks can be tricky to disengage
- You’ll need to be a safe distance away from the target (8 feet or more)
- It has a shelf life and loses its effectiveness after a few years
Should you consider pepper spray?
It’s up to you to evaluate the pros and cons of pepper spray thoroughly. After, all no home security plan is completely foolproof. Each one comes with various risks and rewards.
To get the expert opinion of someone who’s been trained and certified to use pepper spray, talk to an officer from your local police department.
Above all else, the decision of whether to use Liquid Hell for home security should be an informed one.