Personal Safety Devices
and Your Safety
Personal Safety Devices typically include things such as pepper spray
and personal alarms, but can also be everyday items that can be used
for self defense. One of my favorite, most effective, legal, Personal Safety Devices is a . . . cell phone! Communications is often a critical component of staying safe.
A Personal Safety Device does not replace proper training, awareness,
and a winning mind-set. Your brain and your body are two of the most
powerful safety devices that you have with you at all times! However,
when used properly, a Personal Safety Device offers greater security and
protection in the face of a dangerous confrontation or violent attack. Personal alarms and other safety items often serve to help you deter or avoid an attack.
I am a huge proponent of pepper spray for both law enforcement (on duty
& off duty) and for civilians. Pepper spray is a great equalizer,
allowing you to respond to and/or keep aggression at a distance. Pepper spray is an effective safety tool for both men and women.
who legally carry a firearm for self defense or
as part of their job often overlook the value of carrying pepper spray. Statistically, the odds of getting into a fistfight (figuratively speaking)
are hundreds, if not thousands, of times greater than getting into a
gunfight. An unarmed person defending themselves during a physical confrontation
only has to be concerned with protecting themselves, even if the fight
turns into a "wrestling" match or goes to the ground. If you are armed, it is
vitally important to have the means to protect yourself during an assault
or physical confrontation, while not putting your concealed weapon at
further risk. It is my opinion that individuals
who carry a gun (deadly force), should also habitually carry a non-lethal force option that can protect
them and their firearm, while maintaining distance from the attacker.
Should You Carry A Personal Safety Device?
Before carrying a Personal Safety Device, ask and answer
the following questions:
- Is it legal?
Research and find out if it is legal to posses and carry where
- Will I carry it all the time?
Choose a device that is practical to carry with you all of the
time. Carrying a safety device requires the same commitment as playing
the same set of numbers every week in the lottery. Once you
start, you better always play, because the one week you don't. . .your
numbers will probably hit! The same goes for the safety device
you decide to carry. The time you will need it, you can't afford to
not have it with you! Don't gamble with your safety.
- Will it be immediately available when I need it?
If it ends up in the bottom of a purse of glove box, it won't
do you much good when you need it. Is the device something that you
will have ready, preferably in hand, if and when you need it? I personally
carry a can of pepper spray with me every time I leave the house.
I have refrained from keeping a can in every jacket and in my vehicle
for "convenience". Rather I carry one can that I place near
my keys, that I have to deliberately grab on my way out. This method ensures
that the can will never be "out of sight...out of mind".
- Do I have confidence in my ability to use it?
Competence leads to confidence. Are you prepared to learn how to use
it and practice with it to become proficient?
- Is it effective?
Understand how the device is supposed to work and how it will
impact the attacker's intent and behavior. Don't fall for over-inflated
claims of effectiveness. Research the product for yourself
to learn it's effectiveness.
- Could it be taken away and used on me?
This is a valid concern that needs to be addressed before you
begin carrying a safety device. Are you prepared to use the device
aggressively on an assailant to protect yourself? Don't think you
can "bluff" your way out of a situation with a device. Be
ready, be confident, and don't hesitate to use it with conviction
to protect you or your family.
- Am I physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to use it?
You must prepare physically by practicing and rehearsing the skills
and techniques associated with using the device. You must also prepare
mentally by knowing how and when to use it and the situations that
would make it's use legal and appropriate. As I always say... If you
are habitually prepared to defend and protect yourself, you will probably
never have to!