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REALTOR Safety: Comparing Pepper Spray Delivery Technologies

October 26 2016

safety scary shadowed faceOpen houses, vacant homes, unsecured properties, and remote locations are common meeting places for real estate agents. But, meeting strangers in strange places makes agents vulnerable to potential violent attacks. In fact, according to a recent report, 39 percent of agents—both male and female—have experienced a situation that made them fearful while working.

Many agents choose pepper spray as a self-defense solution. But, choosing the right pepper spray is crucial—it could save your life. It's important to understand how the different spray delivery technologies work in various situations and environments to select the right one for personal safety.

The newest and most versatile pepper spray technology available is gel, a glue-like substance that sticks to an attacker's face. Because the gel delivers in a stream pattern and does not convey airborne particles, there is very low risk of an agent accidentally contaminating unintended targets as a result of outdoor weather conditions.

In addition, gel is also effective in indoor environments or in close quarters. A home defense model can deliver pepper spray from up to 30 feet away and the keychain style offers a range of up to 12 feet, providing one of the longest ranges of all the personal-sized pepper spray technologies. As of yet, SABRE is the only company to offer police-strength gel in keychain sizes--the most convenient size for agents to carry discreetly.

Most Realtors, however, may be more familiar with pepper spray delivery solutions that fire out of the canister in a cone pattern, similar to hair spray. These can convey a cloud of mist up to eight feet away, which is useful because it doesn't require particularly accurate aim. Cone delivered pepper spray is a good personal safety solution when meeting clients alone indoors because it maximizes facial coverage in close encounters. But caution should be used in windy outdoor conditions, as the aerosol could contaminate more than just the would-be attacker.

Foam delivery technology is fitting for self-defense in both indoor and outdoor environments by shooting six to 10 feet and coating an assailant's face with a substance similar to shaving cream. The thick consistency is not easily affected by wind blowback, reducing the potential for cross-contamination of innocent people outdoors. However, it is the slowest to take effect on the skin and eyes, potentially giving an attacker additional time and energy to persist.

For effectively stopping a threat outdoors, even in blustery conditions, liquid pepper spray technology fires in a high-powered stream pattern akin to a squirt gun. Upon contact, the liquid causes involuntary eye closure so an attacker cannot see to continue their pursuit. It can deliver pepper spray up to 12 feet away and provides protection against multiple threats. For instance, the SABRE keychain-style canister offers 25 bursts--up to five times more than other brands.

In order to be certain of having the best spray technology at the right time, agents should either own multiple products to suit their various work environments or invest in an all-around technology like gel.