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Self defense spray can be useful if you feel like you need regular protection available for any threatening situation. Your best bet to learn how to use something like pepper spray is to get training from a qualified instructor. Also, in order for it to work effectively, always carry it on you and have it in hand when you are walking in the dark or by yourself. Storing pepper spray at home will not help you if you are attacked somewhere else. However, do keep it in a location where children can not access it. Remember that pepper spray is a self defense weapon. It should be treated with care and only used in a situation where you feel threatened. If you feel you are in danger of bodily harm you can pull your spray. Every altercation is different and all situations are judged by the totality of the circumstances for that occurrence.
It's important to note that some cans of pepper spray last 5 years and other cans only last a year or two.