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OC Spray, What Every Security Officer Should Know

Security officers could be exposed to OC spray during their careers. Officers need to learn techniques that will make the spray most effective against assailants. They also need to know about their responsibilities concerning the use of OC spray and how to reduce the pain and speed up the recovery of an exposed person. Officers may even experience being sprayed as a part of their training.

OC, oleoresin capsicum, refers to chili peppers, including the very hot cayenne and jalapeno peppers. All contain a very powerful substance called capsaicin. OC spray contains a small amount of the super hot pepper extract capsaicin suspended in an oily vegetable resin. Alcohol or another gas is used as a propellant.

OC pepper spray has a high percentage of effectiveness in subduing a non-compliant person, but it is important to understand what OC spray can and cannot do. Security officers can learn techniques that make the spray the most effective.

OC spray is not infallible; it does not stop all people. Also, some subjects take longer to feel the effects. An attacker can still grab, strike, or cause other physical damage to you after being sprayed.

It is important to use OC spray responsibly. As in all other use-of-force instruments, the liability factor can never be eliminated, only minimized. Training policies and documentation are critical to keep that to a minimum.

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