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Can You Store Pepper Spray in a Car? | What You Should Know

Every year crimes take place at rest stops and gas stations. Plus, breaking down on the side of a freeway or road leaves you exposed to danger. So, can you store pepper spray in your car?

Pepper spray can be stored in a car as long as it stays in a dry environment within the right temperature range. This is usually somewhere between -5 degrees and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Just make sure it is easily accessible but kept out of the reach of children.

Let’s take a look at how you can store pepper spray in your car so that you can stay safe every time you hit the road.

Glove Box Car

Traveling with Pepper Spray

If you’re wondering how you can safely go with pepper spray in your car, then you’ve come to the right place.

It’s an excellent idea to travel with pepper spray in your car as long as you know how to store the pepper spray properly. You can use pepper spray on the road to keep yourself safe in case you break down or you wind up in a circumstance where you might become the victim of a crime.

If you are traveling through a larger city, having pepper spray for self-defense is an excellent idea. Criminals can often distinguish tourists from the rest of the crowd and generally target tourists because tourists tend to carry large amounts of cash on them. Also, if you are going, you’ll be out of your element, making you even more accessible for a criminal to focus on.

Let’s discuss how you can adequately save and travel with pepper spray below.

Storing Pepper Spray

Proper storage is key because of the following:

  • If you don’t store your pepper spray properly, the ingredients may break down, and the item might not work when you need it. If that’s the case, you’ll wind up being left without a weapon when you are in danger.
  • Also, improper storage can lead to inconvenient and uncomfortable symptoms. If your pepper spray leaks, it can get into the air inside your car and cause an unpleasant experience.
  • Even worse, your canister of pepper spray could even explode in some situations.

To properly store pepper spray, you should keep your product in a cool, dry environment. The temperature you should be under 120 degrees Fahrenheit and above -5 degrees Fahrenheit. If you store pepper spray at a temperature lower than that, the ingredients might form a gel and not work.

While you can safely store pepper spray in your car, much of that could depend on where you live. That means it will be easier for some people than others. If you live in a climate where it might be challenging to store pepper spray in your car, then you should keep it in your purse or pocket.

No matter where you store it, make sure you put it in a Ziploc bag in case it leaks.

Can You Store Pepper Spray In Your Car or Glove Compartment?

If you plan on storing pepper spray in your car, then know that storing it is very different from storing it at home. You’ll need to worry about temperature fluctuation, which can vary depending on where you live. Temperature is the primary cause of pepper spray exploding in cars.

There are different thresholds that each pepper spray can have depending on the climate with which a person lives. Some brands of pepper spray have better limits than others. Knowing that you can purchase a pepper spray product based on the brand that works best when stored in a car where you live.

One such pepper spray product that offers a more massive temperature storage range is Kimber. With Kimber’s products, you can store their pepper spray at a temperature range of -4F to 176F, meaning if you live in a scorching climate, you’ll still get use out of this product if you keep it in your car.

If you are going to store pepper spray in your car, make sure you put it in a plastic bag in case of leakage. Also, you should place the pepper spray in the glove compartment because it will stay colder and away from direct sunlight. Keeping pepper spray in the glove department and out of the sun will help reduce pressure accumulation in the canister, meaning it’s less likely your pepper spray will explode from the heat.

How to Store Pepper Spray Safely in a Car

Pepper spray needs to be handled and stored properly in order to operate properly and avoid unpleasant issues like leakages and explosions. These issues are often mitigated by choosing proper storage locations and controlling the temperature and exposure to sunlight.

Where Should Pepper Spray Be Stored in the Car?

  • Glove Compartment – the glove department is an ideal location to store pepper spray because the temperature will be naturally cooler and out of direct sunlight while being easily reached.
  • Under Your Seat – keeping your pepper spray under your seat will keep it out of direct sunlight and accessible.
  • In the Console – storage in the console will keep your pepper spray easily accessible and out of direct sunlight but can sometimes heat up beyond temperature tolerance in the wrong hot climate.

How to Properly Store the Pepper Spray

It is important to make sure that there are impermeable layers between the pepper spray and the air in the cabin of your car. The simplest barrier you can implement is a simple sealed plastic bag like a Ziploc bag. This will protect you in case of leakage or explosion of the pepper spray due to temperature extremes or direct sunlight.

Quick Tips for Safe Handling and Storage

  • Keep Away from Kids and Pets Store pepper spray far away from where your children or pets sit to mitigate the risk of exposure or improper access to it.
  • Expiration Date – Keeping track of the expiration date will make sure that the spray will be effective when it matters most.
  • Use a Windscreen Cover – If you live in a hot climate, use a windscreen cover to reduce the interior temperature of the vehicle to mitigate temperature and sunlight exposure concerns.
  • Cover the Pepper Spray – If controlling the car environment is not an option, you can insulate the can by covering it with foil to keep it out of the sun and keep the temperature of the can lower than the interior of the vehicle. You can also use a mini thermal pocket bag to protect the can.

With proper handling and storage, pepper spray and be safely kept in your car for emergency situations.

What Should You Do If Your Pepper Spray Exploded in Your Car?

While unlikely, pepper spray leakages and explosions do occur, properly reacting to the situation will make the incident less dangerous and more of a simple inconvenience.

Hopefully, you’ve put your pepper spray in a plastic bag to save yourself a headache. You can imagine how bad of an experience it can be to have it blow in the car when you are stuck on the freeway.

If your pepper spray canister does explode in the car, stay calm and pull over, and evacuate the vehicle. You’ll need to make sure you pull over and get yourself, any pets, and any family members out of the car safely as soon as possible.

Pepper spray attacks our senses, so you’ll start feeling disoriented and feel the pepper spray as you breathe. People often panic when they experience the feeling because they can’t see, or breathe well, and feel an intense burning on their skin.

If pepper spray leaks out while you aren’t in your car, then consider yourself lucky. All you’ll need to do if that happens is to ventilate your car and do a routine clean-up. Compared to being in the vehicle during an explosion, this experience will feel like nothing.

Alternatives To Storing Pepper Spray in Your Car

If you are still unsure about storing pepper spray in your car but you still want to carry something around for your protection, then you do have other alternatives. Below I’ve listed some other options you could travel with besides pepper spray. I included Amazon links to recommended products for your convenience.

However, if you want to store it in your car, you might want to purchase a smaller, keychain style of pepper spray. That way, it won’t sit all day in the hot car, and you’ll always have the pepper spray on your person if it’s on your keychain. You’ll be protected when you enter the car or lock it up this way, too. 

If you purchase a keychain style of pepper spray (Amazon Link), you’ll be safe if you are ever attacked when entering or exiting your car. You’ll already have the pepper spray in your hand when you run into a problem, providing optimal self-defense. 

Related 5 Legal Alternatives to Pepper Spray.

How Can You Hide Pepper Spray in Your Car?

Your car can house all different types of people depending on who you spend your time daily. You’ll probably wind up carting around friends, family, co-workers, and all kinds of different situations. Since you don’t want pepper spray just laying around in your car for safety reasons, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got it somewhere where it is out of sight and concealed. 

You don’t want to scare your potential car passengers, but you also don’t want everybody to know you’ve got a can of pepper spray on you in case they are planning to attack you. So, what are some ways you can make your pepper spray less noticeable? 

Here are a few ideas for concealing pepper spray in your car:

  • Mount it under the seat – If you have a large canister of pepper spray, then you might want to get a mount or holster for under the seat or simply tape it to the underside of the seat.
  • Driver’s side door panel – storing the canister in your driver’s side door is an option in many vehicles. It’ll be accessible and semi-hidden from view.
  • Just use keychain-style pepper spray – For a well-disguised option. 

Crossing State Lines with Self-Defense Product in Your Vehicle

Some people worry about the legality of traveling with pepper spray on a long road trip, especially if they are crossing state lines. However, there is good news here. All you need to do is check to see if the states you are passing through have any restrictions on your specific type of pepper spray. Some states require that you be over eighteen or have a driver’s license to carry the stuff in their state.

If you don’t have a license, carrying pepper spray could be a problem. Another factor to look into is the size and amount that each state will allow you to take.

However, for the most part, most states only have age restrictions on pepper spray. Many states require that you be eighteen years or older to carry it in your car.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for some safety and protection while you are on the road, then you’re probably considering carrying some pepper spray along with you in your car. Keeping it in your vehicle and thoughtfully storing it gives you a way to protect yourself if you break down on the road or travel through areas with which you aren’t familiar or that are known to be unsafe. 

If you aren’t sure about storing pepper spray in your car, you can consider purchasing a keychain version so that you carry around the pepper spray with you on your keys. That way, you’ll always have pepper spray with you, even when you are entering and exiting your car.

Related Questions

How often should you replace your pepper spray? A good rule of thumb is to check the expiration dates on the canisters at least once a year.

How long does it take for pepper spray to wear off? The full effects of the spray last between 20 and 90 minutes. Irritation can last up to 24 hours.

What is the maximum effective range of pepper spray? Range varies based on the specifics of the canister, but typically maximum range is approximately 10 ft.

For more, don’t miss How Much Does a Taser Cost? (With 5 Examples).