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How do I test my pepper spray? You should get in the habit of testing your defense spray every six months. To do this first go outside and determine which direction the wind is blowing. Remember to always stand upwind from the direction you are spraying. Depress the firing mechanism for ½ second. This test should be performed upon purchase and every six months after that. Be aware that every time you test your spray you reduce the contents of the canister. If you are using a pepper spray key chain model and you test regularly you will need to replace the unit every 18 to 24 months if you follow the recommended testing procedure above.