South Africans, women in particular, have begun taking their safety much more seriously in recent months. For a period of time, several places were offering free self-defense classes, free pepper spray and raising awareness for the fight against gender-based violence (GBV), but it seems the cause is now receiving less attention than it was at the height of the #AmINext protests.

Plegium Smart Pepper Spray has now made its way to South Africa, and claims to be one of the best pepper sprays in the world. Many measures have been introduced to ensure the safety of those who feel particularly vulnerable on South Africa’s streets, and this pepper spray not only helps to protect its user, but alerts their loved ones that there is trouble.

Most pepper spray users have found that a jet sprayer is more accurate than its mist counterpart, and this particular spray jets up to three metres ahead of the person using it. A loud siren also sounds when it is used, attracting the attention of bystanders who may be able to help the user.

The pepper spray’s activation is also linked to your cellphone, which will then call or send a text message to selected contacts upon being fired. The battery also lasts for four years and requires no charging.

This is how the Plegium Smart Pepper Spray works:

To fire: slip your thumb under the flip-top lid and press on the centre of the trigger.

To aim: Spray the attacker across the eyes and then concentrate on the nose and mouth.

The spray will shoot from the nozzle, the siren and LEDs will activate and the app will send a location text message and an automatic phone call to your emergency contacts.

To stop firing: release the trigger. The spray will cease but the siren and strobe LEDs will stay active. This pepper spray has been manufactured so that it is not easy for the attacker to switch it off. To deactivate these, use a pointed object such as a paperclip or pen tip to lift the lever marked TEST, located on the side of the unit.

Note: Keep your phone’s Bluetooth on and the Plegium app on in the background. Location text messages and phone calls rely on data coverage. Cellphones must be in close proximity to pepper spray for alerts to be relayed. The pepper spray must not be stored in or exposed to heat above 50°C, for example in a hot car. It should also not be stored or exposed to cold lower than 0°C.

You can purchase one here.

Picture: Smart Pepper Spray

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.