In a June 2010 SABRE blog post, this issue is broken down by ingredient: the pepper, the carrier and propellants. There the post also brings up some sprays use the flammable Butane. Their advice: "The best way to avoid products containing Butane are to read the packaging before purchasing, or to go to a trusted defensive spray company."
Back to New Jersey. The state's Attorney General office wrote a letter describing the use of CEDs and OC sprays: "Directive to Prevent Concurrent or Sequential Use of a Flammable Aerosol Spray Device and a Conducted Energy Device."
The letter revises a CED policy with: "A CED shall not be used in any environment where an officer knows or has reason to believe that a potential flammable, volatile or explosive material is present that might be ignited by an open spark, including but not limited to pepper spray with a volatile propellant."
It continues explaining that a small number of departments in the state were still employing a flammable aerosol spray; it was these departments that had to update its equipment with the approval to use CEDs. Addressing this, the document also prohibits an agency's CED use until it certifies their less-lethal sprays are compliant. The officer's from non-compliant agencies must also alert all responding officers as well as the suspect of potentially flammable spray.
OC, gases and CEDs are all key parts to avoid escalating any situation and there may be times where one or the other are preferred. "Both tools are to bring the suspect into custody preventing injury, without either of these tools injury would increase," says Lt. Barone.
Well said lieutenant, well said.