Have you ever eaten Japanese food? I know I have and I absolutely love it. Especially sushi and sashimi. It’s such a taste sensation, the fresh fish, the fragrant rice and then that little hit of mustardy hotness from the wasabi horseradish. That’s right, that green paste under the fish is the wasabi. If you have tried it then you know that if you eat too much of it then it goes right up your nose like a bullet and makes your eyes start to water profusely. Fun in itself.
The wasabi root is ground down to produce the pungent food ingredient that is such an integral part of Japanese cuisine.
Well guess what? Some clever scientist over in Japan has taken the ‘smell’ of wasabi as it burns your nose and transformed it into an amazing new product to aid deaf people in the event of a fire. It was while eating some that the light went on in his head and he suddenly thought hey, I have a great idea how this could help deaf people in the event of a fire. A moment of outrageous genius for sure.
Can you guess what invention they came up with? Let me put you out of your misery. They have applied it to a smoke alarm for the deaf. The alarm nevertheless emits a sound and a flashing light as a warning but also emits a spray of wasabi extract into the room.
The spray is a concentrated form of the extract and has a really strong horseradish smell that gets right up your nose and consequently alerts the person present that smoke has been detected by the system. already if you were asleep the smell is so strong and has such an effect in the nose and back of the throat that it will wake you up immediately.
The company behind the product say that it will wake you up within a minute. And it is a well known fact that if you are asleep and a fire breaks out the smoke can kill you very quickly. So quickly infact that most people would not wake up already if their room filled with smoke. This is what kills you in a house fire typically.
The alarm is part of a system so if the fire breaks out in another room all the sensors then release the wasabi spray so no matter where you are you will be alerted to the presence of a fire and can get out of the house quickly and call the emergency sets to come and tackle the blaze.
Unless you are confident and trained in how to extinguish a fire you should always exit the character closest. Never tackle a fire that is out of control. If the fire is small and you have a fire extinguisher to hand you can always put it out, but then should nevertheless call the fire service as a fire can re-ignite at any time. The fire service in your country are experts at tackling fires and as such you should leave it to them.
Never linger to save possessions. Just ensure that you and anyone else in the character gets out as quickly as possible.
The fire brigade in the UK has a saying, if in doubt, get out. Very wise words and something I fully endorse.
Be safe and ensure you have working smoke alarms in your character. Test them weekly to ensure the batteries are in working order. In the UK you can get free smoke alarms from your local fire stop and should freely take advantage of this service as it may save your life one day.