Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

 In Fire Extinguishers, Fire Safety, News

There’s a fire in the kitchen from burning grease!  How are you going to put it out?  You grab a fire extinguisher but is it suitable for putting out grease and oil fires?  Wet chemical fire extinguishers are designed for putting out fires caused by burning fat, oil and grease commonly found in commercial kitchens.  Using a water extinguisher can cause grease to splatter and erupt creating a larger fire.  Dry agent fire extinguishers can spread the burning grease around and CO2 extinguishers can cause an explosion.

How Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers Work

Wet chemical fire extinguishers contain a solution of potassium which puts the fire out in two ways:

  1. Potassium salts are sprayed out as a fine mist which cools the fire and prevents splashing of the hot grease/oil.
  2. The potassium salts react with the hot grease/oil creating a soapy foam that is non-combustible and forms a barrier that smothers the fire.

How to Use a Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher

  1. If it can be done safely, turn off the source of heat.
  2. Stand away from the fire and remove the safety pin to break the anti-tamper seal.
  3. Hold the extended applicator at arm’s length well above the fire, with the nozzle at least three feet away from the flames.
  4. To allow the foam to settle on the surface of the fire, spray gently in slow, circular movements.
  5. Use the entire contents of the extinguisher to prevent the fire from re-igniting. Make sure that the area is well ventilated because toxic fumes can be produced.

Due to their high auto-ignition temperatures, cooking oil fires are extremely difficult to extinguish. Consequently, conventional extinguishers are not generally effective for cooking oil fires because they do not cool the oil sufficiently and may cause flash back to occur, placing the operator at risk.  It is highly recommended that school, restaurant and hotel kitchens have a wet chemical extinguisher on hand in case of a fire started by burning oil.  Contact Fire Control Systems to install, inspect, or refill your wet chemical fire extinguisher today!

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