Understanding wet chemical fire extinguisher uses may prompt you to realise that you need one in your home or work environment. One question we get asked a lot is, “How does a wet chemical fire extinguisher work?” The answer is two-fold that will be elaborated on below.
What is a ‘Class F’ Fire?
It’s important to understand what class of fire this type of extinguisher combats. Wet chemical extinguishers are used for cooking oil fires, or more specifically deep fat fryer fires.
This type of fire is different from other categories because water, foam, powder and even CO2 extinguishers will actually aggravate an oil fire rather than extinguish it.
The consistency of hot oil actually causes the substance to burst and sizzle when it comes into contact with most other substances. Cooking oil, therefore, has its own fire class, classified as Class F.
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.
First Feature – A Safe Distance Extinguisher
The first feature that distinguishes itself from other fire extinguishers is that the hose, on the larger models, has a long pipe attached.
This serves to keep the person far enough away from the burning oil and fire. As we’ve already stated, burning oil has a tendency to pop or burst.
If any of this hot liquid lands anywhere near your face, hands, or clothes it will cause a significant amount of damage. This safety feature assists in providing one of the most helpful wet chemical fire extinguisher uses.
Second Feature – Contents of a Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
The most important aspect of these fire extinguishers is what’s on the inside. So how does a wet chemical fire extinguisher work?
The contents react differently on hot oil than other extinguishers. Instead of covering the burning oil and aggravating it to pop or smoke, the wet chemical extinguisher discharges a layer of a soap like substance. This is designed to form a barrier that prevents the fire from spreading and cool the oil.
Places You Can Use a Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
Wet chemical fire extinguisher uses span across these main locations:
- Restaurant kitchens: The most common place where oil fires occur is in restaurants. The fast and stressful pace at which cooks push food out can easily result in neglect and eventual fire.
- Hotel kitchens: A number of hotel fires start in the kitchen and have the capacity to spread all over. One of the most common wet chemical fire extinguisher uses is definitely in hotel kitchens to prevent this from happening.