The Wet chemical fire extinguisher – a simple guide

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are one of the less well-known extinguisher types.

We explain all in our simple guide.

fire extinguisher colours wet chemical fire RFC Fire And Security Systems Development Site

Summary:
The wet chemical fire extinguisher is the only fire  extinguisher recommended for use with cooking oil fires and are essential safety kit for professional kitchens in Ireland.

Also known as:

  • ‘Class F’ fire extinguishers
  • ‘Class ABF’ fire extinguishers – some versions only

The wet chemical fire extinguisher uses:

  • The fires that involve cooking oils /fats, such as lard, olive oil, butter and vegetable oil (‘class F’ fires)
  • The Fires that involve flammable solids, such as paper, wood, and textiles (‘class A’ fires)

Some wet chemical fire extinguishers are also cleared for use on class B fires – the fires that involve flammable liquids, such as petrol, diesel, and paint. Check the label and ask your fire safety expert  before using wet chemical extinguishers on any type of fire.

Do not use the wet chemical fire extinguisher for:

  • The Fires that involves flammable liquids (‘class B’ fires) UNLESS they are specifically cleared for this use
  • Class C Fires : that involve flammable gases, such as methane and butane
  • Electrical fires

How to identify the wet chemical fire extinguisher:

  • YELLOW coloured label stating ‘Wet Chemical’
  • Has a longer than usual hose with a ‘lance’ attachment
  • Should be identified by an extinguisher ID sign fixed nearby – ‘Wet Chemical fire  Extinguisher’

Sizes of the wet chemical fire extinguisher available:

  • 2 litre
  • 3 litre
  • 6 litre

How the wet chemical extinguisher work's:

The ‘chemical’ element of the wet chemical fire extinguisher is potassium.

Potassium salts are sprayed out as a fine mist (gently, so as not to spread the burning oil or fat), and these react to create a soapy film on the surface of the substance on the fire.

This smothers the fire, with the added benefit that the mist also creates a cooling effect on the fire.

The Pros and the Cons of the wet chemical fire extinguisher:
Pros: It is only fire extinguisher that is suitable for use with cooking fat and oil fires.

Cons: They can produce toxic fumes areas should be ventilated if a wet chemical extinguisher has been used.

Who needs wet chemical fire extinguishers?:

Any premises/business with a professional kitchen or deep fat fryer should have a wet chemical fire extinguisher:

  • Restaurants
  • Fish and chip shops
  • Cafe’s
  • Hotel kitchens

These types of business would also need the ‘standard pair’ of a foam extinguisher and a CO2 extinguisher, so that ALL fire risks are covered.

Read more about the different types of fire extinguisher.

Learn what the different extinguisher colours signify.

If you think you need dry powder fire extinguishers, or you’re not exactly sure what you need, please get in touch with our friendly team by calling +353 (0)1 839 5116

How to use the wet chemical fire extinguisher:

foam fire extinguisher how to remove safety pin RFC Fire And Security Systems Development Site
Removing a safety pin

The Wet chemical fire extinguisher need’s to be used very carefully, to avoid splashing burning fat or oil onto surrounding areas.

Using the fire extinguisher:

  • First remove the safety pin to break the anti-tamper seal and always stand well back from the fire
  • Always turn off the source of the heat if is  safe to do so – e.g. a chip pan or stove
  • Hold the lance at arm’s length well above the fire, with the nozzle at least 1 metre away from the flames
  • Spray gently in slow, circular movements, allowing the foam from the fire extinguisher to settle on the surface of the fire.
  • Use the entire contents of the wet chemical fire extinguisher to prevent the fire re-igniting

All of our extinguishers come with a guarantee, and we fit and commission them for you.

Contact us today for a free site survey. +353 (0)1 839 5116

So if you are interested in your home security,  business security, fire/intruder alarms, safety systems, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, access control, CCTV systems maintenance contracts serviced by a one stop solution service provider, with one point of contact, one invoice, get in touch now.

Get in touch with us today and one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members will discuss your project and outline how we can help secure your business premises or home.