How Do Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers Work?
In general, fire extinguishers’ function is to remove at least one of three key aspects required for a fire to exist and get worse.
Wet chemical fire extinguishers contain a very specific potassium acetate agent with a low PH. This agent was specifically developed for restaurant kitchens to improve safety. The potassium solution lowers the temperature of the fire, effectively stopping it from spreading across the flammable area.
This type of extinguisher works by spraying out potassium in a mist form that creates a reaction with the oils and fats in the class F fire. The potassium mist creates a soapy solution on the surface of the fire which then smothers the flames, cools the temperature down, and eventually extinguishes the fire.
When Should You Use A Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher?
This type of fire extinguisher is only recommended for use on class A and class F fires. They are highly recommended for use in commercial kitchens, as that is what they were originally designed for.
Wet chemical fire extinguishers are the sole type of extinguisher suitable for use on fires involving fats and cooking oils, as potassium is the only known substance able to react with this type of fire effectively.
It is also recommended that commercial kitchens have additional extinguishers on hand, in particular, the foam extinguisher and the carbon dioxide extinguisher. These are recommended in case of any other class of fire taking place in the kitchen.
How To Use A Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
Like any other fire extinguisher, the wet chemical fire extinguisher is to be used through the utilisation of the “PASS” method.
The PASS method goes as follows: 1. “P” for pulling the pin, 2. “A” aim at the fire, 3. “S” squeeze the handle, and 4. “S” sweep the nozzle from side to side.
If you know the PASS method, you know how to use any type of fire extinguisher, including the wet chemical extinguisher. It’s easy to memorize and a perfect addition to your fire safety toolbox.
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers FAQs
Q: What are some advantages of the wet chemical fire extinguisher?
The wet chemical fire extinguisher is great for fast fire control in the case of class F fires. It leaves a foam-like barrier between you and the fire, which in turn makes it more difficult for the fire to reignite.
In addition, the low pressure contained in this type of fire extinguisher reduces the risk of hot oils and fats spraying everywhere, including on your person. This not only prevents injury but also reduces the probability of the fire being able to spread even more.
Lastly, wet chemical fire extinguishers provide for easy cleanup once the fire is controlled.
Q: What are some disadvantages of the wet chemical fire extinguisher?
The solution contained in a wet chemical fire extinguisher is alkaline, which makes it more likely for it to corrode certain metals. Aluminium is one of these.
The eyes and skin can get irritated when the wet chemical fire extinguisher is used. This is why it’s so important to clean up quickly after the fire is controlled. Also, wet chemical fire extinguishers should never be used on electrical fires, due to the high risk of fires getting worse.