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Benefits of Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

Posted on: January 16, 2013

For fires involving materials like paper, wood and plastic, dry chemical fire extinguishers are the fastest and easiest way to prevent major disasters. But for fires in the kitchen, dry chemical fire extinguishers can create an unsafe environment and may not be enough to keep flames down. For fires like these, you need a wet chemical fire extinguisher.

Why You Need Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

One of the main reasons cooking oil fires should not be put out with normal dry chemical fire extinguishers is the high temperatures at which they burn. Dry chemical extinguishers won’t reduce the temperature of the oil and can potentially cause a reflash that will either spread the fire out or present a serious risk to the operator.

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are specially designed to deal with cooking oils up to and above 680 F, such as the kinds used in industrial sized catering kitchens, restaurants, etc. – anywhere that uses large deep fat fryers and oils in cooking.

How Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers Work

Wet chemicals contain a specifically formulated extinguishant that reacts with oil to form a soapy substance through a process called saponification. When applied to burning liquids, the saponification process cools and emulsifies, extinguishing the flame and sealing the surface to prevent reignition.

Using a Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher

Remember: if you don’t think you’re capable of extinguishing a fire on your own, don’t put yourself at risk—get out and call the fire department as soon as possible.

As with all special fire extinguishers, you should fully understand how to use a wet chemical fire extinguisher before you take on the responsibility. The main difference between wet chemical fire extinguishers and other extinguishers is the wet chemicals come with a long hose to allow the user to stand well back from the fire. Apply the wet chemical using the extended applicator in slow circular movements, which gives a gentle, yet highly effective application in a fine spray form to the burning fat until the oil changes into a soapy substance.

If you need to install wet chemical fire extinguishers in your Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC restaurant, call Guardian Fire Protection today!

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