How Do I Extinguish a Class F Fire?

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Class F FireAll fires are potentially dangerous, but not all can be dealt with in the same way! Water based fire extinguishers for instance, must not be used to put out Class F fires. These are fires often seen in kitchen environments as they involve the ignition of cooking oil and fats. The first instinct of many people on discovering a fire, is to try and extinguish it by throwing water at it. This is extremely hazardous with Class F fires, and can cause the fire to spread, or even create an explosion. You may think that any fire extinguisher will work, this is also a mistake, as these fires need a particular type of extinguisher. Extinguishers that use water, CO2 or powder should never be used on this type of fire.

Unlike flammable liquid/petrol fires, Class F fires are characterised by needing excessively high flash point and ignition temperatures in excess of 340°C to ignite. This difference is the reason for them having their own separate category. These fires can be avoided most of the time, and are usually caused by carelessness or negligence. Pans left unattended, oil or fat spills not being cleaned up, or not changing deep fat fryer oil.

Dealing effectively with these fires can be difficult, as their temperature has to be reduced to below the flash point. This is why a wet chemical fire extinguisher is needed, which contains potassium salts to cool the flames and cut off the oxygen source. These fires can be dangerous and devastating to people and surroundings, so their risk should be avoided at all cost. Kitchen managers, particularly in places like schools, hospitals, care homes, hotels and restaurants are legally obliged to remove and reduce any risk of these fires. Risk assessments, proper cleaning and safe practices must be in place, along with fire alarm systems and appropriate fire extinguishers.

 

 

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