Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
The category of Class F fire was specially created to cover fires involving cooking oils and fats. Wet chemical fire extinguishers are the only extinguishers you should use on a Class F fire.
Oils and fats burn at extremely high temperatures, above 340 degrees C, and most normal extinguishers would be dangerous to use as they could cause this hot fat to spit and splash over the fire extinguisher user.
How Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers Work
Wet chemical fire extinguishers contain chemical additives that react on contact with hot oil to create a type of soap. This reaction, called saponification, coats the oil in a thick layer of soapy foam that smothers the flame. Since saponification is endothermic, meaning the process absorbs heat, the reaction also cools the oil at the same time.
All catering staff should be trained in the proper use of a wet chemical fire extinguisher. Anyone using a wet chemical extinguisher should stand well back fro the burning fat, and gently apply the liquid to the surface of the oil using the special long lance. This lance is non-conductive, so accidental splashes from the extinguisher onto electrical equipment will not harm the extinguisher user.
The 6 litre wet chemical extinguisher from Essential Fire Safety is sufficient to tackle a 75 litre vat of oil, and its high quality stainless steel construction ensures it will not corrode even in the steamiest of kitchens!