Everything You Need to Know About Class K Fires

March 7, 2020 12:48 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There is a classification system for fires that determines how you extinguish them. Depending on what feeds them, different extinguisher mixes are needed to ensure you can put out a fire rather than make it worse or risk emitting toxic fumes. Class K fire extinguishers are what you need in your kitchen in Longview, TX. Here is what to know about them to keep your premises safe.

What are Class K fires?

Class K fires arise from flammable liquids used for cooking, like vegetable and animal fat-based oils and greases. They are one of the more dangerous fires to combat, and they are common in commercial kitchens. If you are an avid cook in your home, they are likely a hazard in your residential kitchen too.

When Class K elements reach a high temperature, which is often inevitable with cooking, they ignite easily and the fire spreads. This hazard exists in all commercial cooking sites, including food trucks and bakeries. Since these are often crowded places with constant foot traffic, the fire poses a risk to customers as well as workers. That’s why it’s important to extinguish them correctly.

How do you extinguish them?

Before using an extinguisher, first discharge the hood suppression system. This will cut off power and gas to anything under the hood and reduce the hazard. That makes extinguishing efforts more effective and reduces the chance of the fire reigniting.

You also need to use a Class K fire extinguisher. While kitchen fires in Longview, TX involve liquids, other types of extinguishers will not suffice. A Class B extinguisher is designed for petroleum and gas, but it does not have the capacity to suppress the high temperatures in cooking oils. You also never want to use water. Oil does not absorb into water, so throwing water on a kitchen fire will spread it. Never use water on any type of grease fire.

Effective Class K extinguishers are wet chemical fire extinguishers—these are the only Class K extinguishers that work. They discharge a wet mist containing an alkaline mixture that creates a foam blanket over the flaming oil. It will successfully suppress the fire and keep it from reigniting.

These types are a newer development. If you have not replaced your extinguisher for a while, there is a chance that it’s outdated and does not have the wet chemical system. It’s best that you upgrade because the mixture is specifically designed to address vegetable oils, which have a higher auto-ignition rate than other fats. If you have a newer efficiency fryer, which ignite easier, you most definitely need to make sure you have a new wet chemical Class K extinguisher.

Since Class K fire extinguishers are the only ones that will work in your commercial kitchen in Longview, TX, it is important to ensure this is what you have available in the event that the worst-case scenario occurs. Anchor Safety Inc. can help you determine your fire suppression needs. Contact us today to see how we can make your home or business safer.

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