If you’re a restaurant owner or have a cooking area within your commercial building, it’s time to become familiar with Class K fire extinguishers. While codes require you to have an automatic kitchen hood fire suppression system, handheld fire extinguishers are also crucial for the safety of your employees and guests. After all, if the fire starts small, a quick response from kitchen personnel can have the fire put out before it does any real damage.
If you need to install or replace Class K fire extinguishers in your Houston-area building – or you’re looking for inspection or refill services – contact Kauffman Co. today!
Class K fires occur when liquid cooking fuels – including animal or vegetable grease, oil or fat –catch fire. Instead of mixing with the grease and allowing it to spread the way water does, or failing to cool the blaze the way dry chemicals do, Class K fire extinguishers use wet chemicals to suppress cooking fires.
Wet chemical Class K fire extinguishers spray a fine mist of potassium citrate, potassium acetate, or potassium carbonate to create a foamy, soapy layer on the cooking fuel. This process, called saponification, retains steam and vapors, absorbing heat from the fire and extinguishing it. Once below a dangerous temperature, the risk of reflashing minimizes.
Only Class K fire extinguishers are compatible with the wet chemical agents now required in all Type I hood-fixed fire suppression systems, such as the ANSUL system. Using a traditional ABC extinguisher or dry chemical agent could inhibit the formation of the foamy layer established by a wet chemical hood system and allow the fire to continue burning.
The extinguishing agents in Class K fire extinguishers conduct electricity, so it’s important to turn off kitchen appliances before spraying them.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has several regulations in place regarding Class K fire extinguishers in commercial kitchens. These include:
Once your kitchen is outfitted with the proper number of extinguishers, it’s important that you know how to use them properly. After all, a fire extinguisher is only as effective as the person operating it.
When you purchase Class K fire extinguishers from Kauffman Co., remember to schedule a training session so your entire staff can get comfortable using them in case of an emergency. It’s this simple skill that could save a life or preserve your facility during a fire!
Ready to schedule your Houston fire extinguisher service? Contact Kauffman Co. today to get started!
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