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A close-up of a fire extinguisher gauge

Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

What types of fire should a Wet Chemical extinguisher be used on?

  • Wet Chemical fire extinguishers are primarily for use on Class F fires, involving fats and cooking oils. 

  • In addition, they can be used on Class A fires such as on wood, paper and fabrics.

When not to use a Wet Chemical extinguisher

Class B fires

Wet Chemical fire extinguishers should not be used on Class B fire involving flammable liquids unless specifically stated on the extinguisher.

Class C fires

Class C fires involving gases or Electrical fires.

How to recognise a Wet Chemical extinguisher

A collection of water, powder and CO2 fire extinguishers

Wet Chemical fire extinguishers are red in colour with a yellow coloured label reading ‘Wet Chemical’ along with instructions for use. In addition to this, you should find an identification sign above the extinguisher with the categories of fire that it can/can’t be used on.

What are the common Wet Chemical extinguisher sizes available?

Wet Chemical extinguishers come in 2 litre, 3 litre and 6 litre sizes. Consideration must be given to the weight and capacity of each size option and the size of area it is designed to protect.

How do Wet Chemical extinguishers work?

Wet Chemical extinguishers typically consist of a pressurised potassium based solution. The contents are gently expelled towards the burning oil in order to avoid any spatter or spreading of the fire.

When contact is made with the burning oils, the contents of the Wet Chemical extinguisher form a soapy film on the surface, cooling the oil and starving the fire of oxygen, which reduces the chances of reignition.

 Which environments require Wet Chemical extinguishers?

Typically, you will find Wet Chemical extinguishers in commercial kitchens which engage in deep or shallow frying.

How to use a Wet Chemical extinguisher:

  1. Ensure the fire is small and contained and that it is safe to approach the fire without risking your safety.

  2. At a safe distance away, remove the metal safety pin to break the plastic tamper seal. Turn off the power or gas if possible.

  3. Hold the handle with one hand and the lance with the other, well above the fire and a minimum of 3 feet away.

  4. Squeeze the handle to propel the contents of the extinguisher towards the source of the flames.

  5. Use a sweeping motion to move the jet from side to side until the fire is extinguished.

  6. Once the fire is extinguished, ventilate the area and call your fire protection company to service the extinguisher.

To learn more about fire and how to use fire extinguishers, there is online learning available here.

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