What Is The Right Fire Extinguisher For Commercial Kitchens?

What Type Of Fire Extinguisher Do I Need For A Commercial Kitchen

If you are here, you are more likely familiar with the Class ABE fire extinguishers because they’re the most common type of fire extinguisher. Indeed, a Class ABE fire extinguisher is ideal for both residential and commercial buildings because they are versatile and effective in extinguishing various types of fires.

However, if you are dealing with fires in commercial kitchens, a Class F fire extinguisher should be used to put out the fire instead of the regular Class ABE fire extinguishers.

Read on to know:

  • Why you should not use Class ABE fire extinguishers for cooking fires.
  • How do you differentiate between Class ABE and Class F fire extinguishers?
  • Why contact Spectrum Fire Protection for the Safety of your Commercial Kitchen?

Why you should not use Class ABE fire extinguishers for cooking fires

A Class ABE fire extinguisher uses dry chemicals and is suitable for fighting various types of fire, such as:

Class A Fires: Combustible materials like Wood, Trash, Plastics, Cloth, and Paper.

Class B Fires: Flammable liquids like Oil, Clothes, Gasoline, and Acetone.

Class E Fires: Energised electrical fires.

However, class ABE fire extinguishers are not ideal for fires originating from the use of cooking ingredients (vegetable or animal oils and fats) in kitchen appliances. Instead, use Class F fire extinguishers because they are exclusively designed for this purpose.

Here’s one downside of using Class ABE extinguishers on commercial cooking fires: 

ABE fire extinguishers don’t have the ability to cool down the temperature of the cooking fats and oils after putting out the fire. 

Hence, because very hot kitchen greases and oils are highly inflammable, the fire can be rekindled. In other words, Class ABE fire extinguishers will only give a temporary result in smothering cooking fires.

How Do You Differentiate Between Class ABE And Class F Fire Extinguishers?

The first difference between the two fire extinguishers is their colour. While the ABE fire extinguishers are usually red with a white band, the Class F fire extinguishers have an oatmeal-coloured band towards the top of the cylinder.

Also, even though both are chemical-based fire extinguishers, they differ in content. While the Class ABE fire extinguishers are filled with dry chemicals, such as ammonium sulfate and monoammonium phosphate, Class F fire extinguishers contain water mixed with an alkaline solution, also known as wet chemical.

Furthermore, the way each puts off the fire is distinct. The Class ABE fire extinguishers work by spraying powders of sodium bicarbonate, monoammonium phosphate, and ammonium sulfate over the fire; these solids coat the source of oxygen and smother the fire.

The Class F fire extinguishers work by creating a foamy, soapy layer made by the spray of potassium citrate, potassium acetate, or potassium carbonate over the cooking oil. This method, called saponification, holds in the steam and vapour, thereby blocking the oxygen from the fire and extinguishing it. Apart from extinguishing the fire, it also helps in preventing the re-ignition of the fire.

In addition to equipping all commercial kitchens with Class F fire extinguishers, they must also be placed appropriately within 9 meters of the cooking area.

Being multipurpose fire extinguishers, Class ABE fire extinguishers should be easily accessible by placing them in easy-to-grab spots in a building. Also, a fire extinguisher sign should be mounted near each fire extinguisher so that employees, as well as visitors, will be aware of its location.

All fire extinguishers require maintenance and servicing every 12 months by a professional fire extinguisher technician. Also, they should be inspected more frequently if installed in locations more likely to rust or be tampered with.

Always remember that water should never be used in the case of kitchen fires because it evaporates suddenly and will drag small drops of the burning oil, producing a large flame and causing the fire to spread. And this could lead to severe burns.

Why Contact Spectrum Fire Protection For The Safety Of Your Commercial Kitchen?

Fire accidents are usually more serious in commercial kitchens than in homes. It is, therefore, necessary to have adequate fire extinguishers to protect your employees and your kitchen.

A random person may not know as much as you know about food recipes because that’s not their field. In the same way, you most likely don’t know about fire protection in commercial kitchens because you’re not trained in that line.

Hence, receiving specialised advice is the best alternative to guarantee the correct installation of fire protection elements in your industrial kitchen and to prevent serious accidents in different spaces.

As specialists in fire protection systems at Spectrum Fire Protection, we can advise you on the choice and installation of the most favourable alternatives to protect your industrial kitchen.

Through a detailed analysis, we will help you choose the appropriate option to control fires and reduce the damage that this type of accident can cause in an industrial kitchen.

We’re an IQP-registered company fully qualified to inspect and maintain your fire suppression system. Contact us today for your fire extinguisher installation, servicing, maintenance, and training of your employees.