Do You Have the Right Portable Fire Extinguisher for Your Restaurant’s Needs?

March 10, 2022
Do You Have the Right Portable Fire Extinguisher for Your Restaurant’s Needs?

If you own or run a commercial kitchen, fire rules require you to have portable fire extinguishers in addition to an automatic fire suppression system. This ensures that staff can swiftly put out a fire that may start in an area that isn’t covered by the automatic fire suppression system. Before you purchase items to safeguard your kitchen, here’s what you should know about portable fire extinguishers.

Fire classes

Before you start shopping for fire extinguishers, think about the many sorts of fires that might happen in your kitchen. Depending on the materials burnt, fires are classified into the following categories:

  • Organic materials such as wood, linen, paper, and many polymers are classified as Class A.
  • Flammable liquids such as solvents, lacquers, petroleum greases, tars, and other flammable liquids are classified as Class B.
  • Energized electrical equipment is classified as Class C.
  • Flammable cooking medium, such as oils and fats, are classified as Class K.

Portable Fire Extinguishers are available in two different types

Depending on the sort of fire that portable fire extinguishers are meant to combat, different extinguishing chemicals are used. Consider the following scenario:

  • ABC Fire Extinguishers are a multi-purpose fire extinguisher that may be used in both the home and the business. To put out Class A, B, and C flames, they employ a chemical called mono ammonium phosphate. Because this chemical is corrosive, it must be cleaned up as soon as possible after usage.
  • Grease fire extinguishers, also known as Class K fire extinguishers, are particularly intended to put out grease fires in industrial kitchens. To prevent oil from splashing and spreading the fire, they spray a mist of potassium acetate and potassium citrate into the flames rather than a stream. The chemical will assist prevent the fire from re-igniting when it settles on the cooking appliances.

Pay attention to UL ratings

Underwriters Laboratory (UL) analyzes portable fire extinguishers and assigns ratings to them based on their performance. When putting out a fire, the first figure in the rating always represents how the extinguisher compares to 1.25 gallons of water.

On a Class K fire, for example, a product rated 2A:K would be twice as effective as 1.25 gallons of water (or 2.5 gallons). A second number on ABC extinguishers indicates the amount of square footage it can handle. A 4A:80B:C extinguisher, for example, would hold the equivalent of 5 gallons of water and cover 80 square feet.

Non-rechargeable vs. rechargeable

There are rechargeable and non-rechargeable variants of most portable fire extinguishers. Rechargeable extinguishers are strongly recommended for commercial kitchens by Flue Steam. This sort of portable fire extinguisher is more expensive up front, but it provides superior value over time because it may be replenished rather than thrown after each use. Contact us at 800-700-FLUE for help finding the right fire extinguisher.