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How to Extinguish a Class F Fire (Cooking Oils & Gas)

It might be hard for most of us to distinguish between one fire and another but we want to explain the cause of a Class F fire because they’re entirely feasible in all buildings that have kitchens. This month, Target Fire Protection are here to explain how best to extinguish this type of fire to ensure that you and all others in the same building remain safe and sound.

What is a Class Fire F?

A Class F fire involves fat or cooking oil and although this is technically a sub-class fire because they’re the cause of flammable liquids or gases, this type differs from conventional fires because they burn at incredibly higher temperatures.  

Flammable liquids, like petrol, have low auto ignition and flash temperatures, whereas fats and cooking oils need temperatures of around 340°C to burst into flames. These liquids have such unique characteristics because of their unusual flash point, that they have been placed into their very own category.

Due to the nature of the liquids, Class F fires take place in kitchens and the majority of these fires occur because of negligence within food preparation facilities. These fires happen when pans are left unattended, oil/fat spillages are left on surfaces and when oil hasn’t been changed in deep fat fryers.

How to Extinguish a Class F Fire

How to Extinguish a Class F Fire

When extinguishing a fire like this, one of three elements must be removed; so either the fuel, oxygen or heat. Normally if the fuel is a burning liquid, the heat is the element that needs to be reduced – to below the flash point. However, in this case because the fat and oil burns at an extreme temperature, this is hard to achieve.

The majority of fire extinguishers are inadequate for Class F fires and can potentially be much more dangerous than just leaving the fire. If you were to use a water fire extinguisher for a Class F fire, it’s very likely that this will cause a massive explosion and help the fire to grow, by spreading the oil further with water. The same goes for CO2 fire extinguishers and powder extinguishers, these can also cause more problems than solutions – increasing danger to yourself and the building.

Class F fires should only be treated with a wet chemical fire extinguisher. This type has been tailored specifically to tackle fires caused by fat and oils because they contain potassium salts that work to reduce the heat and smother any oxygen feeding the fire.

 

With over 25 years within the fire protection industry, our services are tried and tested to a T to ensure that all fires are put out as safely and controlled as possible. If you require fire extinguishers, alarms, safety equipment, risk assessments and fire safety training – get in touch with our friendly team today. Target Fire Protection work throughout Manchester, Rochdale, Bury and Oldham and the rest of the UK.