Fire extinguisher safety is a popular topic, as it is crucial for everyone to know the proper technique for handling fire protection equipment. However, it’s also important to know what to do after putting out a fire. If you’ve ever used a portable fire extinguisher to successfully put out a small fire, it is a great feeling of relief, but you must also know how to clean up the residue. Here is a guide of tips and recommended cleaning methods to use for cleaning up different types of fire extinguisher residue.
Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue
Dry chemical fire extinguishers use agents such as monoammonium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium bicarbonate to fight fires. These agents leave a corrosive powder on the area, and it’s important to clean up the powder very quickly. Follow this checklist when cleaning up dry chemical fire extinguisher residue:
- If any reside is stuck, spray the area with isopropyl alcohol diluted 50 percent with warm water. Allow this solution to sit for a few minutes before wiping with a damp cloth.
- As for sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate residue, apply a solution of 98 percent hot water and 2 percent vinegar. To neutralize monoammonium phosphate residue, apply a baking soda and hot water paste. Once again, allow the solution and paste to sit for a few minutes before wiping with a damp cloth.
- If the fire occurred in a kitchen, wash all dishes and cookware with residue in the dishwasher. If any clothing was covered in residue, wash in a washing machine.
- For a final clean, wipe the area down with soap and water and rinse clean. Use fans to help the area dry quickly.
- Rinse eyes immediately if any chemical gets in them during clean up.
Class K Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue
Class K wet chemical fire extinguishers are often kept in commercial kitchens, as they are used for fighting cooking fires. When cooking oil or grease catches on fire, a Class K extinguisher is used to discharge a fine mist the extinguishes flames and cools down cooking surfaces. Before using the kitchen again after a fire, follow this cleanup checklist:
- First, be sure to shut off all power to cooking equipment and wear protective rubber gloves
- Next, wipe away the residue with a sponge or rag with hot, soapy water.
- As mentioned above, wash all dishes and cookware, and rinse all surfaces that came in contact with the residue. Before turning the power back on and using the cooking equipment, make sure everything is completely dry.
Clean Agent Fire Extinguishers
Clean agent fire extinguishers are used for putting out electrical fires, as they are non-conductive and do not damage computers or electric devices. The clean agents simply dissipate into the atmosphere and require no cleanup.
Fire Prevention and Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your rental property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and properties from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our wonderful customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are located in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.