While all buildings should be equipped with portable fire extinguishers, not all of them serve the same purpose. As such, all businesses and properties should be thoroughly assessed to ensure that the right fire extinguisher is available to extinguish the correct type of fire. This is very important, especially for commercial restaurants and kitchens, which are very susceptible to fires. Understanding what precisely a Class K fire is and what might start one can help you select the right fire extinguisher to protect your commercial kitchen, employees, and customers in case of a fire.
How to Define Class K Fires
A Class K fire is fueled by flammable cooking liquids, like cooking oil and animal or vegetable-based grease. At high temperatures, they become volatile and can ignite very quickly. Due to their high combustibility, they can also spread very rapidly. Class K fires are more likely to start in commercial kitchens, including restaurants, but also food trucks, office cafeterias, bakeries, and other kinds of food businesses. These businesses should also be equipped with Class K fire extinguishers as a part of a complete fire protection plan.
Picking the Right Kind of Fire Extinguisher
Class K fire extinguishers use special extinguishing agents that separate and absorb the heat elements of the fire – the fuel, oxygen, and heat necessary to start a fire. The wet mist contains potassium acetate, potassium carbonate, or potassium citrate mixed with the cooking grease to create a blanket that will cool the flammable liquid and block oxygen, extinguishing the flames and preventing reignition. Class K fires can only be put out with Class K fire extinguishers and shouldn’t ever be sprayed with water as this could increase the spread of the cooking liquids.
Is Your Commercial Kitchen Ready?
Along with having Class K extinguishers readily accessible, commercial kitchens should have a fire suppression system installed by a professionally licensed fire protection company specializing in commercial kitchen fire suppression systems. This will ensure proper design, installation, and regularly scheduled inspection and testing. Employees in commercial kitchens should also be trained to deal with a fire emergency, including knowing how to identify which fire extinguishers are the most appropriate for a situation, and understanding how to use fire extinguishers as a part of a complete fire emergency plan.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb 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, and LinkedIn.