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What Type of Fire Extinguisher Is Best For Kitchen Fires Involving Cooking Oils?

5th May 2023


When it comes to fires in the home, the kitchen is a common room for a fire to start and can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly. Having the right type of fire extinguisher is essential for preventing a small kitchen fire from turning into a full-blown disaster.

For these reasons, it is important to have a Class F fire extinguisher on hand in the kitchen, as it is specifically designed to handle fires caused by cooking oils and fats.

In this article, we explain why Class F fire extinguishers are best suited to tackle a blaze of this kind.

Common Causes of Kitchen Fires

Kitchen fires can be caused by a variety of factors, including human error, faulty equipment, and a misguided cooking technique. Some common causes of kitchen fires include, leaving cooking food unattended and overheating oil or similar materials.

To prevent kitchen fires, it is important to take proper precautions such as staying in the kitchen while cooking, monitoring temperatures, and keeping flammable materials away from heat sources.

How Kitchen Fires Differ from Other Types of Fire

Kitchen fires are one of the most common types of fire that occur in homes and restaurants. They differ from other outbreaks because they are often caused by cooking oils and fats, which burn at a much higher temperatures than other types of fuel.

In addition to cooking substances, the presence of water or other liquids can cause flames to spread quickly, making it more difficult to extinguish using traditional extinguishers.

The Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are classified based on the types of fires they can extinguish. Class A fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires caused by ordinary combustibles, while Class B extinguishers are for flammable liquids.

Class F extinguishers are specially designed for kitchen fires caused by cooking oils and fats. It is essential to have the right type of fire extinguisher on hand to ensure effective fire control and prevention.

See our comprehensive guide to fire extinguisher types and when to use them.

Why Class F Fire Extinguishers Are Best For Kitchen Fires

Class F fire extinguishers are specifically designed for use in kitchen fires caused by cooking oils and fats. These types of fires are particularly difficult to put out using traditional fire extinguishers, as water-based extinguishers can cause the fire to spread.

Class F extinguishers contain a special agent that reacts with the oil or fat, creating a barrier between the fuel and the oxygen in the air, effectively smothering the fire.

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How to Use a Class F Fire Extinguisher

To be best prepared for a kitchen fire, familiarise yourself with the instructions on the fire extinguisher before an emergency occurs. If a fire breaks out, immediately turn off the heat source and call for help.

If you are using the fire extinguisher, stand at a safe distance and aim the extinguisher at the base of the flames, not at the top of the fire. Use a sweeping motion to spray the fire extinguisher across the flames, continuing until they are completely extinguished.

Using a Fire Blanket on a Kitchen Fire

Another useful tool for tackling kitchen fires is a fire blanket. Made of flame-resistant materials, this product can be used to smother fires caused by cooking oils and fats.

When using a fire blanket, you simply place it over the fire, making sure to cover it completely. Leave the blanket in place until the fire is completely extinguished, and the area has cooled down.  Do not remove the blanket once it is in place.

Fire blankets are especially useful for small fires, as they can be used to quickly smother the flames before they have a chance to spread. However, it is important to note that fire blankets should not be used on electrical fires or fires caused by flammable liquids.

Having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen could make the difference when keeping you and others safe in the event of a fire. Choosing the right type of extinguisher is equally important.

Class F fire extinguishers are the best choice for kitchen fires caused by cooking oils and fats. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the instructions and practice using the extinguisher so that you are prepared in case of an emergency.

Are you considering having a fire extinguisher installed in your kitchen, restaurant or workplace? Find out more about our fire extinguisher training, services and products or contact us today.

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Red Box Fire Control is proud to celebrate over 35 years in the fire safety industry.

Over this time we've grown in knowledge and expertise, focussing on supporting businesses with their compliance in a friendly yet efficient manner.

We are confident that we're able to provide our customers with a high level of professionalism and industry insight. Add to this our commitment to integrity, and when it comes to fire safety you can expect peace of mind unmatched by other suppliers.

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