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As can easily be imagined, the kitchen is one of those places in the home where a fire is very likely to occur because of the use of things such as stoves and ovens and the abundance of heat they generate, in conjunction with the use of things like cooking oils in the kitchen. When you combine the amount of time that restaurants spend using this equipment, the odds on a fire happening tremendously increase. Every year, fires break out in restaurant kitchens and cost millions of Euros in business property damage. Not only is the business at stake, but so are the lives of customers and even down to the jobs of the employees which may leave many of them with no where to turn. Although the outbreak of fires can not always be prevented, what can often be prevented is their escalating from small fires to disastrous infernos.
The first thing to consider is the maintenance of certain items which can help reduce the risk of fire outbreak in the first place. The heat build up created by the equipment in the kitchens is typically taken out of the kitchen by commercial ventilation systems. These systems require maintenance though in order to continue to work efficiently and remove the heat they are designed to eliminate. Unfortunately, this is not done by all owners and is one contributing factor to excessive heat build up and fire outbreak. When you cook the oil vapour collects under the hood along with other debris. This will cause the air to stop flowing as it should (or perhaps stop altogether) through the exhaust system. The oil residuals are able to be ignited at approximately 370°C and the outbreak that takes place can then reach 3 times that in heat thus causing the fire to then spread. This residual matter from the oil and grease build up must be cleaned on a regular basis, and if is not, a fire hazard exists.
If you’re one of the conscious type of people that try to be proactive in avoiding catastrophes such as these (whether in a business or home) then more than likely you’re looking to take measures that will help you subdue fires in your kitchen, should they ever take place.
Before wet chemical extinguishers appeared on the market, the most common type of fire suppression agents used on grease or oil fires in kitchens was either foam chem or dry powder chem, and although these two agents both work to put out fires burning with substances such as gas, grease and oil, they haven’t done too well in subduing kitchen fires with grease and oil, without putting the person trying to extinguish the fire in danger. Splashes often occur using these substances and the temperature of the hot oil is not effected or diminished at all through their use. It still remains hot and dangerous, even after the flames are gone.
Wet chemical fire suppression systems and extinguishers not only contain the fire, but simultaneously cool the subject that was on fire. Wet chemical is a complete solution to the problem of oil fires, not a dangerous half-solution. Once the wet chemical touches the fire, it’s then extinguished and the temperature of whatever was once on fire has now been lowered to the point to where it will not ignite again. This is the main difference between wet chemical and the other fire suppression agents used in kitchens, and it’s also one that has saved many lives.