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Thread: Kitchen Grease fire

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    Default Kitchen Grease fire

    I had a student ask if AFFF foam/foam extinguisher could be used on a grease fire. My thoughts were no, since the grease is hot, and any water based foam would have the same effects of putting water on it, just a massive steam conversion and explosion?

    Any thoughts?


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    Grease: flammable liquid.
    AFFF/Foam: used to extinguish flammble liquid fires by forming a film on the surface to exclude oxygen ad inhibiting the vaporization of more fuel.

    If it were gently applied to the surface, why not? Bascially, that is what a UL300 and a class K extinguisher does...
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 07-17-2013 at 10:43 AM. Reason: spelling correction...
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    The trick would be applying gently.

    Possibly banking it off the back wall or possibly using your finger on the tip to diffuse the stream as it comes out.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Grease: flammbale liquid.
    AFFF/Foam: used to extinguish flammble liquid fires by forming a film on the surface to exclude oxygen ad inhibiting the vaporization of more fuel.

    If it were gently applied to the surface, why not? Bascially, that is what a UL300 and a class K extinguisher does...
    I dont disagree with how the foam will work...but with the volatility of the grease all being 600-700 degrees plus, i would have a hard time spraying a water based foam extinguisher on it and not expecting bad results.

    With gasoline, the flash point is well below normal air temps, so say you had a bucket of gas burning, its not like the whole bucket of gas is at 700 degrees, and putting the foam on it causes the rapid steam conversion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The trick would be applying gently.

    Possibly banking it off the back wall or possibly using your finger on the tip to diffuse the stream as it comes out.
    I can agree with that too, but surely some droplets of water would make it to the hot grease and convert, expanding quickly and messing up your foam blanket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrisebo View Post
    I had a student ask if AFFF foam/foam extinguisher could be used on a grease fire. My thoughts were no, since the grease is hot, and any water based foam would have the same effects of putting water on it, just a massive steam conversion and explosion?

    Any thoughts?
    Kitchen as in house??

    Or kitchen as in restaurant ???

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Kitchen as in house??

    Or kitchen as in restaurant ???
    Let say a grease fryer at a MacDonalds....and assume hood system didnt work. Reading about hood systems, they use wet chemical systems, and the foam they use is atomized, thus the water drops dont get below the surface and explode. I suppose that you could get same results with AFFF, but I would think the residual heat would effect the foam.

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    It is not foam that comes out

    And they should have a K extinguisher that should be used

    Plus if system activated power/ fuel should have been shut off

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    Flash point and burning temperature are two completely different things.

    Here's the MSDS for a canola based salad oil (picked at random - many available):
    http://www.bridgewellresources.com/i...l-MSDS_BWR.pdf

    And here's one for jet fuel (also picked at random):
    [/url]http://www.tsocorp.com/stellent/groups/corpcomm/documents/tsocorp_documents/msdsjetfuel.pdf[/url]

    You'll note the similarity in firefighting methods. Not identical, but really close.

    As has already been mentioned, the difference will be in the application. In the case of an aircraft incident, f'rinstance, you want large quantities over a large area in a hurry.

    In the case of a pan on a stove, overkill comes very quickly. The goal is to cover the burning liquid with a blanket of foam. We have a couple of 2.5 gallon water extinguishers charged with Class A foam and equipped with aerating nozzles - they would do very well on a grease fire, I think. We didn't put them together with kitchen fires in mind, though. It wouldn't be hard to set one up with Class B foam.


    As for how hot the fire is, cooking oil autoingnites around 800F.

    Jet fuel, on the other hand, burns at nearly 1800F, yet class B foams have no problem with it if applied in sufficient quantities.

    The whole concept of foam for flammable liquid firefighting is to make it float on top of the burning liquid. So far, that concept seems to be working pretty well.

    Of course, you could always carry some protein foam, if you can find any. I'm sure the homeowner would appreciate that sprayed all over their kitchen....
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Also in commercial kitchen

    Find a sheet pan or large pan or large cover and put it on top of the deep fat fryer and leave it there

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    http://workplace-safety.ezinemark.co...5982d848a.html




    Using Ansulex liquid fire suppressant, an advanced wet chemical agent, to extinguish grease and cooking oil fires, the Ansul R-102 system rapidly knocks down flames and cools hot surfaces whilst generating a robust, vapour securing blanket that helps prevent reflash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Flash point and burning temperature are two completely different things.

    Here's the MSDS for a canola based salad oil (picked at random - many available):
    http://www.bridgewellresources.com/i...l-MSDS_BWR.pdf

    And here's one for jet fuel (also picked at random):
    [/url]http://www.tsocorp.com/stellent/groups/corpcomm/documents/tsocorp_documents/msdsjetfuel.pdf[/url]

    You'll note the similarity in firefighting methods. Not identical, but really close.

    As has already been mentioned, the difference will be in the application. In the case of an aircraft incident, f'rinstance, you want large quantities over a large area in a hurry.

    In the case of a pan on a stove, overkill comes very quickly. The goal is to cover the burning liquid with a blanket of foam. We have a couple of 2.5 gallon water extinguishers charged with Class A foam and equipped with aerating nozzles - they would do very well on a grease fire, I think. We didn't put them together with kitchen fires in mind, though. It wouldn't be hard to set one up with Class B foam.


    As for how hot the fire is, cooking oil autoingnites around 800F.

    Jet fuel, on the other hand, burns at nearly 1800F, yet class B foams have no problem with it if applied in sufficient quantities.

    The whole concept of foam for flammable liquid firefighting is to make it float on top of the burning liquid. So far, that concept seems to be working pretty well.

    Of course, you could always carry some protein foam, if you can find any. I'm sure the homeowner would appreciate that sprayed all over their kitchen....
    Thanks. I am going to advise them to use the proper agents regardless I think.

    My point with a jet fuel or gasoline fire is that all the liquid isnt 800 or 1800 degrees, just at the surface, so if you do get a large droplet of water from the foam submerged in said liquid, it doenst do the rapid steam conversion like a drop of water in 800 degree cooking oil and explode.

    That is my worry with water can and AFFF or class A or any foam, the delivery would have to be perfect as not to have large droplets of water being submerged. Wet Chemical systems seem to do this with the nozzles they use. Thus, the foam is delivered properly to the surface.

    Thanks

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    Thanks for all the responses.

    I have taught them the proper techniques, smother, proper agent, remove the fuel, etc.

    Since I was stumped on weather AFFF would be appropriate I decided to ask. I think I have decided thru this and research it would not be recommended.

    Thanks again

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    Here's an interesting discussion on the topic on the NFPA website:

    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Could...233.S.41243922

    Though most of the discussion is centered around Class K v. BC chemical, there are a couple of posts referring to AFFF.

    The jury seems to be split on it's applicability on non-commercial kitchen fires.

    Con- NFPA standard

    F.4.1 Combustible Cooking Media Fires. Combustible cooking
    media fires require the use of extinguishers that will extinguish
    the fire from a safe distance, without causing splashing
    of the burning grease or permitting reignition of the fire. This
    can be achieved by a special purpose home fire extinguisher
    listed for residential grease fires or an automatic fire extinguisher
    unit listed for residential range top protection. An
    ABC dry chemical extinguisher is not the extinguisher of
    choice because of the possibility of reignition. Other agents
    can have limited effectiveness. Water, AFFF, or FFFP can cause
    dangerous splashing of burning grease and can cause fire to
    spread.


    Pro:


    Having tested a number of dry powder extinguishers that are within a year to year and a half of the end of their design life I find that they do not go off properly - some of them fail to go off at all as the powder has settled and compressed. Out of 9 tested (six small domestic 1kg and three 6kg) none of the domestic ones worked and only one of the 6kg discharged properly. With a small extinguisher you have lost most of it on a simple test squirt - not so with AFFF. In addition I have found the range of throw for the dry powder to be less than the same size AFFF.

    In my opinion it is far better to use an AFFF and run it off a wall surface onto an oil based kitchen fire than a direct attack with dry powder that will probably not cover the surface of the burning oil and in my opinion requires closer range for fighting.

    I believe that AFFF is safer and easier to use by the untrained than water or dry powder as it is less dangerous than water if it gets into electrical appliances accidentally and will spread out to form a blanket and is in my opinion more controllable.

    For first response by the untrained I see no real benefit in using FFFP as opposed to AFFF and although Dry powder is suitable for class AB&C I cannot see how the untrained person can use it effectively.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-17-2013 at 12:07 PM.
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    Grease fires can also occur from built up films of grease from cooking, which will not cause the problem of flare ups like a large fryer might. And even then, most large fryers don't have that much surface area, so most times a foam extinguisher should work.

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    The new fryers are designed to hold heat for a long time

    Use K class first

    Cover the fryer if that does not work

    Leave fryer in place do not move it

    All this depends on what fire condition you find

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrisebo View Post
    Let say a grease fryer at a MacDonalds....and assume hood system didnt work. Reading about hood systems, they use wet chemical systems, and the foam they use is atomized, thus the water drops dont get below the surface and explode. I suppose that you could get same results with AFFF, but I would think the residual heat would effect the foam.
    As a veteran of a few fast food fryer fires, I can attest to the fact that you are most likely going in with a line just because of the conditions you'll see on arrival. At night, a closed KFC will look like someone tossed a chunk of the sun in there. If the hood system isn't working, and most that I've seen are CO2 systems that can be activated by a panic button, or a melted fuse, the flame spread will be traveling up the stove pipe and out the top of the roof. It will also boil over onto the floor. It's a mess in there and hitting it with with an 1 1/2" will work usually before the class B foam has a chance to make it to you. If the building is not sprinklered, be aware of the drop ceilings bringing wiring and ducting and framework down on you.
    Don't forget to pull the fryers away from the walls and check for extension behind them. Bring your A game and a TIC because in some situations the grease has penetrated through the wall material and it could be going in the void. Just depends when the business was opened, older ones may not have stainless sheeting behind them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    As a veteran of a few fast food fryer fires, I can attest to the fact that you are most likely going in with a line just because of the conditions you'll see on arrival. At night, a closed KFC will look like someone tossed a chunk of the sun in there. If the hood system isn't working, and most that I've seen are CO2 systems that can be activated by a panic button, or a melted fuse, the flame spread will be traveling up the stove pipe and out the top of the roof. It will also boil over onto the floor. It's a mess in there and hitting it with with an 1 1/2" will work usually before the class B foam has a chance to make it to you. If the building is not sprinklered, be aware of the drop ceilings bringing wiring and ducting and framework down on you.
    Don't forget to pull the fryers away from the walls and check for extension behind them. Bring your A game and a TIC because in some situations the grease has penetrated through the wall material and it could be going in the void. Just depends when the business was opened, older ones may not have stainless sheeting behind them.
    These are for the most part "disposable buildings"... do a quick search if conditions allow, then it becomes a surround and drown operation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    These are for the most part "disposable buildings"... do a quick search if conditions allow, then it becomes a surround and drown operation.
    Yessir. I should have put a space after the drop ceiling stuff, then added "in older buildings" to clarify. Mom and Pop hamburger joints and long time Chinese restaurants come to mind. We have a few taxpayers with fryers on the first floor.
    IAFF

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    The new kitchen hood/duct extinguishing system chemical (UL 300 compliant) is specifically formulated to work in harmony with a 'K' type portable extinguisher. The UL 300 extinguishing agent is chemically formulated to interact with the cooking oils as is the 'K' type extinguisher. The application of any other type of extinguishing agent (dry powder, ABC powder, foam, water, etc.) will usually have a negative effect and can actually cancel the extinguishing properties of the UL 300 agent (The UL 300 and other extinguishing agents are chemically incompatible). Long story short, manually activate the hood/duct system if it didn't work automatically, then use a 'K' type extinguisher as a back-up for kitchen cooking fires.

    Note: The International Fire Code (In my case, the California Fire Code) prohibits any type of extinguisher in a commercial kitchen except a 'K' type.
    Last edited by bcjack; 07-19-2013 at 12:02 AM.
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