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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Who's Got a Wet Chem Fire Extinguisher

    After posting on diffrent thread I decided to start this one. Who carries a Wet Chemical Class K fire extinguisher on their truck engine, rescue etc? What fire departments have one protecting their kitchen equipment?

    We can start with a little history. In 1992-3 UL and NFPA retestet all the automatic kitchen fire systems with bad results. The result of this is the change over of dry chemical systems with a wet (liquid) chemical. In 94-95 Amerex came out with a Wet chemical fire extingusher for use on cooking fires. In 98 NFPA made the Class "K" fire type (Cooking fires) and required it placement in kitchens. In 2003 ALL portable fire extinguishers protecting kitchen equipment over the next 6 years SHALL be replaced with a wet chemical at the time that the current dry chemical unit is due for testing. So what fire departments have a wet chemical. I teach fire classes on the use of fire extinguishers to industry. I am running in to a lot of firefighters working in these companies that do not know that class K even exists let alone what a wet chemical extingisher is. I got yelled at one day installing a wet chem in a kitchen by the cook who was a fire fighter for putting a water extinguisher in HIS kitchen. I put one on the truck company and the chief did not even know what it was. Last thing thoes that have one have you used it and how did it work? The feedback that I have gotten back from the general public is that they work awesome. One restraunt owner called us (fire extinguisher companies) a bunch of morons for not thinking of this extinguisher years ago. Last fire wet chemical extinguisher no food chucked, next to last fire with dry chemical $2500 in food sent to the dumpster.




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    Who carries a Wet Chemical Class K fire extinguisher on their truck engine, rescue etc? What fire departments have one protecting their kitchen equipment?
    Not here and there would be several other extinguishers I would rather have besides the usual ABC & C class prior to a wet chem kitchen extinguisher. Heck we are lucky to even have an extinguisher in the whole firehouse besides what's on the wagon.

    I am running in to a lot of firefighters working in these companies that do not know that class K even exists let alone what a wet chemical extingisher is. I got yelled at one day installing a wet chem in a kitchen by the cook who was a fire fighter for putting a water extinguisher in HIS kitchen
    That does not surprise me one bit. They go over the basic types in IFSTA when you do your intial training, but that's about it. Most of the time you will only have and use a dry chem, water and CO2 ext. as a firefighter. Your compartment would be overflowing if you started carrying special extinguishers. I can understand the cooks confusion. It is very easy to mistake the wet chem for a water can if you have never seen one before. It looks similar as far as general appearance goes.
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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Well today is a good day then... I just learned something that I had no knowledge of until now.

    We all know about dry-chem extinguishers, but I too have never heard of a "wet-chem K" type before.

    The Chief works near a fire extinguisher sales company, I am going to see if he will drop by and check it out. Might be another tool worth having in "the box".
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    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    Perhaps the "K" indicates a Potassium based agent?

    I'm not familiar with the extinguisher, just taking a guess.

  5. #5
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    I haven't seen too many of them however we are quite aware of them. Our Fire Code requires a minimum 40BC extinguisher as back up to all kitchen extinguishing systems. It seems that when they retested they found that the existing systems would put the fire out initially, however it almost always reignited. This had a lot to do with the types of oils used in fryers today. When hit with the back up 40 BC same story, it would extinguish initially, but would reignite. The reason? The system and the back up would initially smother the fire, but would do nothing to cool it. Therefore as soon as a "break" was found in the layer of powder, boom, reignition. The "Purple K" as it is called, will actually cool the oil rapidly to below it's ignition point.
    HUGE difference in cost folks between a BC and a Type K extinguisher.

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    Originally posted by E229Lt
    Perhaps the "K" indicates a Potassium based agent?

    I'm not familiar with the extinguisher, just taking a guess.

    Well K is for Kitchen BUT it is a Potassium and Water solution


    This had a lot to do with the types of oils used in fryers today. When hit with the back up 40 BC same story, it would extinguish initially, but would reignite. The reason? The system and the back up would initially smother the fire, but would do nothing to cool it. Therefore as soon as a "break" was found in the layer of powder, boom, reignition. The "Purple K" as it is called, will actually cool the oil rapidly to below it's ignition point.
    Lady Capt your correct in why NFPA has made the change
    Just remember that the Purple K is the Dry Chemical stuff (PKP for the ex-mill folks) and the Class K is a liquid. There is a huge diffrence in price a 5LB (40B) dry chem runs about $40 us and the Wet chem is $140 us. As I state in my first post the owner will more than make up for the cost diffrence by the 1000% less of a mess that is made by the Wet chem VS. the Dry chemical with the Dry Chemical drifting all over the place and the Wet Chem only going where the person sprays it. We have gotten most of our clients to purchase the extinguisher for that reason alone... Less Mess.


    Some thing else that I forgot there is also a sign that shall be hung with the wet chemical ectinguisher that states that the fire extinguisher is to be used AFTER the Automatic System has been activated. Last thing you are suppose to use the whole thing untill it runs out to get the most cooling effect.

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