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What Are ABC Fire Extinguishers?

ABC Fire extinguishers use a dry chemical called monoammonium phosphate which smothers flames to put out many different types of fire.

Identified on the canister by their blue label stating ‘Powder’, the pale-yellow extinguishing agent in ABC powder extinguishers is suitable for use on three classes of fire:

  • Class A: Solid combustibles such as wood, paper and textiles
  • Class B: Flammable liquids and gases such as petroleum, propane and solvents
  • Class C: Energized electrical sources


So How Do ABC Fire Extinguishers Work?

The extinguisher is filled with monoammonium phosphate and nitrogen, which is used to pressurise the canister. When the extinguisher is activated (either manually or automatically), the extinguishing agent sprays out of the canister and creates an inert blanket over the fuel. This separates the fuel from the oxygen in the air, stopping combustion, and the powder also interrupts the chemical reaction of the fire. This makes ABC powder extinguishers extremely effective.

abc powder fire extinguishers

Where Are ABC Fire Extinguishers Used? 

Due to their ability to tackle a wide range of fires, ABC extinguishers are particularly suitable for environments with multiple risks. It is for this reason that residential, commercial and industrial areas all benefit from their installation. The particular usage depends on their size.

Smaller 1kg and 2kg units are ideal for small or mobile kitchens, cars, caravans and boats, whereas 6kg and 9kg units are well suited to larger spaces, such as HGVs, offices, warehouses and factories. The bigger the capacity, the higher the fire rating, meaning a single extinguisher can cover a larger area of fire. However, high capacity units are heavier than their smaller counterparts, making the 1kg and 2kg options a fantastic choice when being lightweight and portable is of paramount importance.

Although many ABC powder extinguishers on the market are manually operated, at First Mats we also carry a range of automatic ABC fire extinguishers. These are available in a variety of sizes from 1kg (covering up to 3m2) through to 12kg (covers up to 18 m2). They give additional protection to areas which are periodically or permanently unmanned, or in enclosed spaces which need a near-instant fire-fighting response. Often, they are employed in engine rooms, switch rooms and storage areas. 

How do Automatic ABC Extinguishers Work Differently?

A small glass bulb is filled with heat-sensitive liquid, which expands as it heats up. At a temperature of 68°C, the bulb breaks. This triggers the release of dry powder which is dispersed by the spray head on the underside of the extinguisher. This covers the fuel and flames in a powder ‘blanket’, and works to extinguish the fire in exactly the same manner as manual ABC extinguishers. 

As you can see, ABC fire extinguishers are an excellent fire safety option for a huge range of spaces due to their versatility and effectiveness, with your choice of manual or automatic activation available in an array of sizes to suit your needs. 

Where Can I Buy ABC Powder Fire Extinguishers?

At First Mats, we offer a range of ABC Powder Fire Extinguishers, including automatic models that can improve fire safety in a building. The sizes range from 800g to 9kg, and all include a 5 year guarantee.

Follow this link for our ABC Powder Fire Extinguishers Range


0121 702 1659 @FirstMats Facebook