ABC fire extinguishers are used to put out Class A, B, and C fires.

All About ABC Fire Extinguishers

Also referred to as “multipurpose” or “tri-class” fire extinguishers, ABC fire extinguishers are one popular type of fire protection device.

In today’s post, we’ll discuss some important and helpful information about ABC fire extinguishers. We’ll also share some practical tips about maintenance, repair, and inspection of fire extinguishers. We hope the information you find here today is helpful for you.

What Types of Fire Can ABC Fire Extinguishers Put Out?

To know what types of fire this type of fire extinguisher can kill, let’s first take a look at the different fire extinguisher symbols, their classifications, and the agents they use.

Class A Fire Extinguishers

This fire extinguisher type is used to deal with fires involving common combustible materials. These materials include paper, cloth, wood, rubber, plastics, and trash. Class A extinguishers use dry chemical agents, such as halotron, foam, and water.

Different fire extinguishers are used to put put out different kinds of fires.

Class B Fire Extinguishers

This type of extinguisher is used to combat fires coming from solvents, oil, lacquers, paints, gasoline, and other flammable and oil-based items. It uses ABC dry chemical, BC dry chemical, purple K, carbon dioxide, foam, and halotron agents.

Class C Fire Extinguishers

This type of extinguisher is used to kill fires stemming from electrical equipment such as appliances, wiring, motors, controls, and machinery. It uses ABC and BC dry chemicals, carbon dioxide, halotron, and purple K.

Class D Fire Extinguishers

This type of fire extinguisher is used to combat fires coming from flammable metals, including titanium, lithium, and magnesium. It uses a dry powder agent.

Class K Fire Extinguishers

This type of fire extinguisher is used to deal with combustible cooking materials such as grease, oils, and other related items found in restaurant kitchens or commercial kitchens. It applies a wet chemical agent.

Multipurpose Fire Extinguishers

ABC fire extinguishers are referred to as such because it can be used to combat fires classified under Class A (common combustible materials), Class B (flammable liquids), and Class C (electrically charged equipment).

There’s also the BC Fire Extinguishers – which can be used for fires under Class B and Class C. You’ll know what class a fire extinguisher is from the easily distinguishable label.


ABC extinguishers are highly versatile. They are the prime choice for most property owners because they can put out many fire types. Monoammonium phosphate is used as a dry chemical agent to put out the fire efficiently. It’s a type of yellow powder used to put out combustible materials, flammable liquids, and electrical fire sources.

The powder ingredient found in ABC extinguishers can effectively smother the flames. However, since it’s in powder type, it leaves a residue whenever it’s used to put out a fire. Thus, it’s not suitable to use in data or server rooms or other areas with sensitive equipment or furniture. Keep this in mind when shopping for fire extinguishers.

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

To properly maintain your fire extinguishers – whether it’s for commercial or residential use – it’s best to consult a professional. Since extinguishers are an essential fire protection device, you shouldn’t neglect to maintain them.

You don’t want to find yourself in a fire emergency where you can’t properly use a fire extinguisher – all because it wasn’t adequately maintained all this time.

Here are some steps you can take as a property owner to maintain your fire extinguishers.

Regular Visual Inspection

Have your ABC fire extinguishers properly inspected.

You should get into the habit of doing a visual inspection of all the extinguishers in your property at least once a month.

Check for any signs of damages, rusting, or leaks. Make sure all the safety seals are not tampered with.

Also, see if the hoses are not blocked. If you see any signs of breakage or damage, call your fire protection company right away.

Professional Inspection of ABC Fire Extinguishers

Employ the services of a professional and certified fire extinguisher company to do a thorough inspection of these devices.