When, where and how should I use a Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher? Your questions answered.  


Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers, also known as ABE Fire Extinguishers, are a great multi purpose stainless steel dry chemical fire extinguisher that deliver a solid level of fire protection. They are one of the most popular fire extinguishers out there because they can be used in a number of different fire emergencies, including electrical fires. Here’s a guide to how they work and when to use them safely: 


How do Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers work?

Fire extinguishers in general work by removing at least one of the three key elements that keep a fire alive: oxygen, heat and fuel.  Dry Powder extinguishers are filled with monoammonium phosphate, an extinguishing agent that spreads easily and melts over flames. When the powder covers a fire, it blocks heat and oxygen, causing the fire to die down. Dry Chemical fire extinguishers also act as a great heat shield. The dry powder acts as a shield against radiated heat. If a large quantity of powder has been released, it also has the ability to shield and protect surrounding objects from damage.

How can I identify one?

Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers are distinguished by a white coloured band around the top of the cylinder.  In Australia, they look like this: 


What kinds of fires are they suitable for?

ABE Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers can be used to protect a variety of different locations, from offices to shop floors, industrial complexes, factories, construction sites and even vehicles. 

Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher offers protection against the following kinds of fire risks and fire hazards:

  • Class A – Normal combustible materials such as wood, paper, cloth, plastic or rubber products
  • Class B – Fires involving combustible flammable liquids such as petrol, oil paint and solvents
  • Class E – Fires where the ignition source contains Electrically Energised Equipment like motors, switchboards and electrical appliances

What kinds of fires does a Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher NOT work on?

A Dry Powder extinguisher should never be used on the below fire classes: 

  • Class C – Fires involving combustible gases, such as LPG, Natural gas and acetylene
  • Class D – Fires involving combustible metals such as aluminum shaving or magnesium

What sizes do they come in?

At Fire Equipment Online, our range of Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers available include: 1 kg, 1.5 kg , 2 kg , 2.5 kg , 4.5 kg , 9 kg. Choosing your size will depend on your unique needs and risks. Larger extinguishers are more powerful and provide protection in particularly high-risk areas, but a smaller extinguisher at a lower price may be more suitable if your risk is low. Chat to us to determine which product is right for you. 

How do I use one?

Dry Chemical Extinguishers can be used just like any fire extinguishers. Simply follow the PASS technique: Pull the Pin. Aim it at the fire. Squeeze the handle. Sweep from side to side. 


Other fire extinguisher resources: 

Want to learn more about what fire extinguisher is right for you? Fire Equipment Online is here to help. Our highly-qualified experts will help find the most affordable and most well-suited fire extinguisher solution for you, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.