What exactly is an ABC Fire Extinguishers?

An 'ABC' fire extinguisher is a type of fire extinguisher that is designed to combat multiple classes of fires, namely Class A, Class B, and Class C fires. Each class represents a different type of fire:

  1. Class A fires: These fires involve ordinary combustible materials such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber, and plastics.

  2. Class B fires: These fires involve flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, alcohol, and paint.

  3. Class C fires: These fires involve energized electrical equipment such as appliances, motors, transformers, and wiring.

The extinguishing agent used in ABC fire extinguishers is a dry chemical powder that is effective against these three types of fires.


In Singapore, the previous guidelines for portable fire extinguisher use and maintenance (CP 55:1991) defined 'Class C' fires as those involving live electrical equipment. However, since 1 May 2013, CP 55:1991 has been replaced by the Singapore Standard, SS 578:2012. Under SS 578:2012, 'Class C' now refers to fires involving flammable gases instead of electrical hazards. There is no specific classification for fires involving live electrical equipment or electrical hazards in the new standard.

It is therefore important to note that fire extinguishers in Singapore should not be labeled as 'Class C' because neither the SCDF (Singapore Civil Defense Force) nor the accredited Certification Bodies have approved or certified fire extinguishers for 'Class C' fires involving flammable gases.

For electrical fires, only clean agent, dry powder, or carbon dioxide fire extinguishers should be used to extinguish the fire in its early stages. However, before attempting to put out the fire, it is essential to ensure that all affected electrical equipment is de-energized or isolated from the power supply.

Fire extinguishers containing these extinguishing agents can be used to extinguish fires involving electrical equipment since the remaining burning materials typically fall under 'Class A' or 'Class B' categories, such as TV, switchboards, and wiring.

In the event of a fire, members of the public should only attempt to fight the fire if they can do so without endangering themselves and others. If they are unable to extinguish the fire, it is advised to immediately evacuate the area, close the door to contain the fire, and call 995 for assistance.

Remember, fire safety is essential, and having the right fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it properly can help prevent the spread of fire and protect lives and property.

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Our PyroMaster Engineers are ready to support you for all your Fire Extinguisher needs. So sit back, relax and focus on enjoying time with your family and growing your business.

Connect with us at stopfire@pyromaster.asia or check out our subscription plans here