Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher

A Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher is the most common type used in Australia. It is also known as a DCP, BE, or ABE fire extinguisher. To determine if a fire extinguisher is a dry chemical type, one simply needs to look for the white band that runs around the tank. One can also check the description sign to ensure they have a dry chemical fire extinguisher. With this information, people will know more about these extinguishers and how they work so they can be used safely.

What Types of Fire Does a Dry Chemical Extinguisher Work For?

When one is attempting to put out a fire, it is crucial they use the right extinguisher for the job. The dry chemical fire extinguishers are able to put out fires caused by oil, textiles, paper, liquid, and electrical issues. This is the perfect fire extinguisher to have on hand to take care of a variety of fires safely and efficiently. There are two main types of Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher models:

  • ABE Type handles classes A, B, and E. This rating of fire extinguisher ensures a variety of fires can be put out including, paper, cardboard, wood, people, flammable liquids, petrol, diesel, computers, and office equipment.
  • BE Type handles fire classes B, E, and F and fights flammable liquids, petrol, diesel, electrical, office equipment, and cooking oil fires.

When one is using a dry chemical extinguisher to put out a flammable gas fire, it is crucial one is careful in their approach since explosions can occur. One should never use a fire extinguisher if they are doubtful of the type or their ability to properly use it to extinguish flames.

How Does a Dry Chemical Extinguisher Work?

Each type of extinguisher works by attempting to remove one of the elements that are needed for a fire to flourish. Most ABE extinguishers are filled with monoammonium phosphate which has the ability to flow easily and melt so it continues to cover the flames as it moves over the fire. BE powder does not melt so it is ineffective against class A fires.

What are the Benefits of Using Dry Chemical Extinguishers?

  • They are powerful and work to quickly extinguish fires
  • They are versatile and can be used on many types of fires
  • They are compact and do not take up a lot of space
  • They are less expensive than some types of extinguishers
  • They are safer than some types and can be used on electrical fires


What is the dry chemical fire extinguisher colour?

These tanks are generally red in color and feature a white band around the tank.

How do you use this extinguisher?

Always remember PASS: Pull, Aim, Squeeze the lever, and Sweep side to side.

Can these cause health concerns?

It is important the user protects their breathing passages during use, especially in enclosed spaces since inhaling the powder can cause breathing difficulties.

Do these extinguishers need to be maintained?

These extinguishers need to be inspected once a month or more often and should be serviced on a regular basis.


These extinguishers are the ideal choice for homes, offices, and a variety of businesses. It is important everyone in the building knows where it is located and how to identify the dry chemical fire extinguisher colour band so they will know when the extinguisher should be used for a fire. Having these extinguishers in place will help to protect lives and the loss of property, should a fire break out in the building. Those who have a full understanding of how these extinguishers work will be more successful in using them properly.

FCF Fire and electrical can assist you if you need further advice. They can also supply, install and maintain dry chemical fire extinguishers in your workplace. Best to check this out.