Multipurpose ABE powder is a versatile extinguishant which is used to extinguish Class A (carbonaceous) fires achieved by sealing burning embers, it is also used on Class B (flammable liquid) fires and Class E (electrical) fires.
Advantages: Powder provides a rapid ‘knock-down’ for a range of fires types. When dry it may be cleaned up with a vacuum cleaner.
Disadvantages: On discharge, the extinguisher forms a dense cloud of powder which may temporarily restrict vision and may cause respiratory irritation. AB(E) powder, when it contacts very hot objects, can melt and form a film which may be difficult to remove. After initial ‘knock-down’, it gives no protection against re-ignition of flammable liquid fires. While B(E) powder is not effective on class A fires, AB(E) powder is not effective on fires involving cooking oils and fats.