Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: On the road in NE Oklahoma
the chemical ABC extinguishers are effective at putting very small fires, but the resulting GOOP / RESIDUE is a real bit*h to clean up. If the halogen "type" units are too pricey, and most of the time they are, the next best is a larger CO2 unit. No residue, and very effective as well as long as you don't get the smallest size there is. I know they are bulky, but I've had to clean up after several shop and car fires over the years, and it's nearly impossible to get all the ABC caustic residue cleaned off. And that IS a big deal. If it's not cleaned off 100% it won't just be unsightly; it WILL keep eating away at the metal.
There are techniques for using these handheld extinguishers that are important to learn. Don't just hold the button or lever down continuously. Use short bursts, and always be aimed at the base of the fire. A continuous spray is nearly guaranteed to run you out of retardant in a few seconds.