Expandable graphite (EG) and ammonium polyphosphate (APP) were used to improve the flame retardancy of acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene based wood–plastic composites (WPCs). A synergistic effect between EG and APP on the flame retardancy of the WPCs was proposed. The results show that the highest limited oxygen index (LOI) of 34.2% and a V-0 rating were achieved when the ratio of EG to APP 12.5:7.5; this comprised 20 wt % of the total amount. However, LOI values of the samples with EG and APP alone were only 30.5 and 24.5%, respectively. Thermogravimetric analysis indicated that the flame retardants improved the amount of residue. The EG and EG/APP additives greatly decreased the peak heat release rate and suppressed smoke according to cone calorimetry testing. The scanning electron microscopy analysis indicated that the surface of the wormlike char was covered with a granular substance, which may have been the viscous phosphoric acid or poly(phosphoric acid) decomposed from APP. The flame-retardant additives worsened the mechanical properties of the WPCs. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 40281.