Tuesday, August 20, 2013

homemade fire extinguisher

How a Fire Extinguisher Works:

Fire is the result of a chemical combustion reaction. Typically a reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and fuel like wood or gasoline. Of course, wood and gasoline don't spontaneously catch fire just because they are surrounded by oxygen. For the combustion reaction to take place the fuel has to be heated to its ignition temperature.

A fire extinguisher typically deprive a fire of oxygen. If you encounter a fire at home, on a stovetop, for example, you can smother the fire by putting a lid over your pan or pot. In some cases, you can toss a non-flammable chemical on the fire to reduce the combustion reaction. Good choices include table salt (sodium chloride) or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). When baking soda is heated, carbon dioxide gas is given off suffocating the fire. In this project, we will cause a chemical reaction to produce carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide sinks displacing and removing oxygen from the fire.

Homemade Fire Extinguisher Materials and Preparation Steps:

baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
vinegar (weak acetic acid)
jar with lid, with hole in the lid
a drinking straw- insert into the hole in the jar or bottle. Use a hot nail to create the perfect hole for the straw in the lid of the jar.  If the hole is too big the pressure with shoot the straw out!


1) Fill the jar about halfway full with vinegar.
2) To activate the fire extinguisher, drop in a spoonful of baking soda.
3) Immediately shake the jar and point the straw toward your fire.


Don't add too much vinegar to the container! You want enough room to add the baking soda and to prevent excessive build-up of pressure.
You can prepare sachets of baking soda for easier use. Simply wrap a spoonful of baking soda in a piece of tissue or toilet paper (or even inside an open smaller jar within your bigger jar). When you're ready to use the fire extinguisher, drop the packet of baking soda into the jar and close the lid.

 It works!


  1. Awesome. Another very cool science experiment. I'm pinning this one to my chemistry page. - http://pinterest.com/jmommymom/science-chemistry/

    I love the way you explained the entire process.

  2. Do you mind if i share your idea for this fire extinguisher in Rifle CO, i think my boys will really enjoy making them.

  3. A guess this is a great way of getting children into being fire aware. I'll recommend it to our NEBOSH training for sure