Homemade Fire Extinguisher!

Contributor: Kaitlyn Zimmerman. Lesson ID: 12814

Every building MUST have a fire extinguisher! It's a handy tool used to extinguish, or put out, a fire. Did you know that YOU can create your very own version of a fire extinguisher? How cool is that!


Chemistry, Physics

learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


It’s the middle of the night, and you are awakened by the smell of smoke and the sound of wood snapping. You jump up out of bed and scramble over to your open window to see what’s going on. It’s what you expected: the woodshed has caught on fire!

You hear the sirens as a firetruck comes zooming around the corner and into your driveway. The courageous firefighters leap out of the truck and pull out their hose. You watch in amazement as the foam shoots out of the hose and smothers the fire in an instant!

  • How did the fire go out so fast?

As you learned in the previous lesson in this Air series, fire needs oxygen from air in order to burn!

However, there are many ways to put fire out without having to stick a glass overtop of it — which is good, because most fires are much bigger than the size of a glass!

Before continuing, if you missed or would like to review the previous Air lessons, find them in the Related Lessons in the right-hand sidebar.

  • Do you know that the foam firefighters use to extinguish fires is made of carbon dioxide?

The gas carbon dioxide is used all the time to put fires out. In fact, carbon dioxide is found in the fire extinguishers that are scattered throughout buildings — and even in your house — in case of emergencies!

  • But what does this have to do with air?

Let’s join Flo to find out!


Carbon dioxide, as we saw in our experiment today, is able to put out fires! As soon as Flo added the vinegar to the baking soda, carbon dioxide was created and sunk to the bottom of the bowl.

Because this gas is heavier than air, it pushes all the air — or oxygen — up and out of the bowl. Since there was no more oxygen left at the bottom of the bowl for the candle to use, it went out!

  • Can you think of any ways that this is put to use in everyday situations?

Move on to the Got It? section to see if your brain is fired up!

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