Making a fire extinguisher

In order to put out a fire, one of three things must be removed from it: heat, fuel, or oxygen. Knowing this, firefighters don’t always use water to put out a fire.

What You Need:

  • Empty soda bottle
  • 5 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda
  • Tea light candle

What You Do:

Ask an adult for permission before lighting the candle!

  1. Light the candle.
  2. Pour the vinegar into the bottle and add the baking soda. (You may want to use a funnel.) The mixture should fizz.
  3. Hold the bottle sideways over the lighted candle, making sure no liquid escapes. What happens to the flame?

What Happened:

The baking soda and vinegar react to make carbon dioxide, a gas that is heavier than oxygen. As it ‘pours’ out of the bottle, it pushes the lighter oxygen away from the candle. The fire, now deprived of oxygen, can no longer burn.