Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher

You can’t see what’s happening, but it puts out a fire!

Ingredients and equipment that you will need

A few nightlights or tealights
Matches
Vinegar
Bicarbonate of soda
Bowl
Jug
Cup of water

Method and further information

Put a few nightlights in the bowl and light them. Have the cup of water to hand just in case. Scientists always think about what might go wrong and prepare for it. Put two teaspoonfuls of bicarbonate of soda in the jug and add two tablespoonfuls of vinegar.

You will hear a gas fizzing off. This is carbon dioxide. Wait until it stops fizzing and then pour it onto the nightlights.

Carbon dioxide is heavier than air so it covers the flames, stop them getting oxygen and putting them out.

Be careful – you should ask an adult to help you with these experiments. Do your experiments in old yoghurt pots, jam jars or bottle tops. Don’t use cups or glasses in case someone thinks it’s a drink.