Carbon dioxide Fire Extinguisher

Water is the cheapest and oldest way to douse fire.

By pouring water over a burning substance, the temperature can be brought down.

Water brings the temperature of the material below its ignition temperature and helps control the fire.

But let’s say, the fire caused is due to an electrical equipment.

In such a case, if water is used it will worsen the situation.

This is because water is a good conductor of electricity.

And as a result, the person trying to douse the fire may get an electric shock.

In such a case, carbon dioxide () is the way out.

Let us understand how carbon dioxide comes to our rescue.

Carbon dioxide being heavier than oxygen, covers the fire like a blanket. This in turn cuts off the contact between the burning substance and oxygen.

Since, oxygen is essential for burning, so cutting off the supply of oxygen, helps control fire.

Also does not harm electrical equipments.

Thus, it is always helpful to keep around us to safeguard ourselves in case of an electrical fire.

But there are situation where fire is caused by burning of oil or kerosene.

Again, in such a case water is a wrong choice.

This is because water is heavier than oil, so it will sink below oil and oil will continue burning.

is the best choice in this situation too.

And best part is that we can easily store carbon dioxide in cylinders under high pressure conditions.

This is similar to the way we store Petroleum gas in cylinders at home.

Carbon dioxide fire extinguisher cylinders are however, not very common in every household.

So in the absence of it, we can use substances like:

Sodium Bicarbonate is a substance called baking soda, which is quite common at homes

So, when we spray baking soda on the fire, the heat causes baking soda to decompose.

Baking soda decomposes to produce carbon dioxide and other substances

Carbon dioxide generated from it then helps in controlling the fire.

Revision

Use of water to douse fire is strictly prohibited in case of an electrical fire or a fire caused by oil.

Carbon dioxide () does not support combustion.

Carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen which covers the fire like a blanket and cuts off the supply of oxygen.

Carbon dioxide is stored in cylinders under high pressure.

The end!