Fire Extinguishers By: Isha AND Marisa

Scientific Name: sodium bicarbonate

Chemical Formula: usually pressurized with nitrogen (N), carbon dioxide (CO2), or water (H2O) (this may vary depending on the type of fire extinguisher, the types will be explained later). Common fire extinguishers usually contain monoammonium phosphate (NH4H2PO4) or potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3).

Number of Atoms in Each Element Present:

Water: (H2O) H=2, O=1

Nitrogen: (N) N=1

Carbon dioxide: (CO2) C=1, O=2

Powder: (KHCO3) K=1, H=1, C=1, O=3

Dry chemical: (NH4H2PO4) N=1, H=6, P=1, 0=4

Physical Properties: White/grey liquid, red tank

Chemical Properties: Contains liquid in the tank, released as a gas and solid particles

Fire Extinguisher Diagram


The main use of the fire extinguisher is to combat industrial fires or emergency-accidental fires. There is a gas cartridge either containing CO2 or nitrogen. By pushing the button at the side, it releases gas into the container where the fire suppressant is. The pressure forces the material up into the hose, where its released by pressing the nozzle at the front.

Not all fires can be put out by any type of fire extinguisher. Before using your fire extinguisher, it is important to know what type of fire you are dealing with. Some fires can grow larger if you use the wrong type of fire extinguisher. Here is a video explaining the types, and the science behind fire extinguishers!


In about 200 BC, Ctesibius of Alexandra developed a hand pump that was able to send water to put out a fire. The Romans had passed buckets of water down a chain of people to send water to the fire. During the Middle Ages, a 'squirt' was invented. This device shot jets of water at fires.

In 1819, the first modern portable fire extinguisher was invented by George William Manby. This copper vessel consisted of a potassium carbonate solution under compressed air pressure.

George William Manby

In about 1912, Pyrene made a CTC (carbon tetrachloride) fire extinguisher. The liquid that was released from this extingugisher, extinguished fire by interfering with the chemical reaction.

In the late 19th century, the soda-acid extinguisher was invented. This cylinder contained water mixed with sodium biocarbonate, and a vial containing sulphuric acid.

Mid 20th century, the modern type fire extinguisher appeared. These fire extinguishers used different extinguishing agents for different classes of fire.

Manufacturing Process

First, the container is molded from a strong piece of aluminum and cleansed. It is then sprayed with durable polyester powder paint, and baked. After that, the pieces are manually attached like the pressure source and the hose. And of course the chemical agent is added consisting of four components: oxygen, fuel, heat, and a chemical reaction. Then, it is sealed with a valve and sold to the outside vendors.

Worker Assembling Fire Extinguishers


Inhalation is one of the biggest dangers with fire extinguisher powder. It is very irritating to mucous glands and may cause difficulty with breathing if inhaled in large enough quantities. Usually there won't be as much dust, however if this does happen, hospitalization can be required.The dust may coat your lungs on the inside, which can prevent oxygen from reaching the rest of the body. There aren't much alternatives to fire extinguishers because of its complicated structure but these systems are used when putting out fires:

1)Wet chemical fire suppression systems

2)Dry-Chemical Extinguishing Systems.

3)Foam systems utilize water and foam


Log in. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2016, from

Potassium Bicarbonate. (2006). In N. Schlager, J. Weisblatt, & D. E. Newton (Eds.), Chemical Compounds (Vol. 3, pp. 621-623). Detroit: UXL. Retrieved from

S. (2016, September 26). The Smokin' Science of Fire Extinguishers. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from

History of Fire Extinguishers. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2017, from

History of Fire Extinguishers. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2017, from

Fire Extinguisher. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2017, from

Fire Extinguisher. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2017, from

Fire Extinguisher. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2017, from

Created By
Isha and Marisa

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