Login / Register

How Not to Put Out a Metal Fire - with Steve Mould

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


You disliked this video. Thanks for the feedback!

Sorry, only registred users can create playlists.

 Chemistry   |   Science
 Find Related Videos  added


It's a terrible idea to try to extinguish burning metal with a water or CO2 fire extinguisher. Steve Mould shows why.

Subscribe for regular science videos from the Ri: and be sure you check out Steve's channel -

The working principle of a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher is that it starves a fire of oxygen. However, carbon dioxide itself has two oxygen atoms for every one carbon atom, and in the case of metal fires, the burning metal strips CO2 of its oxygen atoms, thereby adding more oxygen to the mix. It's even worse with water fire extinguishers, as when the oxygen atoms are stripped, only hydrogen remains, which is in itself explosive.

The correct way to put out a metal fire is with a powder fire extinguisher that covers the fire entirely with non-reactive powder.

Link to the chladni figures video Steve recommended -

Link to this video without any music -

A very special thank you to our Patreon supporters who help make these videos happen, especially:
Alessandro Mecca, Ashok Bommisetti, bestape, David Lindo, Elizabeth Greasley, Greg Nagel, John Pollock, Lester Su, manish upmanyu, Osian Gwyn Williams, Radu Tizu, Rebecca Pan, Roger Baker, Sergei Solovev, and Will Knott.

The Ri is on Patreon:
and Twitter:
and Facebook:
and Tumblr:
Our editorial policy:
Subscribe for the latest science videos:

Post your comment


Be the first to comment