fire extinguisher

noun
a portable container, usually filled with special chemicals for putting out a fire.

Origin:
1830–40

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

fire extinguisher

portable or movable apparatus used to put out a small fire by directing onto it a substance that cools the burning material, deprives the flame of oxygen, or interferes with the chemical reactions occurring in the flame. Water performs two of these functions: its conversion to steam absorbs heat, and the steam displaces the air from the vicinity of the flame. Many simple fire extinguishers, therefore, are small tanks equipped with hand pumps or sources of compressed gas to propel water through a nozzle. The water may contain a wetting agent to make it more effective against fires in upholstery, an additive to produce a stable foam that acts as a barrier against oxygen, or an antifreeze. Carbon dioxide is a common propellant, brought into play by removing the locking pin of the cylinder valve containing the liquefied gas; this method has superseded the process, used in the soda-acid fire extinguisher, of generating carbon dioxide by mixing sulfuric acid with a solution of sodium bicarbonate.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Here is the fire extinguisher, and here is how it works.
Please do not use the fire extinguisher unless there is no water in the toilets.
At every other road-block, the policemen checked to see whether the truck was
  carrying a fire extinguisher.
Better still, it is inert and a fire extinguisher to boot.
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