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fire extinguisher

a portable container, usually filled with special chemicals for putting out a fire.
1830-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fire extinguisher
  • 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.
  • First he tried a dye-filled fire extinguisher, which he blasted at the sleeping bulls' flanks.
  • Nearby, in a storage room beside the vault, an ordinary-looking red fire extinguisher was strapped to the wall.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy and batteries for flashlights and radios.
  • Firing off a fire extinguisher, not to mention three, is a felony.
  • The use of a fire extinguisher in the hands of a trained adult can be a life and property saving tool.
  • It is important to choose the proper fire extinguisher for each fire.
Encyclopedia Article for 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brought into play by removing the locking pin of the cylinder valve containing the liquefied gas; this method has superseded the process, used in the soda-acid fire extinguisher, of generating carbon dioxide by mixing sulfuric acid with a solution of sodium bicarbonate.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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