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Why does water not put out an oil fire?

Find out why water does not put out an oil fire.

Using sand, table salt, or baking soda is a more effective method of extinguishing an oil fire than water. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Using sand, table salt, or baking soda is a more effective method of extinguishing an oil fire than water.

Since the specific gravity of oil is less than water, it will float; because of this, water will not put out oil fires.

Instead, the burning oil will float on top of the water and spread. Throwing sand, table salt, or baking soda on the flames will extinguish them.

Also a damp towel spread over the fire will cool and smother it but all the water must be wrung out.

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