Why would you throw a fire extinguisher?

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Author's Note: How do throwable fire extinguishers work?

I don't think I'm alone in feeling a certain anxiety when it comes to handling a fire extinguisher in an emergency, so I can definitely see the appeal of making the process as simple as possible. Of course, you still need to know what you're doing, which involves a bit of reading up but, hey, you read HowStuffWorks, right? You like learning how, um, stuff works.

One of the keys to fighting fires safely is to understand that you only have a small window of time in which to bring some sort of extinguishing device to bear. After that, matters are probably going to get far enough out of hand that you should really just get out and call 911. So, if grabbing a bottle or ball is faster than the fire extinguisher mantra of "Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep," then maybe there's something to popping for a throwable or two.

Me, I'm going to wait until the fire authorities and chemists weigh in on them (the ones I contacted for this article either did not get back to me or declined to comment).

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