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How to use a bucket of sand to put out a fire

Updated April 17, 2017

Fire extinguishers are not always available, so it is important to know other ways to put out a fire. One technique used to smother a fire involves sand and a bucket. A fire-sand bucket is a steel bucket filled with sand. While this is a low-tech method of fighting a fire, it is usually very effective.

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  1. Buy a sturdy steel bucket. Stencil the word "FIRE' on both sides; this should keep someone from dumping out the sand and using it for another purpose.

  2. Fill the bucket with sand. It doesn't matter if it is dry or wet sand.

  3. Pour the sand over the fire, covering the flames completely. The sand will cut off the oxygen supply to the fire and smother it. When you feel the fire is out, stir the sand and watch for hot spots. Do not leave the fire unattended until you are sure it is completely extinguished.

  4. Place a bucket of sand in your garage, near your barbecue or beside your campfire. You never know when a fire may break out. There are more than 4,000 unnecessary deaths, and 25,000 unnecessary injuries, due to fires every year. A handy bucket of sand, poured directly on the flames, is one way to stop a fire before it gets out of control and causes physical harm or property damage.

  5. Tip

    Control the sand as it is dumped to avoid spreading the fire. If possible, wear something to protect your arms and hands. Remain as far away from the fire as possible. Use a sand-fire bucket when a dry extinguisher is needed and a chemical extinguisher is unavailable.


    Be cautious when close to the fire. There is a risk of a radiant heat burn.

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Things You'll Need

  • Steel bucket
  • Sand

About the Author

Joan Collins began writing in 2008. Specializing in health, marriage, crafts and money, her articles appear on eHow. Collins earned a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Arts in instructional technology from American InterContinental University.

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