Fireproofing a Balloon

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Updated on Dec 09, 2011

Grade Level: 7th to 9th; Type: Physical Science


In this experiment we make a fireproof balloon.

Research Questions:

  • What makes the balloon pop when there is no water in it?
  • What prevents the water balloon from popping?
  • Does the rubber have anything to do with this reaction to fire?

If you hold a fire up to a balloon, it pops instantly. What if you could prevent this from happening? In this experiment, we will do just that.


  • Water faucet
  • Balloons
  • Lighter

Experimental Procedure

  1. Blow up a balloon with your mouth.
  2. Take the lighter and hold it lit underneath the balloon. (The balloon should pop.)
  3. Now get another balloon and fill it with water.
  4. After it has quite a bit of water in it, blow a bit of air into it.
  5. Hold a lit lighter beneath it. Observe. (The balloon should not pop, though the bottom is clearly turning black.)
  6. Now move the lighter higher up near the air-filled part of the water balloon. (It should pop almost instantly.)

Terms/Concepts: heat conduction, heat displacement, rubber’s reaction to heat

References: Transferring Heat: