The Fire triangle

The Fire Triangle Made Simple

Do you remember how you learned combustion? And how your teacher made mention of things that help a fire burn? Yes? Those things mentioned are what make up the fire triangle.

Just like any triangle, a fire triangle has three sides that contain three elements that support burning. The sides are fuel, heat, and oxygen.


A fire can’t burn without a medium. Igniting a fire may require a little fuel source, but keeping it for an extended period may cost twice as much. The energy needed for fire to burn doesn’t necessarily mean the derivatives of crude oil. It can be your fabric, paper, wood, plastics, etc.

Although some fuels burn rapidly than others, any form of fuel can spread a fire regardless of how quickly they burn.


The amount of oxygen present in the Earth’s air is about 21%. This percentage is just enough to trigger a combustion reaction and sustain it for a very long time. Therefore, ‘suffocating the oxygen’ out of a fire is a sure way of breaking the fire triangle.


You cannot call a fire without heat fire in the first instance. From the first spark or ignition of the fire, there is a production of heat. The heat helps to sustain fire by breaking down fuel.

Fire Triangle VS Fire Tetrahedron

Children often come in contact with the simple fire triangle when being taught how fire burns. However, as researches progress, another ‘side’ was discovered to be an essential factor that aids combustion.

The factor is called Chemical chain reaction. Researchers discover that when the fire burns, it undergoes a chain of chemical reactions. If you break any link of this chain, you have directly altered the combustion process.

As a result, researchers added another side to the already existing fire triangle. It is called the Fire tetrahedron.

A Fire Problem VS Fire Extinguisher

Understanding the fire triangle and fire tetrahedron should help you understand the use of extinguishers for any form of fire.

Fire extinguishers work by breaking a link or side in any of the fire triangle nor tetrahedron. It may block oxygen from reaching the fire, remove heat through cooling, or render the fuel inactive.

Therefore, it will be dangerous for you to use a water extinguisher for an electric fire.

We are available to put you through and provide you with the best, standard fire extinguisher for any form of fire. However, the following information can be of help when confronted with a fire incident.

Removing Any Element in a Fire Triangle

Here are simple and easy steps to get rid of the element in a fire triangle;

  • How to remove oxygen?

If you intend to remove oxygen as an element from a fire incidence, use a carbon dioxide extinguisher, a fire blanket, or a foam extinguisher. All these materials help to suffocate the fire.

  • How to remove fuel?

Removing fuel is more of a preventive measure than a corrective one. Before any incident of fire, use fire-resistant materials like furniture and objects in the home.

  • How to remove heat?

A chilly air blown at the fire may do the job. However, it doesn’t work on the wild or large fire. Hence, the most effective way is to use water.

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