What Is the Fire Triangle and How Can You Use It to Put Out Fire?

Knowing how each component of the fire triangle works helps you put out fires more effectively to protect your loved ones and property.

But what exactly is the fire triangle? How do you use it to extinguish fire? Let's find out. 

What is the Fire Triangle?

The fire triangle, also known as the combustion triangle, refers to the three components needed to start and sustain fire. 

The three components of the fire triangle are heat, fuel, and oxygen. Let's take a look at these components in more detail:

1. Heat

fire triangle heat

Heat initially ignites fire. It's also needed to sustain the fire and enable it to spread. In particular, heat allows fire to spread by drying out and heating the fuel. It also warms up the surrounding air. 

Unfortunately, combustion reactions also produce heat as they burn, increasing the fuel's temperature. 

2. Fuel

fire triangle fuel

Fuel refers to the material burned by the fire. These include oil, paper, wood, and cloth. Unfortunately, houses are filled with fire hazards that can serve as fuel. 

Some materials also burn more easily than others. Fuels are the most difficult component of the fire triangle to remove, so store them appropriately. 

3. Oxygen

fire triangle oxygen

Oxygen is also needed to sustain a fire. In particular, it reacts with the burning fuel to release heat and combustion products like embers and smoke. This process is called oxidation. 

The atmosphere contains 21% of oxygen. Most fires require at least 16% oxygen, so there is plenty to start a fire. On the bright side, oxygen is the easiest component to remove. 

How Can the Fire Triangle Help Put Out a Fire?

A fire can't continue without all three components of the fire triangle. Hence, removing at least one component enables you to put out a fire. 

For instance, using a fire blanket, cooling agent, fire spray, or fire extinguisher (depending on the type of fire) removes heat. Fire blankets don't just remove heat, they remove oxygen as well. 

Here's how you can safely remove each component to put out a fire: 

How to Remove Heat 

how to remove heat

Fast-moving air can help remove heat from a fire, just like blowing a candle. However, a fire larger than a candle's can't just be blown. 

Hence, you need water or a cooling agent to remove heat from a fire. Using a water fire extinguisher is one of the safest ways to do this. However, not all types of fire can be extinguished by water. For example, water can make grease fires worse, so you shouldn't pour water on it. 

How to Remove Fuel

how to remove fuel

Fuel is the hardest component to remove because you can't remove the burning material while the fire burns. Removing fuel is more on the prevention side.

Using fire-resistant materials helps you prevent the fire from starting and spreading. Fire-resistant materials can be used in manufacturing items like building materials and furniture. 

In addition, you should keep flammable materials away from heat sources. 

How to Remove Oxygen

Safely remove oxygen from the equation using a fire blanket. Fire blankets like the Emergency Fire Blanket and the Hero Fire Blanket remove oxygen by suffocating the fire

You can also use a carbon dioxide or foam fire extinguisher to remove oxygen from the fire. 


Removing one component of the fire triangle lets you put out fire. While removing fuel is almost impossible, you can remove oxygen and heat with the proper knowledge. 

So, the next time you encounter a fire, think about removing these two components. Stay prepared, hero!