The Fire Triangle- What you need to know

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

The fire triangle also is known as the "combustion triangle" is a scientific idea that is handy for you to know. Being aware of how fire sustain themselves is very useful information in situations where you may have to use fire safety equipment.

What is the fire triangle? what does it look like?

The fire triangle or combustion triangle is composed of three elements that are needed to ignite and sustain a fire. the three ingredients of the fire triangle are; heat, fuel, and oxygen. And if one of the three elements were removed, the fire would be extinguished.

let's talk more about the elements:


Sustaining the combustion reaction, oxygen (or any oxidizing agent) is required, as it reacts with the burning fuel to release heat and C02. The earth's atmosphere consists of 21% oxygen, this means there is a good chance if other elements are present a fire would ignite.

Certain fire extinguishers are designed to remove or reduce the amount of oxygen present, which is called 'suffocating' once the oxygen has been suffocated below ignition point, the fire will be extinguished.


Fires require material to burn, and cannot burn without it. Within homes and businesses, there is plenty of flammable materials, such as paper, oil, wood, and fabrics. Any of these can be fuel for a fire.

Some materials burn more easily than others, within the fire triangle fuels are easily one of the most difficult elements to remove, so it's wise to be savvy on where you store them to prevent a fire starting.


An element of heat is required for ignition to occur. Some materials have different 'flashpoints' for example the lowest temperature they can ignite. Reactions from combustion also produce heat as they burn, further increasing the temperature of the fuel element.