Fire Triangle

Fire is a chemical reaction called combustion. There are three parts of what’s called the Fire Triangle that need to come together in order to create fire: 1) Heat, 2) Oxygen, and 3) Fuel. Watch this video on how you can remove one part of the fire triangles to put a fire out.

Source: The Fire Triangle from Felix Ding on Vimeo.

View Transcript

Reporter: Are we recording?

Fire Inspector Zelinskas: Yes.

Reporter: Fire Inspector Zelinskas, what are the ways that you can control a fire?

Fire Inspector Zelinskas: Well, the simplest way to explain how to control fire is to introduce the fire triangle, which has three legs: heat, fuel, and oxygen.

To remove the heat aspect of a fire, one method would be when fire fighters use a hose stream to extinguish a fire. In effect, what they're doing is cooling that fire, removing the heat element.

A layman's way to explain oxygen removal is that the homeowner is in the kitchen, and they have a flaming skillet. If they use a cover for the skillet, they have removed the oxygen aspect of the fire. Now I might remind everybody out there - don't just put the cover on; turn off the burner.

The other way to deal with a fire is to remove the fuel. A good example of how that's done is during a wildfire when a bulldozer is utilized to clear away brush, thus depriving the fire of any further fuel through which to carry out its damage.

Reporter: So this is the fire triangle.

Fire Inspector Zelinskas:Remember, fire triangle, you need to remove at least one leg of the triangle to effectively control and fight that fire.

Reporter: Thank you very much, Mr. Zelinskas.

Fire Inspector Zelinskas:You're extremely welcome.