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Fire Triangle

Fire Triangle

The fire triangle and the fire tetrahedron are frameworks to help understand the necessary elements for combustion. Essentially, combustion is a chemical reaction that requires three key components: fuel, heat, and oxygen, as outlined in the fire triangle. The fire tetrahedron on the other hand adds a fourth dimension that includes the the chemical chain reaction that is the relationship between fuel, heat and oxygen.

If any of these elements are missing, combustion cannot occur or be sustained, highlighting the balance between these elements for a fire to exist. These models are help people grasping the principles behind fire ignition and suppression.

The fire triangle comprises three elements: fuel, heat, and oxygen, where;

  • fuel is any combustible material that can be ignited;
  • heat is the energy source required to raise the material to its ignition temperature; and
  • oxygen supports the chemical reactions that occur during combustion.

For a fire to ignite and be sustained, all three elements must be present, removing any one of these components will extinguish a fire.


In preparing this definition, we have drawn from various sources including Legislation, Codes, Standards and industry information, research and knowledge.  Like the english language, these definitions may subtly change from time to time. As such these definitions are provided solely on the basis that users will be responsible for making their own assessment of the definition and and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.