Fire Triangle


What is the Fire Triangle?

The fire triangle in the UK refers to the 3 things required for a fire to start and keep burning.

The triangle fire of America refers to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York City on March 25, 1911. This was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the deadliest in U.S. history. 146 people lost their lives and 78 were seriously injured.

This article is concerned with the fire triangle uk. We will try and explain ‘what is the fire triangle and its composition’. To start here are 2 Fire Triangle images:

Fire Triangle 1          Fire Triangle 2

A simple Fire triangle definition: 

The triangle shows the three things a fire needs to start: An ignition source (a flame, spark or heat), fuel (wood, paper, petrol or anything that can burn), and an oxidizing agent (usually oxygen or air but some chemicals known as oxidising agents can support a fire even though air is not present)

A fire starts when these 3 things are present and in the right mixtures. So a fire is really an event rather than a thing. A fire can be prevented or extinguished by removing any one of the 3 sides in the fire triangle. 

For example, covering a fire with a fire blanket or foam removes the oxygen (air) part of the triangle and can extinguish a fire. Water removes the heat by cooling the fire down. Cutting down trees to make forest fire breaks removes fuel.

Our online fire safety training course has more detail on all aspects of fire safety awareness.