Extinguishing methods

Removing one or more sides of the fire triangle causes combustion to cease, and the fire to go out.

Cooling involves reducing the temperature of combustible material so that it falls below its ‘ignition point’. The best medium for this purpose is usually water. However, water is not always the most appropriate medium. It would be inappropriate in an electrical fire as it conducts electricity and can lead to electrocution.

Starving involves removing the combustible material or fuel itself, for example turning off the gas.

Smothering involves excluding all or part of the oxygen, for example application of a dry powder chemical extinguisher or fire blanket. When oxygen is excluded from the fire, the fire is unable to maintain combustion.