3 Methods of fire extinction you should know



Unwanted and unintended fire can cause a lot of damages and dead. This is why unwanted and unintended fires must be extinguished as fast as possible. This will be covered in this topic “Methods of fire extinction

Fires of any type are always extinguished through three (3) methods:

  • Cooling
  • Starvation and
  • Smothering

Each of the above methods works by eliminating one component of the fire triangle.

Lets refer back to the fire triangle:


The three components listed on the fire triangle must be available in good proportion before there can be fire. At any point where one of the component is eliminated, fire cannot be sustained, it dies out naturally.

This is the concept that is used for extinguishing any form of fire.

Read Also: What is fire alarm system: How it works & Types

Lets get to explain the different methods of fire extinction:

Cooling: Cooling takes off heat from the fire triangle. This heat takes the position of an ignition source, sometimes the ignition source may be naked flame, sparks, etc. However, anytime the ignition source of a fire is removed, the fire will die out naturally.

Starvation: Starvation robs the fire of burning fuel.  The fuel can be solid, liquid or gaseous. When there is no more fuel for the fire to burn, the fire dies out automatically.

Smothering: Here, oxygen supply is cut off from the fire. This is mostly done by covering the fire to prevent or reduce influx of oxygen into it.

These methods highlighted above can be used both at the incipient state of the fire and also at a more advanced stage by different fire safety professionals. Some can tackle fire at the infant stage, while others are trained to tackle fire at a more advanced stage.

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This methods of fire extinction also forms what is called “The chemistry of fire extinction“.

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