The best fire protection is fire prevention. But you need to know how to deal with an accidental fire as well as how to keep one from starting. Responding appropriately to a fire involves understanding what a fire is. Fire used to be something of a mystery, and legend claims it was given to man as a gift from the gods. Modern man has since discovered that fire results from the combination of things we encounter every day. This phenomenon may be represented by an equation.
Fire = Heat + Fuel + Oxygen
This equation is sometimes referred to as the "fire triangle" because it has three components. If you can take away one of these elements, then you can successfully put out a fire. This is the key to all fire fighting and how an extinguisher works, but before we discuss the portable fire extinguishing process, let's first look at the classes of fires that extinguishers were designed to put out.