Types of Fire places

Know how to maintain and safely use LP gas cookers. Know about the dangers and safety precautions to be taken when using them. Know the uses of the following types of fire places1)Altar Fire 2)Star fire 3)Tripod fire 4)Crane Fire 5)Reflector fire 6)Trench fire

Using and Maintaining LP gas cookers

Buying an LPG gas Cylinder? Know these simple Tips

  • Purchase your cylinder from Total’s authorized distributors to ensure you are getting product of genuine quality.

  • Check that the seal and safety cap are intact and confirm the date on cylinder to ensure it is within the tested period

  • Ensure that the cylinder is carried in the upright position to the desired place and not dragged or rolled as it can damage the cylinder.

  • Place the LPG cylinder vertically on a stable surface and ensure that the area is well-ventilated.

  • It is recommended to use regulators purchased from Total’s authorized distributors which conform to the safety standards and comply with the statutory norms and safety guidelines. The size of the pressure regulators issued by the government oil companies differ from that of the private companies and therefore are not interchangeable.

Things to keep in mind while using an LPG Cylinder

  • Do not spray chemicals or other flammable solutions near the open flame.

  • Do not leave the utensil unattended while cooking on LPG to avoid spillage on burner.

  • Avoid keeping paper or plastic products near the flame as they can catch fire.

  • Don’t use a cloth to grip the vessel kept on the stove as it may catch fire. Instead, use a pair of kitchen tongs or fire-resistant mitts.

  • Do not store any chemicals/acids near the cylinder on the floor.

Maintenance tips

  • Never tamper with the hose, valve pin or the regulator.

  • Check the LPG hose regularly for any signs of wear and tear.

  • Avoid curtains, blinds or any other flammable objects near the stove which can catch fire.

  • Do not keep any electric appliances or cables near the stove. Most appliances release constant heat/sparks that can be dangerous if kept near the burner.

  • Retain the safety cap with the nylon thread attached to it and replace the regulator with the cap when the cylinder is not in use for a long period.


  • Do not use the gas stove in case you suspect a leak. Switch off the regulator and burner knob and open the kitchen windows.

  • Turn off the main power supply from outside

  • Since LPG is a heavier than air, it tends to settle towards the bottom of the floor so use all ventilations possible to disperse the gas

  • Put off all flames, incense sticks and lamps and do not switch on or off any electrical switches/appliances

  • Contact your authorized distributor

  • In case of a fire, inform the fire brigade services immediately – Dial 119/ 0112 422 222

Maintaining and servicing your Gas Cooker

Flame Colours

Blue flame vs yellow flame color is a question of complete combustion vs incomplete combustion. LPG (propane) and natural gas (methane) flame colour are both blue. A blue flame color and temperature means complete combustion. Red flames or yellow gas flame color may be a sign of incomplete combustion, wasted gas and a serious safety hazard. Blue flame vs orange flame, blue flame vs red flames and blue flame vs yellow flame are all the incomplete combustion issue.

Blue flames are good.

Red flames and yellow gas flames... not so much...

Blue flame vs red flames is an issue of safety, proper combustion and saving gas.

Gas normally burns with a blue flame but sometimes it burns with yellow or red flames when there is a problem.

Yellow or Red Flames Means Incomplete Combustion

A orange, yellow or red flames means incomplete combustion of the gas.

If you starved the Bunsen burner of air, the combustion process was incomplete and the gas flame colour burned as sooty yellow or red flames and at a cooler temperature.

A blue flame indicates complete combustion of the carbon, which is why you see a blue flame with gas appliances. Propane is a hydrocarbon, containing carbon atoms. A blue flame is indicative of complete combustion vs a yellow flame or orange flame.

The yellow or red flames are due to incandescence of very fine soot particles that are produced in the flame.

This type of red flames only burns at around 1,000 °C.

Depending on the lighting, you may have actually seen the soot rising from the flame.

What you didn't see was that incomplete combustion was also producing dangerous carbon monoxide.

When comparing different gases, you will discover that they required different amounts of air for complete combustion.

What Does Blue Flame Mean - Blue Flame Means Complete Combustion

A blue flame means complete combustion of the gas. With complete combustion, LPG (Propane) burns with a blue flame. Pure hydrocarbons like methane (refined natural gas), propane, butane and ethane gases also burn with a blue flame. These gases are all alkanes and are gas that burns with a blue flame.

These gases come from raw natural gas processing and oil refining.

An LPG burns with a blue flame at a temperature of around 1,980°C.

If you had a chance to use a Bunsen burner, you know how adjusting the air (oxygen) supply affects the colour and temperature of the flame.

When you adjusted the Bunsen burner to increase the air supply you got more complete combustion, less soot, a higher temperature and a blue flame colour.

Gas Cooker Yellow Flame - Are Yellow or Red Flames on Gas Stove Dangerous

A yellow or red flames on gas stove is dangerous, as it is indicative of incomplete combustion and carbon monoxide (CO) generation. A gas cooker yellow flame is a dangerous safety problem, if it occurs with an indoor appliance like a gas stove. You could also be wasting gas.

Complete information about the flames from this article

A gas cooker yellow flame means you should schedule a gas stove service as soon as possible.

This is all due to the holes in the gas burner blocked with carbon. You can safely remove the burners and clear the holes with a safety pins and get/clear the carbon out. This is the normal procedure done in Scouting.

Types of Fire Places

Altar Fire

The Altar Fire (or alter fire) in its simplest form is a fire that is built on a structure raising it off of the ground. If built traditionally this would be made out of crossed green logs in cabin style, with a flat surface on top that is covered in a thick layer of mud to act as an insulator so the wood frame doesn’t catch fire.

It would be easy to think this is simply to avoid leaning down over a camp fire to create a better ergonomic cooking arrangement, this is true, but often not the reason it is primarily done. The Alter Fire is what needs to be built when you are cooking in areas with peat, wet ground such as mud or marshes, and sometimes even snow.

Modern versions of this include lashed frames, steel frames and even raised split drums have been known to carry this name.

How to Build an Altar Fire

  1. Assess the location. If the ground is not suitable to lighting a fire directly on it then an alter fire is required. As this type of fire is high above the ground it is more susceptible to wind so a location with a natural windblock would be ideal. As always consider the surroundings for fire hazards, wind direction and similar.

  2. Create the base. Once the size of the fire is known then wet logs of that size must be gathered for the stand. Construct the base in a stable crisis cross fashion. It is critical for safety that this structure is stable, so groves where the logs cross may be required to insure it doesn’t move or slip. At about waist height, build a flat platform, this can easily be done by laying a series of evenly sized logs across the upper most part of the frame. Cover the flat platform with a layer of thick mud at least 2 inches / 5cm thick. Clay soil works best, sandy solid should be avoided.

  3. Lay the fire. Once the base building is completed, lay the fire of choice like a Log Cabin Fire or a Tepee Fire.

  4. Light the fire. Light the alter fire and tend as required for you intended dish.

  5. Maintaining the fire. The fire needs to be continually maintained as it could become dangerous if part of the fire was to fall off the altar, or worse the whole altar was to fail.

  6. Extinguishing the fire. It is essential that this fire is completely out every time you have finished cooking with it. When finished at the location it will need to be dismantled. Do not leave until it is fully extinguished and cool to the touch otherwise it can re-ignite.

Star Fire

A star fire, or Indian fire, is the fire design often depicted as the campfire of the old West. Imagine five or six logs laid out like the spokes of a wheel (star shaped). A fire is started at the "hub" and each log is pushed towards the center as the ends are consumed. It's another fire that can be kept burning all night long with little maintenance.

The most common fireplace for everyone, widely used across the world .

Does keep you warm and easy to tend

Tripod Fire

The tripod can be used as an improvised smoke house for smoking game meat or animal hides, to help preserve them. This fireplace can be commonly seen in outdoors and in winter to make stew


  • 3 hiking staffs for tripod legs

  • 10-foot lashing rope (or 20 feet of binder twine folded in half) for tripod lashing

  • Cooking pot with a bail handle

  • 5 feet of cord to suspend the pot over the fire from the top of the tripod

Crane Fire

This crane offers a number of different cooking heights and will not bend in the slightest even with the heaviest pot attached. I have though learned to take the pot off the arm with this one before changing the height.

The arm of the crane can be set high or low (and ranges in between) and if set up correctly the upright can be easily rotated to swing your pot away from the fire.

Reflector Fire

The reflector fire essentially is the fire of your choice then a wall erected on one side to reflect back the heat to create a hotter cook area. This method is often used if trying to cook something like a cake or similar on an open fire. It is far more successful if you use a reflector oven.

The more common, non-cooking, use for this fire is in overnight survival scenarios where there is a fire with the reflector on one side, and a protected shelter on the other side, thus maximizing the warming heat on the person trying to endure the cold night.

How to Build a Reflector Fire

  1. Assess the location.The heat reflection is maximised if the wind is completely removed, thus it is best to place the reflector wall on the upwind side of the fire so it also acts as a windbreak. The fire itself should be far enough way that the reflector won’t catch fire, but close enough that it reflects the heat. As always consider the surroundings for fire hazards, wind direction and similar.

  2. Mark out the base. Decide on the method for securing the two supporting uprights, this can be done either by knocking them into the ground securely, confident they won’t fall, or building a frame and supporting it with another stick. This second method also provides the option of adjusting the angle of the reflector as needed.

  3. Lay the fire. Any fire choice will work, however the one most often associated with this design is a hunters fire that runs perpendicular to the reflector wall. This also acts as a wind block for to additional directions of wind.

  4. Light the fire. Light the fire and tend as required for you intended dish. Adjust the reflector wall if possible to the angle that creates the heat distribution as needed.

  5. Maintaining the fire. The fire is maintained as per a normal fire to meet the needs of the recipe that you are cooking.

  6. Extinguishing the fire. When finished with fire extinguish it carefully. Do not leave until it is fully extinguished and cool to the touch otherwise it can re-ignite.

Keeping the reflector logs close to the fire can end up burning the reflector logs too. Separating the reflector logs from the fire can prevent it. You may need to build the reflector log wall a bit higher and longer if you are distancing to the initial fire

Trench Fire

In an open field, the trench fireplace is safer than an above-the-ground fireplace on a windy day. Mark off the trench with your camp spade, one spade width wide. Dig it enough spade widths long to make room for your utensils. Remove the sod in turfs and take proper care of them. Widen the windward end to catch a good draft. (replace the sod after the site has cooled completely)

The trench fire is ideal for a small group at the same camp site for a number of nights to cook on, such as a long weekend family or scout patrol camp. This fire style is accommodating to windy areas as it keeps the fire tucked below ground level and the dirt removed from the trench can also be used as an additional windbreak. The fire however does require firm soil that can be easily dug and hold its shape, thus rocky and sandy grounds are not suitable.

A trench fire is good for cooking multi pot meals including boiling, grilling, frying and braising.

How to Build a Trench Fire

  1. Assess the location. As a hole needs to be dug ensure that you are allowed to do that at the location you are using. Check the ground, if it is too rocky it will be difficult to dig the hole, if it is too sandy the trench won’t be able to hold its shape and will fail. As always take into account the surroundings for fire hazards, wind direction and similar. (read more on fire location)

  2. Mark out the trench. The narrow end of the trench should be the leading edge towards the prevailing wind during the main meal cooking time (wind direction can shift throughout the day), this will help assure a proper draft. If you don’t have or wish to use a rack or green sticks, then the trench must be wide enough for your pots and pans to sit stably while cooking. If you are using a rack or green sticks the easy option is to go the width of the spade you are using to dig the trench.

  3. Dig the trench. Remove the top layer of vegetation carefully especially if there is grass or similar, this is normally done to just below the roots; about 5cm (2 inches). This can be replaced when you are finished with the site. Typically, a trench fire is not a box shaped trench like for a coffin, although there is nothing wrong if you choose to do it this way. A trench fire is on a slope with the shallow end up wind, leading down to the deep end. The shallow end is about 10cm (4 inches) deep with the deep end being about 30 cm (1 foot) deep.

  4. Light the fire. The fire is positioned in the middle of the trench and set to burn, when it is well established the fire can be split with the good coals going to the shallow end for grilling and similar with the fresh fire running at the deeper end producing flames for boiling and fresh coals that can be shuffled to the shallow end as required.

  5. Maintaining the fire. The fresh wood is fed into the deep end of the trench where there is more space and a large gap between fire and pots. As this burns down the coals are continually shifted to the shallow end if you are planning to cook there. As this is in the ground there is a slightly limited air supply compared to a fire on the ground so try not to compound this by adding too much wood which could starve the fire of oxygen. Try to always leave a small gap between the center of the fire and the far edge of the trench. Some people recommend the exact opposite of this, feed at shallow end; cook at deep end; do what works for you.

  6. Extinguishing the fire. The fire can be left to burn out when cooking is completed or the ashes and wood can be spread out across the base of the trench then gently put out with water as per standard practice. When cold the dirt can be returned to the hole followed by the carefully positioned grass layer. There may be a slight bulge to the ground due to the loosening of the soil but this will settle over time.

To Learn more about Camping fireplaces visit this link

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