“The trashcan’s on fire again.” a coworker casually informed me, hardly looking up from his computer screen as the smell of burning paper wrestled with the lingering scent of shisha smoke in the small office. It was my fault, and from the nonplussed reaction, you may assume it wasn’t the first time. Moral of the story? Make sure your coals are FULLY extinguished before dumping out the ash from the tray. Though the overlooked ember was only slightly larger than a pea, it was enough to catch the contents of the can aflame.
When you’ve smoked your hookah to satisfaction, it may be a good idea to shift the ashes in the tray around making sure there are no pieces of glowing coal smoldering beneath the gray drifts of spent coal. Should any ignited bits of coal remain, you can extinguish them quickly by dropping them in water. This may take some forethought, as the coals will instantly dissolve in a capitulatory hiss, clouding the clear water into a dirty black muck. Some have reported success with disposing of live coals by flushing them down a toilet. Whatever you do though, please be sure to fully extinguish your hookah charcoal. As of yet, we haven’t heard of any news stories of houses burning down from hookah charcoal, so please don’t be the first we hear about.