Fire Safety and Fire Prevention When Smoking Hookah
How many hookah smokers out there have ever dropped a coal or two on the floor? It happens more often than any of us would admit. But what we seem to ignore is the severity of our carelessness. Whether we drop the coals while carrying them with our tongs, or maybe we push them off the bowl while repositioning them. I'd be willing to bet most of you leave coals on the hookah and let them die out after you're done smoking. You may even leave the room (or house) entirely. I've been guilty of this a few times, but luckily nothing bad happened. Unfortunately for one individual at the Sigma Chi fraternity house in Gainesville, Florida, he had to learn the hard way. So I thought I'd offer my two cents on safety and fire prevention when smoking hookah to keep the rest of you from making the same mistakes. These simple steps only take a few seconds and can be the difference between you spending the next two hours enjoying your hookah or spending it dealing with the fire department! 1. Know where your fire extinguisher is, how to use it, and whether or not it's working properly before you do ANYTHING! Keep it close enough to you so you can respond quickly in case of an emergency. Fire extinguishers only have about 10 seconds of extinguishing power. If you feel you can't get the fire out yourself in 10 seconds or less, leave the area immediately and call the fire department. For more information on fire safety and fire extinguisher safety, click here. 2. Before you even light your coals, make sure there aren't any flammable substances in the room. 3. If you use quick light coals, keep in mind that their sparks can blow in any direction at any time depending on wind, air conditioning units, fans, or people walking by, etc. Light them in a safe place. 4. ONLY attempt lighting one or two quick light coals at a time using your tongs. And make sure you have a firm and secure grip on your coals with your tongs. Never hold lit coals over anything that is flammable. 5. If you're using natural coals, make sure your path between your coal heater and your hookah is clear and open. Also make sure your charcoal holder is secure and appropriate for transportation. 6. Make sure both your hookah and your bowl are level before and after you put your coals on. 7. Be careful with your hoses. Don't leave them sitting where someone can trip over them, even while you're holding them. 8. I personally suggest using a wind cover at all times. You end up needing fewer coals to keep the hookah smoking, and it encases the coals safer in the event of your hookah tipping over. 9. Never leave your hookah unattended. 10. When you're done smoking, I recommend pouring a glass of water 3/4 full and place your leftover coal (that is still lit) in the water using your tongs. This will extinguish them instantly. So let's recap: Have your fire extinguisher within a safe distance to respond to any emergency. Invest in a charcoal holder. Eliminate all fire hazards from your hookah area. Light your coals carefully and in a safe place. Place your coals on the hookah bowl safely. Use an HL Bowl or wind cover. Don't horseplay around your hookah. Make sure your hoses can't be tripped over. Never leave your hookah unattended. Extinguish all coals that are still burning in a glass of water, or sink full of water. Oh, and enjoy your hookah smoking experience!