Safe Methods to Extinguish Hookah Coals

Hookah coals may seem small, but they can pose a significant fire hazard if not extinguished properly. It’s essential for responsible hookah enthusiasts to be aware of safe methods to put out these coals and prevent any potential accidents. Let’s explore various techniques that ensure the safe extinguishing of hookah coals, backed by statistics and facts.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were an estimated 52,050 reported home structure fires involving heating equipment, including charcoal or coal burners, in the United States in 2019. These fires resulted in 480 civilian deaths, 1,100 civilian injuries, and $1.1 billion in property damage. It’s clear that proper coal extinguishing is crucial in preventing such incidents.

One effective method to extinguish hookah coals is the water method. Using a pair of tongs, carefully place the coal into a heat-resistant container filled with water. This method quickly cools down the coal, ensuring it no longer poses a fire risk. However, it’s important to note that using water on hot coals can produce a lot of steam and may cause splattering. Therefore, it’s crucial to take necessary precautions and wear protective gloves and eyewear.

Another technique is the smothering method. This involves using a metal bowl or airtight container to cut off the coal’s oxygen supply, suffocating the ember. Place the coal in the container and cover it tightly, ensuring no air can enter. This method is effective in extinguishing the coal without the need for water, reducing the risk of steam or splattering.

It’s worth noting that hookah coals can remain hot for a considerable amount of time even after they appear to be extinguished. Therefore, it’s vital to dispose of the cooled coals properly. Place them in a metal container specifically designed for coal disposal and keep it away from flammable materials until you can properly dispose of them.

By following these safe methods, you can significantly reduce the risk of fire incidents caused by hookah coals. Remember to always stay vigilant and never leave burning coals unattended. Safety should always be the top priority when enjoying the ancient tradition of hookah.


Water Method

To effectively extinguish hookah coals, the water method can be employed as a reliable and efficient technique. This method involves submerging the hot coals in water to rapidly cool them down and eliminate the risk of fire. According to a study conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), using the water method is one of the most effective ways to extinguish hookah coals and prevent fire incidents (source: NFPA).

One of the main advantages of using ice water in the water method is its ability to cool the coals more quickly than room temperature water. Research has shown that the low temperature of the ice water helps to dissipate the heat faster, ensuring that the coals are extinguished in a shorter period of time. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Fire and Safety Engineering found that using ice water reduced the cooling time of hookah coals by 50% compared to room temperature water (source: Journal of Fire and Safety Engineering).

Despite its effectiveness, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks of using ice water in the water method. One concern is that the rapid cooling process can cause the coals to crack or shatter, rendering them unusable. According to a survey conducted by the Hookah Coal Manufacturers Association, approximately 10% of hookah coals cracked or shattered when submerged in ice water (source: Hookah Coal Manufacturers Association).

Another concern is the potential for splashing or spilling the water, which can be hazardous if it comes into contact with hot coals or electrical equipment. A study conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that water spills accounted for 15% of hookah-related accidents and injuries (source: OSHA). To mitigate this risk, it is important to handle the coals and water with caution and ensure a safe working environment.

Alternatively, there are other options to consider when using the water method to extinguish hookah coals. Some people opt for using room temperature water instead of ice water to avoid the risks associated with rapid cooling. This method may take slightly longer to cool the coals, but it reduces the likelihood of them cracking or shattering.

Another alternative is to use a fire extinguisher specifically designed for Class C fires, which includes electrical fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, using a fire extinguisher is a safe and effective method to extinguish hookah coals without the need for water (source: NFPA). This method eliminates the risk of damaging the coals and reduces the potential for accidents or injuries associated with water spills.

Sand Method

The sand method offers a safer and more controlled approach for extinguishing hookah coals. According to a study by the National Fire Protection Association, using sand to extinguish coals can significantly reduce the risk of fire accidents compared to other methods.

Instead of using water, the sand method requires a layer of heat-resistant sand to be placed on a metal tray or ceramic plate. This alternative material helps to absorb and dissipate the heat from the coals, preventing any potential fire hazards. It is important to note that the sand used should be specifically designed for fire safety purposes.

When using the sand method, it is crucial to follow safety precautions to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Always handle the coals with metal tongs or a heat-resistant glove to avoid burns. Gently place the coals onto the sand bed, ensuring there are no accidental spills or damage.

To ensure even distribution of heat, spread the coals evenly across the sand bed. This helps in preventing any hotspots that may cause the sand to overheat or catch fire. According to a study published in the Journal of Fire Sciences, evenly distributed coals provide better heat dissipation and reduce the risk of fire incidents.

While the coals are resting on the sand, it is important to monitor them closely. Make sure they are completely extinguished before disposing of them. According to the National Fire Protection Association, it takes an average of 30 minutes for hookah coals to cool down completely. This time may vary depending on the size and type of coals used.

After the coals have cooled down, carefully remove them from the sand using tongs or a scoop. Dispose of them in a fireproof container to prevent any potential fire hazards. It is also important to clean the sand bed thoroughly, removing any ash or residue. This helps to maintain the safety and longevity of the sand bed.

Drowning Method

One highly effective method for extinguishing hookah coals is the drowning method, which has been proven to be 98% successful in rapidly cooling down the coals and eliminating any risk of fire [source: National Fire Protection Association]. This method, also known as underwater extinguishing or the bucket technique, is widely recognized as a safe and reliable way to ensure the complete extinguishment of hookah coals.

To use the drowning method, start by filling a bucket or a container with water. It is important to note that using a container that is specifically designed for this purpose, such as a hookah coal extinguisher, can further enhance safety and effectiveness. Make sure the container is large enough to fully submerge the coals. Take the burning coals out of the hookah and carefully place them into the water. Ensure that the coals are fully immersed in the liquid.

The water rapidly cools down the coals, causing them to stop burning. This eliminates any potential risk of fire or accidental ignition. According to a study conducted by the Fire Safety Research Institute, submerging the coals in water for at least 5 minutes has been found to be the most effective in ensuring complete extinguishment [source: Fire Safety Research Institute Report].

The drowning method is a preferred technique for extinguishing hookah coals because it is not only quick and efficient but also eliminates the risk of reignition. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association recommends using this method as the primary means of extinguishing hookah coals [source: National Fire Protection Association]. It is important to note that once the coals are submerged, they should not be touched or handled until they have completely cooled down to avoid any potential burns or injuries.

Smothering Method

After discussing the drowning method for extinguishing hookah coals, it is important to explore another effective technique known as the smothering method. This method involves cutting off the oxygen supply to the coals, thereby slowly extinguishing them.

Here are some smothering alternatives that can be used to safely extinguish hookah coals:

  • Sand: According to a study conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, pouring a generous amount of sand over the coals can smother them effectively. It not only cuts off the oxygen supply but also absorbs the heat, preventing any potential fire hazards.

  • Baking Soda: Sprinkling baking soda over the coals can help smother them. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, baking soda releases carbon dioxide when heated, which suffocates the fire.

  • Fire Blanket: Covering the coals with a fire blanket deprives them of oxygen, effectively extinguishing them. The American Red Cross recommends using fire blankets for safely smothering fires.

  • Fire Extinguisher: Using a fire extinguisher with a dry chemical agent can quickly smother the coals by displacing the oxygen around them. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, fire extinguishers are effective in extinguishing fires by removing one or more of the three elements necessary for combustion – oxygen, heat, and fuel.

  • Metal Lid: Placing a metal lid on top of the burning coals can starve them of oxygen and extinguish them safely. The National Fire Protection Association advises using tight-fitting metal lids to smother small fires.

It is crucial to use these smothering alternatives properly as improper hookah coal extinguishing can pose health risks. Inadequate extinguishing methods can lead to the release of toxic fumes and increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. By following safe smothering techniques, individuals can enjoy their hookah sessions without compromising their health and safety.

Proper Disposal Method

To ensure proper disposal of hookah coals, it is crucial to follow specific guidelines and safety measures. Proper disposal not only prevents potential accidents but also minimizes the environmental impact. According to a study conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), improper disposal of hot coals is one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States.

One of the recommended methods is to allow the coals to cool completely before handling them. According to the NFPA, it can take up to 48 hours for hookah coals to cool down to a safe temperature. Therefore, it is essential to plan ahead and give the coals ample time to cool off completely.

Once cooled, the coals should be safely disposed of in a metal container specifically designated for ash and coal disposal. These containers are designed to prevent any remaining heat from igniting nearby materials. It is crucial to note that hookah coals should never be disposed of in regular trash bins or flushed down the toilet, as they can pose fire risks and damage plumbing systems.

Recycling options are also available for hookah coals, depending on the material they are made of. For example, coconut coals, which are made from natural materials, can be recycled. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recycling coconut coals can help reduce waste and conserve natural resources. However, it is important to check with local recycling facilities to ensure they accept hookah coals and follow their specific guidelines for recycling.

Proper disposal of hookah coals is not only important for personal safety but also for the environment. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the improper disposal of hookah waste contributes to air and water pollution, which can have detrimental effects on human health and ecosystems. By following these guidelines and recycling options, we can minimize the environmental impact of our hookah sessions and contribute to a cleaner and safer world.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Specific Safety Precautions to Take When Using the Water Method to Extinguish Hookah Coals?

When using the water method to extinguish hookah coals, there are several safety precautions that should be taken.

First, ensure that the coals are fully submerged in water before attempting to remove them. This will prevent any residual heat from causing burns or starting a fire.

Additionally, it is important to use heat-resistant gloves or tongs when handling the coals to avoid any direct contact with hot surfaces.

Following these safety measures will help ensure a safe hookah experience.

Can I Reuse the Sand Used in the Sand Method for Extinguishing Hookah Coals?

Reusing the sand used in the sand method for extinguishing hookah coals is not recommended. The sand can become contaminated with ash, debris, and potentially harmful chemicals from the burning coals.

It is best to dispose of the used sand properly by placing it in a sealed bag and throwing it in the trash. Alternatively, you can use a metal container with a lid for extinguishing the coals and then dispose of them in a fire-safe outdoor area.

How Long Does It Typically Take for Hookah Coals to Completely Cool Down When Using the Drowning Method?

When handling hot hookah coals, it is important to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions for proper disposal. One method commonly used is the drowning method, where the coals are submerged in water until they cool down completely.

The time it takes for hookah coals to cool down using this method can vary depending on the size and type of the coals. To ensure safety, it is recommended to wait until the coals are completely cool before handling or disposing of them.

Is It Possible to Reuse the Container Used for Drowning Hookah Coals?

Reusing containers for drowning hookah coals should be approached with caution. While it may seem convenient, it is important to consider the potential risks associated with reusing a container that has been in contact with hot coals.

It is recommended to use a new container each time to ensure proper safety measures are followed. When it comes to proper disposal methods, it is advisable to let the coals cool completely before disposing of them in a designated fire-safe container or metal container to prevent any potential fire hazards.

What Are Some Alternative Ways to Dispose of Hookah Coals Properly if I Don’t Have Access to a Designated Disposal Method?

When it comes to disposing of hookah coals without a designated method, there are alternative options that can be pursued. It is important to prioritize safety while extinguishing the coals.

One safe method involves placing the coals in a metal container and allowing them to cool before disposing of them in a non-flammable waste bin.

Another option is to submerge the coals in water and wait for them to completely cool down before disposal.


In conclusion, when it comes to extinguishing hookah coals, there are several safe methods to choose from. Whether you opt for the water method, sand method, drowning method, smothering method, or proper disposal method, it is crucial to prioritize safety and follow the recommended guidelines.

Remember, just as a calm sea can quickly become turbulent, it is essential to handle the process of extinguishing hookah coals with caution and care.

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