3 RCNY 310-03 Hookah Establishments

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Comment By: 
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule


The Fire Department proposes to adopt this rule to implement certain provisions of Local Law No. 187 of 2017.

The local law regulates hookah establishments, businesses that provide water pipes (hookah), heated by charcoals and containing non-tobacco products, for on-premises smoking.  One goal of the law is to minimize the risk that hookah pipes and charcoals may contribute to the creation of fire hazards.

The local law amended the Fire Code to allow smoking on the premises of these businesses, and requires that these businesses obtain Fire Department and Health Department permits.  The local law also enacted Fire Code Section 310.7, which established, or authorized the Fire Department to establish, fire safety requirements for the storage of charcoal; the preparation, handling, use and disposal of lighted charcoal; and the handling and use of smoking paraphernalia.  The local law also requires that persons holding Fire Department Certificates of Fitness supervise such activities, and mandates provision of portable fire extinguishers and flameproofing of decorations.

The proposed rule implements Local Law 187 and otherwise prescribes fire safety measures for the use of combustibles in non-tobacco hookah establishments by:

·        specifying the types of ovens or other heating devices that may be used to heat the charcoal and maintain  lighted coals, and related ventilation to exhaust the heat and gases generated by the lighted coals;

·        detailing the manner for safe storage of charcoal, and providing several options for indoor and outdoor storage;

·        requiring noncombustible surfaces in the charcoal preparation area and in the smoking area;

·        prescribing a manner for the safe handling of lighted charcoal and the disposal of spent charcoal and other combustible waste;

·        prohibiting flammable and combustible liquids in the preparation of lighted charcoal, either as a fuel or an accelerant; and

·        requiring the installation of carbon monoxide alarms.

The proposed rule would require non-tobacco hookah establishments to have on-premises staff obtain a Certificate of Fitness by June 30, 2020, and comply with other operational and maintenance requirements by April 30, 2020.  Such establishments would be required to comply with the design and installation requirements of the rule (including any necessary improvements to the oven and ductwork) and obtain a Fire Department permit by April 30, 2021.

Sections 489 and 1043(a) of the New York City Charter, and Section FC310 of the New York City Fire Code (Title 29 of Administrative Code of the City of New York) authorize the Fire Department to propose this rule.

The entire rule is underlined to indicate that it is a new rule.

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Public Hearing

Proposed New Fire Department Rule 3 RCNY 310-03 Hookah Establishments

Public Hearing Date: 
Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 11:00am

No contact

Fire Department Auditorium
9 Metrotech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201