3 RCNY 310-03 Non-Tobacco Hookah Establishments

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Final Rule

The Fire Department adopts 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 such businesses obtain permits from the Fire Department and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). 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.
This rule implements the requirements of Local Law 187 and 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 the manner for 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 rule requires non-tobacco hookah establishments to have on-premises staff obtain a Certificate of Fitness by January 1, 2021, and comply with other operational and maintenance requirements by October 1, 2020. Such establishments are required to comply with the design and installation requirements of the rule (including any necessary improvements to the oven and ductwork) and to obtain a Fire Department permit by October 1, 2021.