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Smoking on property and forest fires


I’ve been renting a private room on my mountain property. We state in our rules “No smoking”–not just because of the smells, but because we live in the forest in a very dry part of the U.S. and fires are always an issue! Seriously, I cannot overstate how dry it is here and how forest fires are a very real possibility!!

While most guests have been nonsmokers, we do get some once in blue moon who try to sneak a smoke outside. I usually don’t find the evidence until a few days later and at that point it’s not possible to tell who threw the cigarettes out. Today, I discovered a pile of cigarette butts right on DRY PINE NEEDLES. This is how forest fires get started!!! A bit disturbed at what could have happened… especially if they threw out their butts in August/September (dry season, when most fires happen).

So basically, I want to reach out and see what other property owners do, since there are a lot of Airbnb rentals in the mountains/dry forest climates and I’m sure lots of other hosts face a similar issue.

Some ideas:
We talk about fire safety in our listing and our house rules (but a lot of people don’t bother reading the whole listing). I am planning on posting signs around the house/deck to educate people on WHY we don’t just throw away our cigarette butts on the ground and possibly getting security cameras for around the house (outside). But honestly, I’m feeling pretty cynical about people being able to follow basic instructions.

Another thought is that maybe I just have a designated area where they can smoke/get rid of their stubs? It would be a contradiction to house rules and my personal preferences as a nonsmoker, but better that than have people throw their stuff randomly on the ground.

Side note:
This could also extend to not just cigarettes, but also from people who try to start fires outside. I.e., I’ve had a group of folks ask if they could start a campfire on my property…? I mean, it’d be one thing if we had a fire pit, but these people wanted to light my stacked firewood on fire. I can’t be around 24/7 to monitor everything, so wanted to see what other hosts in similar places have done to prevent dangerous fire situations from happening. (For now, I’ll post a sign outside about the firewood…)


You can have a small bucket full of sand. It doesn’t have to be an ash tray that invites smokers. The bucket with sand could be multi-purpose.

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Good idea! That’s something simple and could solve a lot of issues. Thanks!


I agree with @Mexican. I have a couple of large brightly coloured plant pots containing sand.

However, the whole issue should be addressed when you or your co-host do the house tour. Just explain in a friendly way that forest fires are a really big deal.

When guests arrive, you can usually tell if they are smokers - there are various telltale signs. If they are, point out where they can smoke. explaining to them the reasons why. Suggest too that a used beercan or Coke can, full of water, makes an acceptable impromptu ashtray and tell them where to dispose of it.

Don’t expect guests to know these things by some sort of telepathy - explain it to them. They’ll appreciate the fire hazard.

Be aware though that smokers are going to smoke. They will more than likely not smoke inside but feel that outside is fine and unless you tell them where, they’ll not know. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the advice! Colored plant pots and instructions sound reasonable–because yes, you are right, smokers are going to smoke so might as well make it so that they do it in a safe and harmless way!

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What you said^^^^^^^^^^

Smokers are going to smoke, best to have a spot and a butt can.

I too am in the dry California mountains.


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Right in your title or in the first paragraph of your description you need to say “NO SMOKING ALLOWED ANYWHERE ON PROPERTY DUE TO FOREST FIRE HAZARD!” and then say “If you smoke, please don’t book this property. We don’t allow smoking anywhere due to the high forest fire hazard in this area, and would prefer that smokers stay away from (name of county, town, or area) entirely. We have outside security cameras and monitor them on a regular basis. SMOKING OR OUTDOOR BURNING OF ANYTHING ANYWHERE ON THE PROPERTY IS CAUSE FOR IMMEDIATE CANCELLATION OF YOUR STAY WITH NO REFUND.” Because it’s in the House Rules, you should be able to have Air cancel it for failure to obey the rules and causing a hazard.

You may lose some bookings, but you’ll also lose a lot of worry. And DO get those cameras!


Thanks for the wording and the advice! I think for the sake of safety it’s definitely worth emphasizing no smoking right off the bat!


I ask smokers not to book also. They would have to drive 1 mile away to smoke. Its written many times throughout the listing.
Rules! : #1 House Rule: Due to extreme fire hazard, no smoking allowed ANYWHERE in our tinder surrounded neighborhood. You must travel 1 mile to local store to smoke. No vaping.
Violators will be asked to leave, and will not be refunded. There are regularly county-wide police enforced bans on outdoor burning of any sort.
High fire danger exists during most of the year.

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