If on your exodus to the Irish wilderness you run into a marooding cete of crazed badgers ‘3’ is the magic number:
Unlike sign language, which has a standardized code, smoke signals aimed to send a secret message, usually some sort of pre-arranged code, since the smoke signals would be visible to both friend and foe.
Yet some basic signals were used. For example, one puff meant “Attention.” Two puffs, “All’s Well.” Three puffs, “Danger” or “Help.”
The number three is pretty universal even today with hunters, outdoorsmen and Boy Scouts when one is signaling for help. Usually this would be whistling three times, firing three shots or even three puffs from a fire to signal “Help.”