Along with the rest of klal Yisrael, we look forward with excitement to bring in Chanukah this coming Sunday night, December 18 (25 Kislev). Along with the many enjoyments the chag brings, it is critical to remember to institute strict safety best practices in your home to ensure a meaningful and safe hadlakat neirot (candle lighting) in your homes for eight nights.
The following guide is adapted from burn/scald prevention tips from New York-Presbyterian – The University Hospitals of Columbia and Cornell.
Chanukah Specific Reminders:
- Keep the menorah away from curtains or any other flammable objects.
- Keep the menorahs away from the reach of small children.
- When making latkes, keep ALL children away from the hot oil.
- When making latkes, remember to turn frying pan handles away from the edge of the stove, so that they do not get knocked over and cause the oil to be spilled.
Sabbath and Holiday Candles General Reminders:
- Never place candles near or under anything flammable.
- Keep Shabbat, Yom Tov, Chanukah, and Yahrzeit candles on sideboards, out of the reach of small children.
- If candles are on the table, keep them in the center where they are less likely to be pulled down by a small child.
- The following are common locations in which candles are placed and which cause household fires – under kitchen cabinets, near window curtains, any location a young child can easily reach to pull the candles down, any location a family pet can knock candles over.
- When lighting and blessing candles, women in particular need to insure that they do not accidentally set their sleeves on fire when they put their hands over the flames. They must also be very careful of their hair.
- When lighting multiple Sabbath candles, families need to be aware of the high amount of heat the candles generate. Create a safe place in the house in which multiple candles can be lit. Sometimes a safe place might need to be built which is non-flammable and away from small children’s hands.