Check electrical cables, particularly hotplates and water heaters at this time of year. If there is any damage to a cable or plug, or if the connections appear loose, please do not use the appliance.
You will recall that last Chanukah we had a very significant house fire in the community which initiated from a lit Menorah. Whilst this caused a lot of damage to the home, thankfully the occupants escaped without personal injury. The menorah was not lit with candles, but with oil-filled ‘EZ-Lights’: these do not always sit firmly into a candle holder. Please take great care with candles.
And only last Shabbos in the early hours of Saturday morning March 24th, we attended a home in Prestwich where high levels of Carbon Monoxide were recorded. It appears the likely cause was a blech left on a stovetop overnight. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, high levels can cause great sickness and may prove fatal if left undetected. Thankfully there are no significant injuries from this incident. Please be careful not to restrict the flow of air to a gas flame – this restricts the efficient combustion of the gas resulting in the production of carbon monoxide.
Foiling a gas hob has the potential to cause such an effect, if the air flow is restricted. Of course I appreciate the efforts to ‘kosher the kitchen’ but please take great care. I recommend you do not foil a gas stove top.
I would also ask that you encourage your friends and families to check electrical cables, particularly hotplates and water heaters at this time of year. If there is any damage to a cable or plug, or if the connections appear loose, please do not use the appliance. Appliances that are designed to get hot draw the most current and have the greatest potential to cause fire if any faults are present. A well maintained and looked after appliance should give you no problem, but a few simple checks will help keep you safe.
And of course: FIT SMOKE ALARMS on every floor of you home. Install a smoke alarm in a room where candles are to be lit. Test these weekly. Never remove the battery. Also please consider fitting a carbon monoxide detector. There is ample advice to help keep everyone safe here on our website: http://manchesterfire.gov.uk
I will be tasking my firefighters to hand deliver safety leaflets ahead of Pesach towards the end of this week. But if you could please support me in getting these safety messages across, that would be very helpful indeed, to help avert the tragedy of an accidental house fire at any time, but particularly ahead of the joyful times of Pesach. We must see this as our joint responsibility.
Anyone can book a free Safe and Well Visit at any time, where our firefighters will visit your home and offer advice to keep you safe from fire. We will also discuss how to develop an escape plan with your family in case a fire occurs. To book a visit please call free on 0800 555 815.
Please see below a link to a press release from earlier this week– feel free to replicate this article in any publications, and please do share through your existing local communication channels: