As you celebrate Chanukah we hope you enjoy the festival but take care while using candles. Candles can be a common cause of fires within homes; even one candle lit unsafely can cause a big fire.
Oil fires from frying latkes and other foods are also a potential fire risk during the holiday.
Follow these tips to prevent fires and keep you and your family safe during Hanukkah:
• Use a long-tipped lighter to keep the flame away from your fingers.
• Be mindful that most ‘arts and crafts’ Hanukkah lamps made by children are not suitable for lighting and may burn down when used. They should be used for decorative purposes only.
• Place the Chanukah lamp on a sturdy surface made of non-flammable material such as marble, glass or metal. You can also place aluminum foil on top of a hard surface. Do not risk one unstable candle falling on to a flammable surface.
• Only place Chanukah candles inside a menorah.
• Set unlit candles securely in place. Only keep the ‘Shamas’ candle out to light the other candles.
• Do not place the menorah near or under any flammable materials like curtains or books.
• Do not walk around while holding a lit candle.
• Choose a safe location for your menorah; avoid spots where something could fall on it or it could be easily knocked over.
• Keep matches and lit objects away from small children.
• Keep your menorah safely out of reach of pets and small children.
• Never leave a lit menorah unattended and remember to extinguish candles before you go to bed or leave the house.
Eating oily, fried foods such as donuts, breaded chicken, and latkes is a Chanukah tradition. If you make these foods at home you will be dealing with oil which can be a fire or burn safety hazard.
Follow these fried food safety tips to avoid a Hanukkah cooking accident:
• Ensure that your fire alarms are in working order.
• Never leave the kitchen while frying foods, and keep a close eye on the pans or fryer.
• Keep water away from the cooking area as even a small splash combined with oil can create very hot steam.
• Use vegetable, canola, corn, grape seed, safflower, or sunflower oil as they have a high smoke point.
• Do not pour huge amounts of oil in your frying pan; it is not necessary in order to make a delicious latke and oil is a fire safety hazard.
• Do not put too much food in the oil together.
• Flip latkes carefully with a slotted spatula or pancake flipper to avoid oil splashing.
• Use metal cooking tongs to flips chicken or donuts to keep your hands from touching the oil.
Most importantly of all, have a very happy Hanukkah and enjoy the celebrations!