Chanukah Safety Tips

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stamp-chanukahFirst and foremost, teach your children that fire is dangerous. It can maim and destroy.

  • When deciding where to place your Chanukah menorah, consider the following:  Are there curtains close by? Will children be running around?
  • Supervise your youngsters when they handle the matches and candles/wicks. Once the fire is lit, place the menorah out of your children’s reach.
  • Children bring home beautiful projects on Chanukah that they wish to be displayed near the menorahs. If they are flammable, either paste them to the wall or put them aside so that they do not catch fire.
  • House fires tend to occur more often during the winter months. Prepare an escape plan and occasionally rehearse it with your family.
  • During Chanukah, many foods are fried in hot oil. Try to use the back burners for this purpose. When you walk away from the stove, even if for a moment, turn the handles inward to prevent the pan from accidentally being pulled down by a curious toddler.


This is for immediate care only. An adult should decide whether an ambulance must be called or a doctor consulted. When in doubt, call Hatzolah.

  • Begin cooling the burn as soon as possible. A first-degree burn that is left untreated can quickly become a second- or third-degree burn.
  • Cool the burn by running cold (not freezing) water on the affected area or by covering the area with a wet towel. Occasionally re-immerse the towel in cold water as the burn warms the cloth.
  • Burns, regardless of the cause, have to be cooled for a minimum of twenty minutes. The hotter the skin, the longer the cooling process.
  • Make sure that the burn has been successfully cooled before applying burn creams.
  • Any burn to an infant, child or the elderly that affects the face, head, chest, abdomen, or back should be considered an emergency.

The OU has publicized six fire prevention tips ahead of Chanukah.

They include:

  • Chanukah Burn and Scald Preventiontips, which not only include candles, but the making of latkes as well. It advises women to be particularly careful of their sleeves and hair when lighting candles.
  • Torah Tots/Play it Safe for Chanukah, which has a variety of safety tips, including keeping a 10 pound ABS fire extinguisher near the kitchen, away from the stove.
  • Fire Safety for Jewish Observances, which, among other items, advises that candles should be kept at least four feet away from curtains, draperies, blinds, kitchen cabinets and bedding.
  • A link to the New York City Fire Department’s fire safety information website.
  • Who by Fire: Helping Burn Victims and Their Families, with a special section for Chanukah.
  • Home Safety – Ten Hot Tips to Make Your Home a No Burn Zone, including developing an emergency evacuation plan.

Rabbi Hershel Schachter, OU halachic decisor, says,  “If one is not going to be home while the Chanukah candles are lit, it is better that they not be lit, but one can light later in the evening if they will be home. There should always be someone watching or near the candles. When lighting in a hotel room, one should make sure he has half an hour to let the candles burn and then blow them out when he has to leave.”

{Noam Newscenter}


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