Chanukah is the one time of year we allow candles in our home. Our family gathers together for eight consecutive nights and celebrates the time honored tradition of lighting the menorah. It’s a beautiful sight to watch the colorful candles burning each night.
However, this always makes me very nervous! I’m constantly thinking about the potential dangers of these burning candles and make every effort to keep my family and home as safe as can be while they are lit. It’s so important to be aware of the hazards of having an open flame in the home and follow every safety precaution possible to prevent a fire.
Here are eight easy tips every family celebrating Chanukah should follow:
- Never allow a child of any age to use matches, a lighter, or any related fire source to light the candles. This should only be done by a responsible adult.
- Keep all matches, lighters, and any related fire source out of the reach of all children and locked up. Put these items out of reach in a safe place, and locked away immediately after use.
- Children should never be allowed to light another candle from the "main candle" or "shamash", themselves. Close adult supervision is a must at all times when children are in the same room as the lit menorah.
- Once the candles have been lit, keep the menorah out of the reach of children and pets. Teach children from a young age about the dangers of fire. Establish a "kid free zone" around the menorah.
- Be sure to tie back hair and not wear loose clothing when lighting the candles.
- Be sure the candles fit securely into the candle holders and are not able to easily tip over.
- Keep the menorah on a steady, smooth surface and be sure to keep the menorah far away from anything that could burn or catch fire.
- Never leave the menorah unattended or go to sleep while the candles are still burning. If you need to leave the room or the house, or go to bed, then blow the candles out before doing so.
And lastly, be sure you have working smoke detectors on every level or your home (including the basement), in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.
Have a wonderful, SAFE Chanukah!