Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights, that lasts for eight days and nights, and is celebrated by lighting candles on a menorah (also known as a hanukkiah), a nine-branched candle holder, each night. Other traditions include eating fried foods such as donuts and latkes. Hanukkah is a joyous time for many people, if you are celebrating Hanukkah, there are some simple steps that you can take to keep you and your family safe, please follow our safety tips below.
Menorah candle fire safety
- No matter how beautiful your child’s or grandchild’s “arts and crafts” menorah may be, please do not use it. These menorahs are not suitable for lighting and may burn down when used. They should be used for decorative purposes only.
- Never leave a lit menorah unattended.
- The menorah should be made of non-flammable material only.
- Never place the menorah near or under flammable material such as papers, fabric or books.
- Ensure all curtains and furnishings are secured safely and away from the menorah.
- Do not walk around while holding a lit candle.
- Put out candles before you leave a room and before you go to bed.
- Keep matches and lighters away from children - out of reach.
- Supervise any child that lights a menorah. Place their menorah close to the child so they don't have to reach over any other candles.
- It is safer to use battery operated candles.
Hanukkah - cooking safely
- When frying, keep children away from the stove. Some people create a “3-foot” safety zone around the stove when the latkes are frying. Others use the back burners so children cannot reach the flames.
- Take extra care when deep-fat frying or cooking with oil - hot oil can catch fire easily - use a thermostat controlled deep-fat fryer which will make sure the fat doesn't get too hot.
- Don't get distracted when you are cooking - turn off or turn down the heat if you have to leave the cooking unattended.
- Keep tea towels, clothes and electrical leads away from the cooker and hob.
- Make sure saucepan handles are not sticking out from the hob or over a naked flame.
- Remember to check that the oven or hob are switched off after you have finished cooking.
- If a fire occurs do not try to tackle it yourself. Close the door, get out and call 999.
Fit smoke alarms and test them regularly
- Fit smoke alarms on each level of your home. They will wake you up and give you vital extra time to escape.
- Test the batteries in your smoke alarm every week and change them every year (unless it's a ten-year alarm) - never remove them
- Smoke alarms can cost as little as £5 and are available from DIY stores, electrical shops and many supermarkets and high-street retailers.
- Fit a heat alarm in your kitchen. These detect changes in temperature and won't go off if you singe your toast. They are just as easy to fit as smoke alarms, and you can buy them from as little as £10 from DIY stores and online.