Chanukah Safety Tips from the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department

lfdChanukah is around the corner, and with that in mind, the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department would like to remind the community to be mindful of the following safety reminders and tips. Wishing the Lakewood Jewish Community a happy and safe Chanukah!


 Candles and/or Oil Cups should be placed in a sturdy Menorah base.

 Keep the Menorah well clear of flammable objects, window blinds, curtains, furniture, etc.

 Place your Chanukah lights on a sturdy surface, preferably covered with foil.

 Keep your Menorah out of reach of small children.

 Avoid using any wooden Menorahs such as children’s projects, these are not fire proof and have been the cause of numerous fires. Instead, consider using them as decorative pieces.

o NOTE TO TEACHERS: Consider using non-flammable materials for such projects.


 EVERY YEAR the Fire Department responds to homes for lit, unsupervised Menorahs.

 Many Poskim rule that, due to safety, one may put out the Chanukah letch if you are leaving your home empty. Ask your Rav for the proper procedure.

 PLEASE, for your safety, ask your Rav before you become a statistic. Remember, the Torah says: “V’Chai Bahem..” (…and you shall LIVE by them – the commandments).


This is important all year round and especially so during the 8 days of Chanukah and its widespread use of fire.

 Matches and lighters should be stored out of the reach of small children. Please don’t leave them lying around the Menorah.

 Check that your Smoke Alarms & CO Detectors are working, monthly, and before Chanukah.

 Have at least one Smoke Alarm and a CO Detector on each level of the home and outside each sleeping area.

 For the best protection use Interconnected Alarms. Interconnected alarms activate all alarms in the home when any one is activated. This can be life saving if a smoke detector sounds for a fire in a basement that is a few floors below a sleeping area and will give the occupants additional crucial minutes to evacuate.

 Interconnected alarms are highly recommended between basement tenants and their upstairs neighbors!

 Combination (2-in-1) Smoke Alarm and CO Detectors are available in stores.

 Consider purchasing detectors that come with a preinstalled 10 year battery.

 Space heaters are a common cause of fires and should be given ample space and placed, at minimum, 3’ from any flammable materials.

IF YOUR DETECTORS SOUND immediately wake any sleeping household members and vacate the premises and then dial 911 for the Fire Department.

 Do NOT close any windows. This helps firefighters determine the location and presence of CO if any.


This topic was mentioned in an earlier TLS article and is worth repeating.

 In the event of fire, whether large, “burnt toast”, the smell of smoke, or for any suspicion, ALWAYS notify the Fire Department PROMPTLY. It is never a “bother”.

 The Fire Department is here for the public and will quickly and efficiently be dispatched to your home (or requested location) and ensure your safety.

 The quickest way to reach the Fire Department in Lakewood is by dialing 911.

 You may feel more comfortable calling Hatzolah (or another organization) and you may do so AFTER you have called for the Fire Department. In the event of a fire you will not want to lose precious time by delaying to call the Fire Department.

o ORGANIZATION DISPATCHERS: PLEASE, if you receive a fire related call, dispatch the Fire Department promptly without delay!

 You have nothing to lose when calling the Fire Department promptly. You have a lot to lose potentially if you delay calling. A working fire can double in size every 20 seconds!


 Poskim rule that one should call the Fire Department for fire related and CO incidents on Shabbos and Yom Tov. ASK YOUR RAV, TODAY, BEFORE AN ICIDENT HAPPENS!

 Carbon Monoxide, especially, is an undisputed pikuach nefesh (danger of life). It may only be a small chance (“…hat are the chances..?” we all say) but it can be deadly.

 Carbon Monoxide has many sources and one should NOT just assume that it is their stove/oven that is setting the alarm off. Sources can include, but are not limited to, water heaters, furnace, dryer, heaters, attached garage, neighboring apartments/basement tenants – your neighbor may have CO from the stove/oven but their CO detectors are not working, etc.

 Understandably, you may wish to ask your own Rav for a Psak. The time to do so is NOW and NOT after an incident happens to you. Be proactive.



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