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Yom Tov & Shabbos Safety Tips

We thank Avi Rosman, West Hempstead Fire Commissioner, for the information below

Dear Member:

Please make note of the following preventative fire hazard directives and halachos especially urgent in lite of the 3 day Yom Tov/Shabbos.

The best advice offered for fire safety is to never leave a flame or cooking element on when you are not home. This presents a unique challenge to the frum community. Listed below are a few helpful tips that are easily implemented in your home. This list is in no way exhaustive and we should always let common sense prevail.


“Platas” (plug in hot plates) should be programmed on timers

Make sure that the wires are kept away from any heating elements or flames

Make sure that the wires are not frayed or crimped *

Ovens that are being left on for the duration of chag should be cleaned so there is no excess food in the oven.

If food spills during Yom Tov it is advisable to turn the oven off.

Gas Flames on stovetops that are left on should NOT be set to the lowest setting so they do not accidentally go out. If your gas flame blows out you MUST turn off the burner

Kitchens get very crowded over Yom Tov, areas where heating elements, ovens, burners etc are located should be free from any clutter

Yom Tov & Shabbos candles should be lit where you are eating to ensure they are supervised.

Homes are often crowded during Yom Tov meals

Children should be cautioned to not play near any open flames

Often times children are frightened that they may ‘get in trouble’ if they cause a mishap with a candle. Children should be comfortable informing their parents should any issue arise.

If a Fire Emergency occurs on Yom Tov or Shabbos you should NOT hesitate to contact 911 for emergency assistance because of Shabbos.

Halachic Note: The crockpot used for cholent should be filled with water and set on a timer and the temperature adjusted to that level which you prefer today to go on Friday, Erev Shabbos. The food is placed in the receptacle and the flame should not be adjusted to a higher or lower temperature.

Please remember to set aside today an eruv tavshilin (for halachos, see our e-mail from Motzei Shabbos, September 16, 2017).

Rabbi Kelemer Rabbi Goller


Fire Safety



March 25, 2015

In light of the recent tragedy in Brooklyn, Rabbi Kelemer, Rabbi Goller, the President, Officers, Board of Directors, and the Security & Safety Committee of Young Israel of West Hempstead are providing our members with the following safety tips and recommendations for Shabbos and Yom Tov. 

If anyone is in need of smoke detectors and cannot afford one, please contact Rabbi Kelemer, and the Rabbi's Fund will provide them for you. In addition, we would like to thank Wayne Smith, who has offered to install smoke detectors free of charge for those that are seriously in need of assistance. He will also arrange for the line voltage inter connected ones to be installed at his cost, which means you would just have to pay for the material and electrician. Once again, the Rabbi's Fund will pay those costs if you cannot afford them.

Safety at home is everyone's concern and responsibility.  While these tips are directed toward Shabbos and Yom Tov, they also just as importantly apply to our everyday lives.  We wish everyone a safe Chag Kosher V'sameach.

Shabbos / Yom Tov


  • Place candles on a sturdy heat resistant surface away from flammable materials including walls, curtains, cabinets, wooden and plastic tables, tablecloths, etc.
  • Keep surfaces and surrounding areas clear of burned matches and other debris
  • Never leave Shabbos/ Yom Tov candles unattended or go to sleep while they are burning; consider using tea candles if you will be out for dinner.
  • Light candles out of children's reach and where they cannot be knocked over
  • Use extra caution when lighting 24 hour yahrzeit candles, keep on a heat resistant surface away from flammable materials


  • Set appliances back on counter to avoid accidental burns and spills
  • Designate ovens, stoves and heat containing appliances as a "NO GO ZONE" for children
  • Maintain a 3 foot "Clear Zone" around your stove while cooking.
  • Keep hands, hair and sleeves away from open flame
  • Position blech so heat can escape from all sides without heating walls, cabinets , and counters
  • Never cover oven vents with aluminum foil
  • Keep pot handles turned inward and away from the edge of the stove
  • Never move pots of boiling hot liquids while uncovered
  • Use extra caution when carrying hot food around children
  • Treat burns immediately by cooling with cool water and call your local emergency number
  • Keep a large metal pot cover and a box of Kosher Salt or Baking Soda nearby while cooking to extinguish a small grease fire
  • Never put water on a grease fire, use a fire extinguisher and call the Fire Dept. emergency number


  • Do not overload electrical timers / outlets
  • Only use timers intended and rated for desired use
  • Hot Plates are not designed to be used for 25 hours, check with Rabbi Kelemer or Rabbi Goller for further information.
  • Be sure every electrical appliance is on a heat retardant, non-combustible surface, like glass, stone, or metal (not foil)
  • Make sure all outlets near water sources or appliances are GFCI
  • Inspect all electrical cords periodically for damage - replace (do not repair) damaged cords
  • Never place appliances on plastic, wood, paper, even on top of foil
  • Unplug any appliance not in use, especially toasters, toaster oven, crock pot, and heating trays.
  • Only use extension cords that are in excellent physical condition


Searching for Chometz

  • Keep candles away from all flammable materials (curtains, sofas, clothing etc.)
  • Check with your local Orthodox Rabbi regarding using a flashlight instead of a candle
  • Do not place used candles in paper bag with chometz

Burning Chometz

  • Once fire is lit, do not add any fire enhancing agents (gas, lighter fluid etc.)
  • Keep fire away from structures, cars, trees, & wires
  • Never burn plastic or explosive materials
  • Participate in a community chometz burning if available

Smoke Detectors / Carbon-Monoxide Detectors

  • Install a smoke alarm inside each bedroom, in the hall at the top of the stairs, and outside any other sleeping area
  • Have at least one smoke and carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, including the basement
  • Place a smoke detector outside but near your kitchen
  • Mount smoke detectors on ceilings or high up on walls
  • Use interconnected alarms to sound all alarms when one is activated
  • Change your clock, change your batteries in every smoke and carbon monoxide detector
  • Replace carbon monoxide detectors every five years, smoke detectors every 10 years
  • Test your detectors once per month by pressing the test button

Other Fire and Burn Safety Prevention Tips

  • Never carry hot food while holding a child
  • Keep pot handles turned away from stove front
  • Never store treats above or near stove
  • Keep matches away from children
  • Keep appliance cords away from counter edge
  • Place hot foods/ pots in the table center. Especially when using a table cloth, place hot foods/pots far from the edge where they could be pulled over and cause scald and burn injuries.
  • Use microwave ovens with caution. Food may become much hotter than container and may not heat evenly. Gently shake baby bottles before testing temperature.
  • Never place any object over a light fixture
  • Do not overload timers or outlets
  • Use light bulb of appropriate wattage
  • Do not run power cords under rugs
  • Use outlet covers when not in use
  • Keep heat producing appliances away from cabinets
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Only use safety approved modern space heaters
  • Never place space heater on rug or near flammable objects
  • Set hot water thermostat to 120 F
  • Test bath water before you or children get in
  • Keep fire places covered with protective screen

Always Remember

  • Supervise children at all times, especially around lit candles, flames, and hot appliances
  • Have working smoke detectors, wired together - change the clocks, change the batteries
  • Have a working fire extinguisher near the kitchen and at the top of the basement stairs
  • Have and practice a family fire emergency escape plan with a designated family meeting area outside of house
  • Keep hands, hair and sleeves away from open flame
  • Proper fire safety planning and prevention can help keep you and your family safe and alive.
Tue, July 16 2024 10 Tammuz 5784