As Passover approaches, Jewish homes everywhere are up to "here" with lots of boiling water, which people use to kasher their kitchens and to cook.
The oven is going constantly, the stove is going constantly . . . more kashering, more cooking.
And families get together, and light candles for Shabbat and the holiday . . . lots of fire there, in one place.
So, here is Chayyei Sarah's traditional pre-holiday fire and burn (and, while we are at it, poison) safety reminders! This information is based mostly on a press conference which was held by Mount Sinai hospital a few years ago before Passover. (They said that Jewish holidays are the most busy times for their burn unit!)
- Keep small children away from toxic and caustic cleaning agents; do not leave bottles of cleaning fluids out where tots can find them.
- Keep small kids out of the kitchen while you are kashering it; teeny tykes and and boiling water are not a good combination.
- Place tape on the floor, creating a perimeter of several feet around the stove/oven unit, and instruct children that they may NOT cross this line.
- Tables and counters which will have candles or boiling food on them should not have tablecloths or other hanging decorations which a child might pull on. This is equally true in synagogues as at home.
- Light holiday candles well away from curtains.
- If you are using a crock pot, make sure the electrical cord is situated such that children won't pull on it.
- When visiting the homes of friends or relatives for the holiday, find out the first day you are there where all the fire exits are - and make sure everyone in your family is informed.
- If you have guests for the holiday, show all of them where the fire exits are shortly after they arrive.
Best wishes for a happy, kosher, and safe Pesach!