The following is via TLS:
The Office of the Ocean County Fire Marshal would like to wish everyone a safe Shavuot. Since Shavuot this year begins after Shabbos, we’d like to offer some fire safety tips for the long holiday. One of the most important issues are stoves and ovens being left “On” causing a potential buildup of Carbon Monoxide in your residence. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and potentially deadly gas causing headaches, dizziness, redness in the face, nausea, and flu like symptoms. Remember, Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisonings can happen at anytime of the year due to a fuel-burning appliance not working or operating properly or improper ventilation for those appliance(s).
Because of those dangers, we along with the Orthodox Union’s Safe Homes, Shuls, and Schools Initiative issue warnings before holidays or occasions when the use of fire or cooking is part of the tradition. The risk of CO poisoning is an area of concern, due to several incidents in the last several years, here in NJ and around the country sending families and their friends to the hospital for CO poisoning. We urge families to replace their Smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarm batteries prior to the holidays and provide some guidelines for carbon monoxide safety:
• All homes must have working CO detectors. We recommend electric plug in models with a display and battery backup or a combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide battery operated ones. A basic unit is adequate however. We recommend at least one on each level.
• IMMEDIATELY CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT OR 911 IF YOUR SMOKE/CO ALARM GOES OFF! The fire department will respond quickly to check homes with their multi-gas meters and help in the removal of the CO.
• Your house should have the hood above your stove vented to the outside. A hood that vents back into the kitchen will not help reduce CO.
• An alternative to the stove is an electric hot plate with a timer to shut it on and off and be UL listed, which has no flame, so does not produce CO.
• A UL listed electric crock pot is another alternative, which is insulated and reduces the chance of someone burning themselves.
• You should have a one-foot non-combustible area around the stove and crock-pot.
• NEVER use an extension cord with these devices! They require too many amps and could cause a fire. The above devices should be plugged directly into an outlet.
• If you must operate a stove, leave a window open near the stove at least approximately 4 inches, and have a second window open at the opposite side of the house. This will allow some cross ventilation and a supply of fresh air.
• An electric stove with a warming drawer is another solution. This would keep food warm without generating CO.
• A future solution would be an electric stove that would turn on and off during the Sabbath and holidays as needed. The community is always looking for manufacturers who are willing to work with us.
Bathroom exhaust fans – Our office has seen many bathroom ceiling exhaust fan fires in the last several years. The fans are designed for use when the bathroom is in use. We understand they are left on for Shabbos for 24 hours or longer on holidays. Since that is the case we ask that you check them periodically for lint and dirt buildup and make sure they are working properly to prevent them from overheating due to their extended usage.