Fire prevention ideas

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    This isnt about the current tragedy but about all the fire tragedies. I think fire tragedies feel more painful because they seem like they could have been avoided.

    1) My first thought is that we should ban lights that come in plastic cups and that includes menorah lights and yahrzeit candles that have plastic cups.
    2) Maybe we can come up with some kind of candle holder that would prevent fires.
    3) Or ask everyone to use a fire retardant trays.
    But those suggestions seem too difficult to get everyone to follow. Can you find a way to make it doable?

    My new suggestion is to start a Fire Alarm Commission. Not just giving it out the alarms but going to homes to inspect that its installed and working properly and then testing it and changing batteries on a yearly basis.

    Please dont criticize my ideas but help me improve on them.


    Using fire retardant trays is difficult?


    Using them is easy but the difficult part is making sure that everyone uses them correctly. Also, most peoples windowsill wont be able to fit a normal size tray. Moreover, many peoples candlesticks are taller than the circumference of the standard tray so if they fall the tray may not help.


    2qwerty: I know that you are not referring to the current tragedy but in listening to all the reports this may simply be an electrical fire and nothing to do with the menorah.

    I am openly stating that I am speculating:

    1. The family is probably sephardi who generally light only 1 menorah (ner ish ubeiso)
    2. According to some news reports, the call to the fire department was somewhere around 2:00 AM. Unless the family was away during the day I doubt that the menorah was still lit at that time.
    3. The smoke detectors were operational and heard by the two boys on the first floor.
    4. Electrical fires are known to erupt and engulf a house in flames in just minutes.
    5. May HASHEM grant a nechomah to the Azan family.


    Was the family using ready made lights in plastic cups?
    Maybe those should be banned? But what about other cases?

    Maybe we should just create an organization that would review light places, trays, smoke alarms and fire escape plans.


    The web site “jewishfireprevention DOT org” has a section with safety tips when using candles. Click the “Fire Safety” button and then select “Candles” in the pulldown menu.

    Here’s a direct link, but the moderators removed it:


    Are ready made lights in plastic cups more dangerous than oil put in a plastic glass manually?


    loweryourtuition -“Electrical fires are known to erupt and engulf a house in flames in just minutes.”

    One of my knowledge areas is fire prevention (of course medicine also).
    That said – Almost All Fires Are Preventable – Including electrical ones!
    PS. I’m not talking about last night’s fire in Flatbush.


    What is plastic glass?

    So confused… where are people getting plastic candle cups or holders? How is that legal? Or practical?


    Whoa… never seen or heard of candles coming in plastic cups… that’s a real thing? How is that possible?

    … once a scented candle in a glass jar that I lit on the Shabbos before Tisha B’Av caught on fire
    .. very symbolic… BUT GROWING FLAMES spilling over… b”H I was awake…

    Bought the candle at Home Goods… never again! Nor at Marshalls, TJMaxx, etc… too risky


    Light not on the windowsill itself, but on a table positioned by the windowsill.


    LB. Ner Mitzvah, which seems to be the biggest name in ‘fire’ items, like shabbos candles, chanuka candles and single use menoras, havdola candles, etc, do make a menora with plastic oil cups. It sounds crazy and should really be banned.
    A few years ago I bought a 3 day candle for shavuos, and only realised on the first day, (it was Shabbos, sunday, monday yom tov) that it was plastic. The sides of the cup started melting on shabbos day. I figured its a sakana, and took it outside and left it on the stone ground in front of the house.
    In the end it lasted til well into monday when the rain put it out. But I’m horrified when I think what could’ve happened in the middle of the night.
    Oh, it’s got a safety warning, “do not leave unattended!”. Like the folks at ner mitzva expect people to sit with this candle for three straight days and nights.


    LB, there are ready made oil cups- filled with liquid oil or solid oil that liquifies when it gets hot. These sometimes are packaged in thick plastic cups, sometimes in glass. Theoretically, the plastic is heat resistant and should not melt, thus an improvement on glass which might shatter. There should be some sort of standard for all cups- ready made, or sold separately- whether glass or plastic – in which they are tested and verified to be able to withstand the heat of all 9 neiros without melting, shattering, etc.
    RebYidd, as opposed to windowsills, tables can get bumped into, knocked over. Also tables are often made of flammable material.
    We light on the windowsill, which is technically outside the house. It’s made from stone, and covered with foil so it won’t get dirty from the dripping wax and oil. The menorahs are encased in glass “houses” with vents so the wind won’t blow them out. We light (all but the youngest use oil in glass cups, the youngest uses candles) and then close the window. They are out of the way, can’t get accidentally get knocked over, not near anything flammable. If somehow a fire would start, it would be outside the stone structure, once the oil is burned up there would be nothing to fuel it. the worse that can happen is the glass of the window would shatter from the heat and the security bars/metal window frame would melt.
    I think it is pretty safe, and I’m pretty paranoid about fire. I wonder what fire safety experts would say about our arrangements?


    Spray Foam which is used for insulation is a highly flammable material, it can destroy a home in minutes if caught on fire. The fumes & smoke it gives of can also kill very quikly. Please consider this before insulating your wall with spray foam, & check your Mezuzos. Besoros Tovos.


    There are ready made oil cups sold in small plastic cups and if the wick bends to the side the cup will melt away.

    I don’t know what’s plastic glass maybe a mixture but if it burns i call it plastic. Glass shouldn’t burn but may crack when it gets hot so may be dangerous as well.

    There are some people who are smart about fires and think they can estimate the worst case scenario. But unfortunately most people aren’t that good and most people wouldn’t read these suggestions or follow them. Can we come up with fireproof plan b. How can we help people to make sure that they are doing it right?

    It’s easy to say don’t leave fire unattended but I bet 90% of people don’t follow it.


    2qwerty – “Can we come up with fireproof plan b. How can we help people to make sure that they are doing it right?”

    Btw, I like your SN, it’s easy to type.
    E/O should take a fire safety course!


    WtP -“I think it is pretty safe, and I’m pretty paranoid about fire. I wonder what fire safety experts would say about our arrangements”

    It’s pretty safe. But I think you don’t need to go that far. I don’t go to sleep until all the Licht are out.


    Glad for your approval, Health. It’s not a matter of going that far, it’s the best and only place, really, to light in our home.
    By the way, the glass cups for oil are huge- they can easily last 6h+ when full. We fill about 2/3 with water and then the rest with oil, so they are out long before we go to sleep.


    To E/O:
    From NFPA: “A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected.”

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