Passover Safety Message

Passover is a time of family gatherings with special foods, songs, and customs. The Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services encourages you to keep these important safety guidelines in mind during your time of celebration:

Bedikat Chametz (Searching for Chametz)

  • Keep candles away from flammable objects; be especially careful near curtains, tablecloths, beds and sofas as these types of items are easily ignitable.
  • Supervise children, closely, at all times.
  • Do not leave candles unattended; make sure to extinguish them when you are finished.

Burning Chametz

  • Use a designated area, clear of combustibles and located at least 25 ft. from any structures.
  • Use extreme caution when lighting a fire and never use any type of accelerant to increase the flame. At a 2004, bread burning ceremony in New York, an explosion occurred when an accelerant was used resulting in 4 persons being burned.
  • A competent person (adult) shall constantly attend to recreational fires, never leaving them unattended; and always make sure children are supervised.
  • You must have a fire extinguisher or a garden hose connected to a water supply, readily available, to extinguish the fire, if necessary.
  • Keep your fire small.  The Fire Code requires that burning material in recreational fires not exceed 3 ft. in diameter or 2 ft. in height.
  • Hot ashes from a recreational fire can remain hot for hours and even days.  To eliminate this, when finished burning, be sure to thoroughly soak the area with copious amounts of water, stir the ashes with a shovel and reapply water as necessary, until the fire is fully extinguished.

Preparing for Seder

  • Maintain a “kid-free, safety zone” of at least 3 ft. from all cooking appliances and insure good stove top practices. Many burns have occurred as a result of children playing near cooking appliances or grabbing pot handles causing them to overturn.
  • Maintain a safe work area, around heated appliances, that is free of combustibles.
  • Avoid distractions and never leave your cooking unattended.  The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
  • Keep a pot lid close by in case you have a small fire. Turn off the heat source and use the lid to smother the fire if possible.  If not, dial 911.  Make sure everyone gets out of the house and close the door behind you.  Never use water on a cooking fire; it will splash and can cause the fire to spread.
  • Make sure that all appliances have been turned off when you are finished cooking.  Just last year tragedy struck the Flatbush community in New York when 7 children died in a fire believed to have been caused by an electric hot plate that had been left on after the family went to bed.