RCA Safety Guide: Use A Flashlight For Bedikas Chometz

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In response to the recent tragedy the Rabbinical Council of America has circulated some very important resources for communities; some additional points are also made
  • Working Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. As we clean our homes for Pesach and carefully go from room to room making sure all is in order, this is a perfect time to ensure that appropriate alarms are installed in the proper locations with fresh batteries.
  • Safety Certification. Please ensure that the electrical appliances we use, especially over Shabbat and Yom Tov are properly certified for safety. We are, correctly, particular to ensure that the food we eat is properly certified and to ensure that electric kettles, hot plates and so on have passed the “UL” – Underwriters Laboratories – inspection.
  • Please remember that in many instances hot plates can be used with heavy duty time switches to ensure that they do not need to stay on for an entire Shabbat in accordance with rabbinical approval.
  • Kashering utensils for Pesach can be dangerous. Please check with your local synagogue regarding public kashering availability
  • While the custom is to use a candle for Bedikat Chametz (Searching for Chametz the night before Pesach) in any areas where it is even remotely dangerous to do so, such as closets, near flammable furniture etc, a flashlight must be used.

Please see the following resources for more information. May the Almighty keep us all safe, send healing to the injured and wipe away the tears from every face.

The Department of Synagogue & Community Services of the Orthodox Union appreciates the work of the Rabbinical Council of America, Lincoln Square Synagogue, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York in providing resources.

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