IMPORTANT SHABBOS SAFETY BULLETIN
By Nathan Comens, member @ MiYaD
In memory of the recent fire tragedy in Brooklyn, of which had taken the lives of 7 children and seriously injured 2 remaining inhabitants, faulty, unsafe and non-certified appliances are the root cause of most household fires. As much as we wish to have a good restful Shabbos, the safety for those inhabitants within the household is paramount during Shabbos and the Holidays.
When choosing Shabbos mode appliances, it is crucial to choose brands that have proven safety records and maintain certifications by a compliance organization such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and MET Labs.
The UL tag on an appliance is affixed onto a appliance for more reason than one. An appliance is designed, manufactured, and submitted to UL for aggressive environmental, electrical, and stress testing. Components within the appliance must be tested, validated, and certified as well by UL. UL repeats audits of manufacturing facilities of appliances on a scheduled and unscheduled basis to confirm that the manufacturer is complying with the safety guaranteed with approved certification. It is a very tedious and expensive process, but the outcome is quintessential to the safety of those within the household.
Examples of Certification Tags:
UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES - UL
MET LABS - MET
CSA (CANADA) - C SA
It is imperative for consumers within the Jewish community to seek reputable appliances with proven safety records to assure the household is safe from fire, electrocution, contamination, and environmental hazards, especially when these appliances are left unattended during Shabbos and Holidays.
When purchasing an appliance such as a hot plate, a refrigerator, a coffee urn, or any large appliance for that matter, please confirm that the appliance is UL certified. Before making a purchase, the UL certification information from the label can be copied to confirm its authenticity with UL at their website (below).
Star-K offers excellent information on Kosher information for consumers, but keep in mind, within those limits for appliances, verify that these appliances contain a label from UL or another approved certification organization (CSA, MET Labs, and CB Certification) if you chose to purchase appliances abroad.
There are several lower budget manufacturers that disregard the safety of an appliance to sell it at a lower price and streamline production costs such as quality control and safety engineering-Avoid these products!
In addition to appliance safety, safety standards are critical to the Shabbos home. Contact your local fire department if you have any concerns regarding smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, appliance safety, egress, and unattended electrical accoutrements.
Other Safety Tips:
Be sure appliances are not next to a combustible surface such as a wall, combustible containers, or flammable liquids
Appliances must be cleaned and inspected repeatedly for safety each week before Shabbos
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms must be within the kitchen, bedrooms, and hallways of house to assure coverage
Inspect all Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms once a month. Verify batteries are functional, likewise test each alarm unit during inspection
Homeowners must conduct a Safety “Stand down” i
n the home during the week on a rotating basis to discuss Shabbos safety. Let each family member take the lead on the alternate weeks.
Provide information to all visiting family members and guests on alarm locations their sounds, and provide egress (exits) directions from home, in case there is a need for an evacuation.
MOST OF ALL HAVE A SAFE AND GEZUNT SHABBOS!!
(UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES)-UL CERTIFICATIONS DIRECTORY
MET LABORATORIES-MET LABS LISTINGS
CSA CERTIFICATIONS DIRECTORY