Jewish HolidaysLag BaOmer

Fire Safety For Lag BaOmer

Lighting a bonfire on Lag BaOmer is an ancient Jewish custom, and the fire symbolizes the fire which is told about in the Zohar. On the day of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's death, his house was enveloped in fire because of the great holiness of the Torah secrets Rabbi Shimon revealed to his students before his passing.

At the same time, it is important to remember that a complete tractate of our Talmud is dedicated to the laws of causing damage. A person must not cause harm to his friend. When planning to light a bonfire, a number of important rules must be observed for safety, quality of life, and in order not to cause respiratory harm to those living in the area, including the elderly, sick and children.

Israel's Fire and Rescue Authority has published the following safety rules. Please read and share:

 
Where do I make a bonfire?

1. A bonfire should be made in a clean, open area, which is far from flammable materials, installations, infrastructures and buildings. A sandy area is even better.

2. When you light the bonfire,you must distance yourself from the following:

Keep bonfire at least 150 meters from forests, tree groves or vegetation

Keep bonfire at least 40 meters from gas and fuel facilities

Keep bonfire at least 20 meters from electricity and telephone lines

Keep bonfire at least 20 meters from buildings 

Keep at least 4 meters between one bonfire and another 

 
Who should Light the bonfire?

3. Only an adult should light a bonfire or someone at least 16 years old. Whoever lights the bonfire is responsible for complying with safety instructions and extinguishing the bonfire.

4. The fire shoudn't be more than 4 meters wide and 3 meters high.

5. Only dry wood should be used.

6. Light only with a match and papers or solid igniting materials

7. Do not light with lighter fluids, gasoline, oils or any flammable liquids

8. Light the bonfire upwind from it so the wind dosen't blow the fire into you 

9. People lighting and staying around a fire should wear long clothes and closed shoes.

10. Keep children away from fire.

11. Keep any flammable material or liquid (fuel and gas tanks, sprays, lighters, etc.) away from the vicinity of the fire

12. Don't light a bonfire if you have no water, sand or other means to put it out nearby

 
Who can stay near the fire and how?

13. A child accompanied by a responsible adult or someone at least 16 years of age

14. It is recommended to enclose the bonfire with stones to prevent children from approaching the fire

15. It is recommended to wear closed shoes and wear a long trousers for protection from flying sparks

16. You should sit or stand reasonably far from the heat and up wind from the bonfire to avoid smoke and sparks

17. Do not play with fire or jump over it

18. Do not throw full or empty aerosol sprays, firecrackers or bullets into the fire.

19. Maintain fire gradually adding wood carefully.

20. Do not pour flammable liquid into the burning fire

21. Keep children away from standing too close (heat radiation causes damage)

22. Do not touch metal or other heat conducting materials that came into contact with the fire (risk of burn)

23. Do not sleep near the fire or leave the fire unattended

 
How do I put out the bonfire and leave the site?

24. Do not leave a bonfire unattended

25. Make sure the fire is completely put out and cooled with water

26. Cover well with sand to prevent re-ignition of sparks that may not have been put out

27. After putting out the fire, wait at least 15 minutes to make sure the fire does not light up again

28. In the event of an fire, immediately try to extinguish it and call the fire department.

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