Safely Handling Oil Lamps

When using oil lamps indoors, it's important to follow simple guidelines so you don't accidentally start a fire or ignite an explosion. Oil lamps and candles produce flames. Take all logical and common-sense precautions to ensure fire safety. Every home should be equipped with fire extinguishers. Safety takes on added importance when children and pets are present. Please see suggestions on lamp safety at link.

One of the most important rules for using an oil lamp is to select a safe, reliable fuel. Never use highly ignitable substances -- such as gasoline, alcohol, diesel fuel, mineral spirits, acetone, propane, paint thinners, household cleaners or turpentine -- in oil lamps, according to Columbia Lighting Co. Use an efficient safe fuel made for oil lamps, such as Firefly Kosher Clean Fuel Lamp Oil

Consider the location where the lamp is placed, such that it‘s less likely to be bumped or knocked over. Obviously if you have children or pets in the house, you need to be particularly concerned about that. The chimney will get very hot – even after it‘s ’off‘ for a while, so be careful. The heat radiating off the top of the chimney can catch fire to flammable materials too closely above it. Keep oil lamps out of young children's reach so they don't accidentally knock them over, touch the flames, get burned by the hot glass or drink the oil. Never leave oil lamps in unattended areas; a responsible teenager or adult should supervise their use.

Don‘t add oil to a flaming or hot lamp.

An oil lamp will give off some carbon monoxide. With that said, it is highly recommended to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

See websites of oil lamp suppliers for correct maintenance of systems for efficient and safe operation.


Traveling with an Oil Lantern – Brian Duane

Extreme care needs to be taken when transporting this flame from one location to another location in a moving vehicle.
Brian Duane has been driving the Peace Light from NYC to Denver, CO and back to Boston, MA, for many years.  Brian makes many stops along the way to share the Peace Light. The following text is from Brian, providing information of how he travels with an oil lantern.  

Oil Lantern

  • Feuerhand Lantern (German Made) – having seen so much negative feedback about low quality cheap lantern, I made an investment.  Really not that bad, I think it was just over @25 each back in 2016.
  • Two lanterns, I just do not trust having one 
  • I burn Firefly Clean Fuel Lamp Oil.  Supposedly it is longer burning, odorless, smokeless and better than even paraffin oil.  It is not clear exactly what it is.  But it works well.  I will not ever consider kerosene.
  • The travel carriers are based on the plans from Joe‘s old website.  These were constructed for me by the local High School
  • Each carrier is placed in an older milk crate
  • When filling a lantern, I will light one or more candles before I extinguish a lantern.  Again, I keep the flame burning.
  • I have not tested the limits of how long my lanterns will last, but it is well beyond 24hrs

I travel in a smaller SUV (Subaru Forrester)

  • Carefully packed, lanterns all the way in the back
  • Lamp flame kept low while traveling.  
  • Carbon Monoxide detector
  • Fire extinguisher in the car at all times
  • Generally, keep one window just barely open
  • Cautious, but no special precautions at Gas Station

Overnight stops

  • Sometimes the lanterns come inside.  I ask at hotels first and have never had someone say no.  Often, I end up sharing the flame with the front desk staff and others.  
  • Often, I stay with friends.  We just find a safe place for the flame to rest. 
  • Some nights when just too tired to ask, I simply leave the lanterns in the car with a window cracked. 

Even when I travel a short distance, I use the full setup.  Arriving with two large lantern carriers generates a lot of interest. 

For somewhat shorter distances, I have seen people using camping candle lanterns (UCO is one brand) with a bucket of sand for stability.  That looked easy and simple.  I have seen lots of other options, some as simple as a few candles in a bucket of sand.  But a lot of those were probably only good for a very short drive from church to home.  

As I prepared for my first trip with the Peacelight, I must admit that I was a little concerned about how it would all work.  The idea of a maroon Subaru Forrester with flames shooting out the back traveling across I-80 was in my dreams in the nights leading up to the trip.  But my son Thomas and I planned well and really had no issues.  I am totally comfortable with traveling with these lanterns.  I have not become complacent in my caution, just comfortable that it all works.  

Hope this helps! 

Brian J. Duane

How to use an Oil Lamp

Oil Lamp Carrier

Click here for instructions on how to build an Peace Light Lantern Carrier.


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