Lights are out, the power grid has gone down, communications are nil, and you need light. Sure, you have flashlights and candles, but you don’t want to burn out your candles all at once, and you don’t want to wear out your finite supply of batteries too fast. The solution: oil lamps. Old fashioned oil lamps will be quite new fashioned once economic collapse strikes. Once you invest in oil lamps, you will need to be up on the best oil lamp emergency preparedness plans.
Types of Oil Lamps
There is a wide variety of oil lamps to choose from. You can go with the really old fashioned style that you probably saw in your grandma’s basement, the hurricane style lamp that is open at the top. Or you can invest in a more practical lamp that won’t be bothered by the slightest wind.
You can choose from small tea light size oil lamps or larger, longer lasting lamps. Some lamps will burn for 2 to 3 hours; others will last up to 11 to 12 hours without running out of oil. The reality is that you will likely want to invest in several different styles to place around your house during a long term power outage.
You can buy scented oils for you lamps if you want to. Say you have settled onto the new routine of post apocalyptic life and you feel like “lighting candles” around the house. Scented lamp oil would serve as the best alternative to that. You probably want to know which oil is best for lighting lamp lights in an emergency.
You really have two options. Most people are just looking to maximize on their investment. Two types of oil run the market, parrafin and eucalyptus. Parrafin oil is odorless and smokeless, and you can buy it by the gallon, or in smaller increments if that is what you are looking for.
Eucalyptus may cost you a bit more, but it is considered a “clean” fuel. The environment can use all the help it can get. It is also marketed as “virtually” odorless, so you may detect a hint of eucalyptus.
This next bit probably seems obvious, but take special care not to use gasoline or lighter fluid in your oil lamps. All fuels are not the same, and there are some oils that should just never be brought into the house. Remember, whatever is burning in your house, you are breathing. If you are burning gasoline in your house with all your windows and doors closed, you are just asking to pass out and die.
You will have to take care storing your oil lamps. They are made of glass; the last thing you want is for a major earthquake, tornado, or hurricane to hit, take out the power grid, and bounce your lamps right off the shelf. Keep them stored wrapped in protective material, styrofoam or tissue paper, inside of a comfortable fitting box, so that even if the box drops, you should have some level of insulation.
Also make sure your oil is stored in a cool, dry area. It is, after all, flammable. Store your oil by the gallon. A dozen gallons of lamp oil can last you months to years depending on how well you conserve. Remember, most people before electricity went to bed and woke up with the sun. You won’t need much artificial light.
You can rest assured that oil lamps are perfectly safe to burn indoors. Yes, we have all seen the movie where an oil lamp is thrown or dropped, fire and oil ignite flames that race up wooden walls and curtains. Before you know it, the roof is on fire and the house has burned down.
This concern is one of those crazy what if scenarios. Take care; it is, of course, glass. You need to be gentle and keep the burning lamps on stable surfaces, but the lamps were originally designed and used indoors. They are perfectly safe.
Is lamp oil safe to burn indoors? Yes. Both oils, parrafin and eucalyptus, are smokeless and odorless and made for indoor use. Again, if you are looking for optimal breathing safety, obviously you’ll invest a bit more and go with eucalyptus.
Oil lamps are next level preparedness. After candles and flashlights, which are easy to get and easy to store, you will invest in oil lamps. You can build your cache a little at a time, starting with the tea light size and growing from there.
It is an investment you will be glad you made, months down the road, when the power grid has still not turned back on. Oil lamps can be a nice convenience during a temporary power outage. They are an absolute necessity in a post apocalyptic world.