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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:01:22 PM EST
The one big hole in my emergency preps plan for winter is what could I use to heat my apartment if the power is out? I have a natural gas furnace as usual heat source, but since I rent in a complex, getting a genny ain't gonna happen. Nowhere to keep it, even if I could use one.

I do have a good down comforter, need to get some more blankets.

What sort of heater would be best to use - that's safe for indoors? I'm coming up empty handed on an archives search.

Thanks!
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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:05:26 PM EST
Many kerosene heaters to choose from for ~120$
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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:14:16 PM EST
I love my little buddy heater, I also got the refill adapter so I can refill the 1 lb bottles from the 20lb tanks
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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:24:30 PM EST
Something like this one?

Is it safe to store the little propane canisters inside my building? Stupid question, but I've never used them before and I only know you don't store the 20 lb propane canisters inside...

I have a storage closet out in the hall...
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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:26:27 PM EST
Get nice sleeping bags and zip them up. Get 2 Nalegenes for each bag. Boil water and add to the nalgenes. Just make sure the lid is TIGHT. Let it all sit and get nice in cozy. This a cheap and very comfortable way to to do it.
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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:37:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2011 7:44:19 PM EST by EXPY37]
I'm not a fan of using unvented Buddy type heaters inside even with the window cracked. They have made me sick w/ a respiratory issue several times and it took weeks to clear. YMMV.

[I use a VENTED catalytic propane heater in the trailer often w/ no issues]

The Buddies and the Coleman 'catalytic' heaters typically have an output of 4000 to 9000 BTU, not very much and you'll go through 1# propane cylinders fast. [One pound of propane = approx 22000 BTU].

One GALLON of kero = 144,000 BTU!

Whatever you decide, I find great deals on ebay. For kero heaters Toyo, Kero Sun, any of the older Japanese heaters are excellent.

Propane for preparing food is a good solution. The inexpensive butane stoves from an ethnic store or ebay or Harbor Freight are good.

We like the Kero Sun model K 'cooker' that are often on ebay. It's close to a normal stove top burner and can be used for heat in an emergency.

Mostly we use a single burner Coleman propane stove from W-M, etc. Keeping the 1# canisters around should be done in a box on your balcony, etc, just to be on the safe side.

This is the time to buy your gear and WHATEVER YOU DO , USE it before you need it.



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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:42:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By Zedhead:
Get nice sleeping bags and zip them up. Get 2 Nalegenes for each bag. Boil water and add to the nalgenes. Just make sure the lid is TIGHT. Let it all sit and get nice in cozy. This a cheap and very comfortable way to to do it.


Thanks, Zed! Been planning to get a sleeping bag anyway.

Another item to research!
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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:42:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2011 7:42:44 PM EST by EXPY37]
!!!

If you go with a heater be sure to pick up a CO alarm that runs on a 9 volt or 2 AA batteries and be sure it has a digital readout.

The newest one here is a Kidde Nighthawk.

Very important.
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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:44:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By EXPY37:

Propane for preparing food is a good solution. The inexpensive butane stoves from an ethnic store or ebay or Harbor Freight are good.

We like the Kero Sun model K 'cooker' that are often on ebay. Mostly we use a single burner Coleman propane stove from W-M, etc. Keeping the 1# canisters around should be done in a box on your balcony, etc, just to be on the safe side.

This is the time to buy your gear and WHATEVER YOU DO , USE it before you need it.



Well, that's part of my issue - no balcony, no patio, no outside space, period. That's why I've got Sterno for food prep. I've used it several times (I have the little Sterno stove) and it works very well.


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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:45:01 PM EST
How safe are Keroseen (SP?) heaters? I remember my neighbors had one and one day I cam home and they were watching the thing engulf itself in flames in the driveway. The thing started to catch fire/burn itself and they somehow got it outside. (The room they were heating was an added on room with a door to the outside.)
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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:46:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By EXPY37:
!!!

If you go with a heater be sure to pick up a CO alarm that runs on a 9 volt or 2 AA batteries and be sure it has a digital readout.

The newest one here is a Kidde Nighthawk.

Very important.


CO alarm already in my place (9 volt backup to the electric). Digital readout. Have to have them by law.
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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:46:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By InfiniteGrim:
How safe are Keroseen (SP?) heaters? I remember my neighbors had one and one day I cam home and they were watching the thing engulf itself in flames in the driveway. The thing started to catch fire/burn itself and they somehow got it outside. (The room they were heating was an added on room with a door to the outside.)


That's why I'm asking....
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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:49:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2011 7:50:55 PM EST by EXPY37]
I suppose any heater can have consequences if used improperly, wrong fuel, inexperience, etc.

The more volatile or gaseous the fuel, the more I am wary of it.

I'm particularly concerned of a propane cylinder venting indoors, but we use them...

So I would add SEVERAL fire extinguishers to the list if any expedient heating or electrical devices are used.

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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:49:50 PM EST
Originally Posted By Marie:
Originally Posted By InfiniteGrim:
How safe are Keroseen (SP?) heaters? I remember my neighbors had one and one day I cam home and they were watching the thing engulf itself in flames in the driveway. The thing started to catch fire/burn itself and they somehow got it outside. (The room they were heating was an added on room with a door to the outside.)


That's why I'm asking....


After seeing that, I wouldn't want to put one anywhere where there wasn't a close exit. (ie if it starts to catch fire have a door close to get rid of it!)

Theirs looked somthing like this....

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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:52:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2011 7:54:05 PM EST by EXPY37]
Originally Posted By InfiniteGrim:
Originally Posted By Marie:
Originally Posted By InfiniteGrim:
How safe are Keroseen (SP?) heaters? I remember my neighbors had one and one day I cam home and they were watching the thing engulf itself in flames in the driveway. The thing started to catch fire/burn itself and they somehow got it outside. (The room they were heating was an added on room with a door to the outside.)


That's why I'm asking....


After seeing that, I wouldn't want to put one anywhere where there wasn't a close exit. (ie if it starts to catch fire have a door close to get rid of it!)

Theirs looked somthing like this....

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41v7y0Z78nL._SL500_AA300_.jpg



They likely used a too volatile fuel.

Fuels have been discussed here extensively last winter.

Lot's of ways to misuse any heater with bad outcomes. Concerns me... But we still do...

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Posted: 9/6/2011 7:57:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2011 7:58:08 PM EST by EXPY37]
Good quality kero heaters have an automatic rapid shutdown device that triggers on tipover, bumping, and maybe overtemp.

Don't use one w/out it.

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Posted: 9/6/2011 9:04:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2011 9:06:32 PM EST by Sixtigers]
When I was stationed in Japan, central heating was rare. Most people used kerosene heaters. There are some pretty good ones out there, and kerosene isn't so dangerous to store.

ETA: The picture above was a common one used.
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Posted: 9/6/2011 9:48:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2011 9:52:34 PM EST by Reverend73]
Get a couple Aladdin lamps. No kidding, those biotches put out a metric crap ton of heat (and light). I forget the exact BTU #s but its a lot.

Additionally, they burn clean and quiet with no odor that I can smell. At full tilt they'll go thru a fair bit of fuel but 3 or 4 gallons would probably get you through all winter with no power if you had to.
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Posted: 9/6/2011 10:16:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2011 10:18:20 PM EST by Skibane]
Originally Posted By Marie:
Something like this one?


Yep.

They're superb little heaters. Several years ago, I loaned my little sister one when an ice storm knocked out her utility power (no electricity = no natural gas furnace). She used it for around 24 hours, and absolutely loved it - Kept her and her kittehs warm and happy. After the power came back on, she immediately ordered one for herself.

They're equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) that automatically shuts off the fuel supply if the oxygen concentration in the room drops below a safe level. This also provides some protection against carbon monoxide poisoning - Low oxygen levels increase the production of CO, so the ODS helps ensure that conditions don't deteriorate to the point where excessive CO is produced.

Is it safe to store the little propane canisters inside my building?


Pretty safe. Most folks store 'em indoors. There is a slight chance of leakage when you disconnect the canister from the heater, but you'd hear and smell it almost immediately. The canisters have an indefinite shelf life, so once you've bought 'em, you won't need replacements until after you use up what you've already got.

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Posted: 9/6/2011 11:04:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2011 11:07:08 PM EST by OKIE-CARBINE]
Originally Posted By InfiniteGrim:
How safe are Keroseen (SP?) heaters? I remember my neighbors had one and one day I cam home and they were watching the thing engulf itself in flames in the driveway. The thing started to catch fire/burn itself and they somehow got it outside. (The room they were heating was an added on room with a door to the outside.)


dont let one incident cloud your image. thats like saying: i saw this guy shooting people in a ihop and now guns are bad; or hell, you could even say: how safe is an ihop.

we used our kerosene heater similar to the one pictured for 14 days in a ice storms a couple winters ago...inside, in the living room. CO detector never went off, but out house is so drafty, it wouldnt get a chance to build up

and the 1# cans of propane are fine indoors. the retail stores keep them inside; big ones outside.

so, get a kerosene heater like the one pictured and then get several gallons of k1 kerosene. you can even keep it inside as well. you can probably find it next to the heaters in the store.

eta: that heater kept our 1600 sqft house around 85 degree. outside was probably 20-30.
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Posted: 9/6/2011 11:40:06 PM EST
In an apartment with no adequate ventilation, I would go with the sleeping bags, hot water bottles, a propane Coleman camp stove, and a Mr Buddy heater. I see you are in IL, Marie, and I know it can get pretty nasty cold there as well, so do plan to practice with all you new gear - whatever you get! In my honest opinion, it is impatience and unfamiliarity that kills people when crisis events happen.

Also I would like to suggest that it is only important to raise the temperature in your living quarters enough to keep from freezing. Your body will take care of the rest if you put some warm clothes on. Some people - even those with nice woodstoves (myself included) seem to think its great to stoke things up and cook everyone in the house... just because you can! Its not needed. Remember its about survival, so staying alive and somewhat comfortable is the key. Snuggle down and read a good book, and the power will come back on eventually... and if it don't, well at least you've prepped for it!
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Posted: 9/7/2011 12:43:52 AM EST
My family has used a Kerosene heater since I was a baby, originally as an offset to the wood we used to burn. Even though we had an electric heating/cooling system installed we still use it. I still have scars on my hand from when I tried to pull myself up with one. Saying that, it's not a bad idea to get a wire mesh to go around it if you have young ones in the house.

We lost power last year for several days and our only heat source was the kerosene heater, put it in the living room, closed off all the doors and it kept the place pretty toasty. I recall several times throughout my life that we've used them in winter power outages. Granted we live in a house so we only have to worry about ourselves, not what everyone else is doing to keep warm...
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Posted: 9/7/2011 3:32:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2011 3:32:28 AM EST by ilbob]
I used to think kerosene was about the same thing as diesel, and being as diesel is pretty safe I always assumed kerosene was as well. But I was educated by another engineer who has a lot of experience in dealing with that kind of thing. It turns out that diesel is pretty safe but kerosene is much less so. It is actually quite a bit more volatile. As someone mentioned, it is also no where near as standardized as diesel. What comes out of one pump may be substantially different than another pump down the street. It is one of the reasons it is a poor choice as a motor fuel.

I find it odd that some people have trouble with propane fumes. They don't bother me one bit, but the smell that comes off kerosene heaters is a big problem for me.

A small apartment does not require a great deal of heat to keep it warm enough that you won't freeze to death. I suspect that if you had a gas stove, that just running a burner would be adequate to keep your apartment warm "enough", and probably a lot safer than either a propane or kerosene heater. Not "safe", but probably safer. That would be my first choice as a secondary means of heat.

My next choice would be some of the gel type alcohol fuels such as are used in fake fireplaces. They are probably safer than propane or kerosene heaters, but pricey.

The biggest problem I see with kerosene is refilling the heater. It is VERY easy to spill a little and getting even a small amount of kerosene on your carpeting near a source of flame is a major issue. The wicking action of the carpeting will make the kerosene even easier to ignite.

All in all, I am generally opposed to the use of kerosene for indoor heating, at least for me. A lot of people do it and it does not kill them, but that does not make it "safe". Kind of like the guys that use suicide cords to hook up their generators. Or those that play Russian roulette.

I would be inclined more toward a small catalytic type propane heater with 1 pound cylinders. I know they are a pain and don't last long, But it is probably the safest thing, and I do not want to make things worse in a bad situation by starting a fire when the emergency services are already overloaded or possibly even unable to respond at all.

Realistically, unless it is very cold outside, chances are you can survive quite handily in an apartment without any heat at all for several days. It may get a little cool, but it will take a long time to get cold enough to be a problem. Try it some day. Turn the heat off and see how long it takes to get to a temperature that is really a problem. Granted it is not a perfect test because your neighbors' heat is leaking into your space, at least to some extent.

One thing that may help is to seal air leaks as best you can. many apartments are not real weather tight. $20 worth of spray foam and weather seal can solve a lot of air infiltration issues. You might also want to do something about the windows. Some kind of insulated drape, or plastic you can seal it with if you have no heat can cut your heat losses dramatically. These are things that seem kind of mundane but may keep you from having to use any extra heat source at all.

I would be inclined to not be turning on the backup heat source unless it was absolutely necessary anyway. You never know when the power will come back on. Better to save it to keep you alive than waste it keeping yourself nice and toasty. JMNSHO.
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Posted: 9/7/2011 4:26:07 AM EST
Another vote for kerosene heat as a back up.,
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Posted: 9/7/2011 4:43:58 AM EST
My plan for short term is to just put more clothes on.

Long term, is bug out. A couple of days without power in the coldest part of winter is bug out time.

You may find a safe way to heat your apartment. Your neighbor's won't.

If the power is out for a while, expect water pressure to disappear too, rendering your sprinkler system much less effective or inoperable. Combine that with multi-unit x risk of fire and you have some pretty poor odds. You'll be burned out by some dumbarse with a candle under his bedspread. If the outage is localized, they'll have it fixed before it's a problem. I'll be packing my vehicle on day two. Out on the morning of day three.
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Posted: 9/7/2011 3:50:34 PM EST
I'm another +1 on the buddy Heater or little buddy heater (have one of each).

We road out a blackout during Snowmeggadon 2010 with the little buddy (1/2 price at Lowes end of season sale). Bought a two tank buddy the next fall full price. I am sold on these, but I have a shed for the cubic butt ton of 1# bottles. I have a couple more bottle top heaters I am less sure about and didn't use in that event. The one small one was holding the living room about '60, but I was becoming concerned for the overnite –– hence the second one.

The wick in my Kero heater wouldn't feed in that event (first time I put fuel in it). Test out everything. And have D cells for the fan in the buddy heater.

The little buddy ran 7 hours on a bottle iirc
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Posted: 9/7/2011 4:37:33 PM EST
For quick warm ups like first thing in the morning or at the end of the day the Buddy heater takes the cake. For long term slow heat that can keep a decent footprint warm the kerosene heater is the clear winner.

If you have a good sleeping bag and want to be able to take a bucket bath in the morning and head to work the Buddy is the one to choose. For long term heat you will be going thru 1 lb tanks way too fast and I would not recomend bringing a 20lbr inside. Use the kerosene heater if you want to keep things from freezing inside for long periods. Those puppies throw good heat. Properly maintained they dont smell bad at all, but they do need ventilation and a CO detector, which you do and should have anyway.
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Posted: 9/7/2011 6:02:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2011 6:09:10 PM EST by Skibane]
Originally Posted By CarbineDad:
little buddy (1/2 price at Lowes end of season sale)


Yep, they go on sale just about every year, towards the end of the winter season. If you can't find a good price on one locally, Amazon is a good prospect.

Originally Posted By blackhawkhunter:
For long term heat you will be going thru 1 lb tanks way too fast and I would not recomend bringing a 20lbr inside.


Mr. Heater sells a propane adapter hose that's 12 feet long - plenty of length to put the 20 lb tank outdoors in most applications.

Another option is to buy a 1 lb propane bottle refill adapter - Allows you to refill your 1 lb propane canisters from a 20+ pound tank.

FWIW, I use my Little Buddy with a 20 pound tank indoors most of the time. My only precautions are to check for leaks EVERY time before I use it, and to turn off the propane at the tank valve whenever the heater is not being used.
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Posted: 9/7/2011 6:06:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By CarbineDad:
little buddy (1/2 price at Lowes end of season sale)


Yep, they go on sale just about every year, towards the end of the winter season. If you can't find a good price on one locally, Amazon is a good prospect.


Yep –– the first one was do to a thread here, that I didn't really think I needed.

The second one? Didn't want to go through another winter without a second one - no sale in October.
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Posted: 9/7/2011 6:12:13 PM EST
I used a kerosene heater for many many years in Maine.
I used it to supplement wood heat. Used one all the time
in the winter.

Never had one problem.

Downside today is the cost of kerosene.

But they are very simple and reliable.
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Posted: 9/9/2011 4:14:52 PM EST
I actually much prefer to be cold. I usually set the heat at about 58-60 in the winter.

I'm not going to do anything with a heater for the time being, just get a good sleeping bag. The nagalene idea is cheap and doesn't have the risk of killing me!

Thanks for all your suggestions. Learned a lot.
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Posted: 9/9/2011 5:17:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
FWIW, I use my Little Buddy with a 20 pound tank indoors most of the time. My only precautions are to check for leaks EVERY time before I use it, and to turn off the propane at the tank valve whenever the heater is not being used.


Just curious. Why is it that you think the big tanks are not reccomended for indoor use?

Hint. The answer will explain why the "precautions" you are describing will not do you any good.
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Posted: 9/9/2011 8:41:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By Marie:
I actually much prefer to be cold. I usually set the heat at about 58-60 in the winter.

I'm not going to do anything with a heater for the time being, just get a good sleeping bag. The nagalene idea is cheap and doesn't have the risk of killing me!

Thanks for all your suggestions. Learned a lot.

Nothing wrong with the safe route.

One thing to think about is pipes freezing and breaking, and if as a renter you're responsible for that (probably not). Also, once your pipes freeze, you're out of water, so it's time to leave.

One of the problems with heat is that it rises ;-) Our woodstove in the basement keeps the whole house warm. When it was on the main floor, the place was cold except for the room it was in which was very hot.

You may need some decent BTU's to keep your own pipes from freezing, assuming you're not on the top floor with an insulated ceiling. Likely you've got dead air if you have an upstairs neighbor. A kero heater in your place would keep them nice and toasty...

Out of curiosity, how often does the power go out at your place for > 12-24 hours where this might be a serious concern? Here, at least every other year for 3-5 days, so it's a big deal for us. Where you are, I suspect not so much?

-Slice


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Posted: 9/9/2011 10:38:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By sporter:
Another vote for kerosene heat as a back up.,


Find the right location in your home, keeping the heater as far from fire exits as possible,and let in SMALL amount of fresh outside air to help replace used oxygen in the process.
Fire extinguishers should be rapidity available if needed.
Smoke and carbon dioxide detectors to give early warnings if problem arises.
Family practice fire drills.
Valuables in fire proof container, plus duplicates, elsewhere.

These are things I have planned for.

Kentucky experienced two bad ice storms that knocked out power for several weeks or more in the past.

A home, either to hot or to cold, makes for a family that is on edge......

Prepare and be safe, America......

Remember 9/11 tomorrow!
It's always right to do right....never right to do wrong........don't grow weary doing good! Fight the good fight....
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Posted: 9/10/2011 12:02:03 AM EST
Originally Posted By Reverend73:
Get a couple Aladdin lamps. No kidding, those biotches put out a metric crap ton of heat (and light). I forget the exact BTU #s but its a lot.

Additionally, they burn clean and quiet with no odor that I can smell. At full tilt they'll go thru a fair bit of fuel but 3 or 4 gallons would probably get you through all winter with no power if you had to.


Funny you mention that. A chick I dated a few years ago use to keep her thermostat at 59 during the winter. She put a bunch of 3 wick candles around her bedroom and would light them up about 15 mins before we went to bed. By the time we were done brushing our teeth, locking up the house, and blowing the candles out, the room was toasty.
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Posted: 9/10/2011 1:56:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By Reverend73:
Get a couple Aladdin lamps. No kidding, those biotches put out a metric crap ton of heat (and light). I forget the exact BTU #s but its a lot.

Additionally, they burn clean and quiet with no odor that I can smell. At full tilt they'll go thru a fair bit of fuel but 3 or 4 gallons would probably get you through all winter with no power if you had to.


This! Light and heat in one device.
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Posted: 9/10/2011 5:31:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By ilbob:
Originally Posted By Skibane:
FWIW, I use my Little Buddy with a 20 pound tank indoors most of the time. My only precautions are to check for leaks EVERY time before I use it, and to turn off the propane at the tank valve whenever the heater is not being used.


Just curious. Why is it that you think the big tanks are not reccomended for indoor use?

Hint. The answer will explain why the "precautions" you are describing will not do you any good.


I have seen the 20 lbrs vent when brought indoors. Makes for a hell of a fuel-air bomb when you may already have kerosene lights or candles running!

Good point on the Alladdins.... they do throw a lot of heat and plenty of light. I use them the same way... just forgot that I did.

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Posted: 9/10/2011 6:25:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By blackhawkhunter:
Originally Posted By ilbob:
Originally Posted By Skibane:
FWIW, I use my Little Buddy with a 20 pound tank indoors most of the time. My only precautions are to check for leaks EVERY time before I use it, and to turn off the propane at the tank valve whenever the heater is not being used.


Just curious. Why is it that you think the big tanks are not reccomended for indoor use?

Hint. The answer will explain why the "precautions" you are describing will not do you any good.


I have seen the 20 lbrs vent when brought indoors. Makes for a hell of a fuel-air bomb when you may already have kerosene lights or candles running!

Good point on the Alladdins.... they do throw a lot of heat and plenty of light. I use them the same way... just forgot that I did.


Two points for blackhawkhunter!

That is the reason one does not bring large tanks of propane inside. They have overpressure relief valves and now and then one will open up. Nothing to do with leaks or turning off the supply, which does nothing to prevent the relief valve from operating.
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Posted: 9/10/2011 6:34:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2011 6:42:43 AM EST by OverScoped]

Originally Posted By RR_Broccoli:
My plan for short term is to just put more clothes on.

Long term, is bug out. A couple of days without power in the coldest part of winter is bug out time.

You may find a safe way to heat your apartment. Your neighbor's won't.

If the power is out for a while, expect water pressure to disappear too, rendering your sprinkler system much less effective or inoperable. Combine that with multi-unit x risk of fire and you have some pretty poor odds. You'll be burned out by some dumbarse with a candle under his bedspread. If the outage is localized, they'll have it fixed before it's a problem. I'll be packing my vehicle on day two. Out on the morning of day three.
I second the Broccoli. some dumbass with a crappy kero heater just might kill his family and you at the same time.


I lived in my current home for a week without power in the winter. it took 5 days to get below freezing inside. We dressed warmly and slept in our clothing under layers of blankets. This was the event that brought my wife to her senses with my prepping and the next weekend, she took me shopping and SHE bought our Generator with her cash. By the next winder we had a woodburner too. Now she has her own AR, a pink camo shooting mat and gun case and buys extra food every week. that was about 3 or 4 years ago.

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Posted: 9/10/2011 7:26:30 AM EST
For 16 years I used a 10,000 BTU Kerosene heater to supplement the heating in the other places I lived before buying a home. I bought it in 1984 and used it until 2005 before I move into the house I'm in now, I have a propane fireplace here for back-up. It's sitting in the garage now cleaned up ready to be used again if necessary. If you take care of it and just burn it lower than the high setting it will work good. It's been wife approved.....twice.
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Posted: 9/10/2011 10:57:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By HomeSlice:

Originally Posted By Marie:
I actually much prefer to be cold. I usually set the heat at about 58-60 in the winter.

I'm not going to do anything with a heater for the time being, just get a good sleeping bag. The nagalene idea is cheap and doesn't have the risk of killing me!

Thanks for all your suggestions. Learned a lot.

Nothing wrong with the safe route.

One thing to think about is pipes freezing and breaking, and if as a renter you're responsible for that (probably not). Also, once your pipes freeze, you're out of water, so it's time to leave.

One of the problems with heat is that it rises ;-) Our woodstove in the basement keeps the whole house warm. When it was on the main floor, the place was cold except for the room it was in which was very hot.

You may need some decent BTU's to keep your own pipes from freezing, assuming you're not on the top floor with an insulated ceiling. Likely you've got dead air if you have an upstairs neighbor. A kero heater in your place would keep them nice and toasty...

Out of curiosity, how often does the power go out at your place for > 12-24 hours where this might be a serious concern? Here, at least every other year for 3-5 days, so it's a big deal for us. Where you are, I suspect not so much?

-Slice




I was a newspaper reporter for a small town paper about 20 years ago for more than a year, and I saw my share of house fires. Easily puts the fear of fire into you.

I've lived here a little more than three years and my power has only gone out a few times, and none for very long. I'm just planning, since it can get cold here in the winter. Towns around me lose power, sometimes pretty badly, such as this summer, but nothing more for me than a few minutes.

I'm first floor (two floor building), on a slab (floors can get somewhat cold), on the end of a building. My bedroom is on the outer corner.

We don't have sprinklers - building is 25 years old. Plenty of smoke detectors, though. I've got two just in my small place. One in BR, by the door, and another at the spot where K and LR meet, right outside BR door.
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Posted: 9/10/2011 12:07:07 PM EST
Originally Posted By EXPY37:
!!!

If you go with a heater be sure to pick up a CO alarm that runs on a 9 volt or 2 AA batteries and be sure it has a digital readout.

The newest one here is a Kidde Nighthawk.

Very important.


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Posted: 9/10/2011 2:58:07 PM EST
Originally Posted By blacksuit:
I love my little buddy heater, I also got the refill adapter so I can refill the 1 lb bottles from the 20lb tanks


this effectively ended your journey, young padewan.

Sure, you can have them all. One round at a time.
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Posted: 9/10/2011 3:51:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2011 3:52:36 PM EST by Marie]
Originally Posted By FreedomUSCG:
[
Prepare and be safe, America......

Remember 9/11 tomorrow!


Damn right! Watching a bunch of video on YouTube. There's video from ABC coverage that morning. I'm watching - never, ever forget.

I can't believe the wusses who say they can't watch. Namby, pamby liberal freaks who've got no stomach for anything.
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Posted: 9/11/2011 7:53:57 AM EST
I lived for a few years in an apartment that had no heating built into it. It was over a bakery that was out of business, when in business you had heat all winter due to the stuff being cooked downstairs.

Building was brick with lousy drafty doors and windows but caught the sun pretty well.

I was the only one there, I was watching over it for family until we managed to sell it.

Propane heaters fire up quickly and are great for short things like a trip to the restroom or getting ready for work. I shut everything off when I went to work or left for much of anything, but I was in east tn and winter here is not that bad.

I had kerosene tower heaters for when I would be home for a while. I got to where I would take them outside and start them up outside and once warm bring them inside, if I had company over.

When it was just me, I fired it up and did not care about a few fumes.

With a kerosene heater you have to be careful you don't run out of fuel, run it out and it will smoke you out of your room and that smoke soot then needs cleaned up.

With propane the thing sputters and goes out. Might smell a tad bit of propane but nothing major.

When going to bed I shut everything off as well. I like it cold and I have a silly number of blankets and comforters.

One thing about a big brick building is that it will absorb warmth from the sun and moderate temps, the type of building you are in can mean a whole lot.

I rent a house now that the family sold the old building and I mostly use propane that is not vented. I also have to run a dehumidifier in order to keep the moisture content acceptable in the house.

The old apartment was drafty as all get out and I had no real moisture issues in it with propane and kerosene, both put moisture into the air.

If I was starting off in an apartment right now with nothing my first steps would be a lot of bedding and this would include sleeping bags. Cheap ones can be opened up and used as a comforter or zipped up if people are visiting and need a sleeping bag for the couch.

You can do many things to warm the bed up before you go to sleep and the hot water bottles are something to consider when cooking and heating things up anyway. You can do multiple things at once and having the bed nice and warm is nice.

I would probably go with the sterno that you mentioned, I have several packs of it along with several cases of chafing dishes that are not really like sterno but can be used in similar manner.

I would probably also be getting some of the 1lb propane canisters along with a way to cook using them. Some cook stoves screw on the top or you can get the coleman 2 burner setup.

And the small buddy heater would also probably be bought as well.

I don't leave stuff running when I am asleep and I agree with the co alarms and what not.

One thing about all the above stuff is it is easy to pack it up if you have to leave and you have ways to stay warm, cook food, and heat a shelter. Might be your vehicle or who knows what, but having the little heater is awfully nice.

I also own the big buddy heater but I could easily see where that would come later just because it is bigger and more expensive.

My biggest concern for an apartment setup is your neighbors may burn you out of there.

I would check your lease and all the fine print to see what is said about flammables and other fun stuff everyone tends to have under the kitchen sink anyway.

Now one thing I did not touch on is that the kerosene tower heater can put out enough heat to run you out of the apartment if you just run it all the time. They are a nice big heat source and people with houses can generally use one in the basement to keep pipes from freezing and also get a bit of heat on the first floor.

The propane heaters don't compete well with the kerosene tower heaters, I don't like the square kerosene heaters because you have to fiddle with them way too much.

The alladin lamps are something to also consider, just a cheap oil lamp will put off some heat but the alladin stuff puts out a lot more than a basic wick oil lamp.

I got lucky, the place I buy kerosene redid its pumps but it still has a kerosene pump. I am going down next weekend to buy some and see if the quality has changed or not.

I can store kerosene and other fuels in quantity and I have a place I trust to buy it in bulk if this one changed to red kerosene, the red will clog up the wicks on the heaters from what others have said.

For food storage I would stick with stuff that does not need much cooking. Just warm it up to eat it or it should be stuff you can eat cold.

You have to decide how many 1lb propane bottles you want to store and if you have a friend who rents or owns a house I would see about setting up a 20lb propane tank at their house to refill your little tanks with. Keep the stuff over there or let them use it and I bet you have a place to refill your tanks instead of having to buy full price ones all the time.

Having adapters to run off the 20lb propane tanks would also be something I would get but I don't see using it in your current situation. If you had to leave the apartment it might be nice to have though.

I have known people who shut their heat off in the winter and the apartments around them and under them gave them enough heat their apartment stayed at 60 degrees most of the winter with just a few dips into the 55 degree range on the coldest nights.

Start seeing how well you can do things this winter and figure out what you have to have.

I want to keep pipes from freezing. So I kind of figure 45 degrees is a point I need to be able to maintain in case a serious cold snap occurs.

I of course like being warmer than that when on the computer so the little space heaters come sit by my chair and warm up the area I am in.

With a serious grid down issue I would probably hang blankets in doorways to help keep the warmth where I really need it.

Open the cabinet doors for the plumbing to be at room temp and keep it warm enough to keep working.

Well, sorry for the long post but the above is my thinking on something I have done for a few years.

Next up, how long can you flush your toilet if the water stops running?

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Posted: 9/11/2011 8:16:50 AM EST
throw some blankets over the dining room table and sleep under it (Urban Igloo). Heat your space not the whole area.
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Posted: 9/11/2011 8:19:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By FordGuy:
Originally Posted By blacksuit:
I love my little buddy heater, I also got the refill adapter so I can refill the 1 lb bottles from the 20lb tanks


this effectively ended your journey, young padewan.



agreed

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Posted: 9/11/2011 9:02:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/11/2011 10:03:51 AM EST by citifiguy]
First, I will say that your concept of prepping seems a bit off to me in that it seem focused on "bugging in" within the city/town. Blankets will help but not be very practical if you have to go mobile. Now, this may seem offensive, but I am just going to be honest. I would not be caught in a city, especially any city in IL, without being able to go mobile whether by car/truck, bike, or on foot. Thus, consider a few good sleeping bags. One for mild temps down to about 40 or 45 could be had for about $250 to $300 and another for zero to 20 for about $300 to 500. That would keep you warm in your apartment AND provide with lightweight warmth should you need to bug out.

I support “bugging in” for common minor inconveniencies such as winter storms. But, not having the ability to “hoof” it out of a situation is asking for trouble in my opinion.

Beyond that, a propane heater for tents is cheap and reliable. They are called catalytic heaters. Coleman makes some.

Before anyone gets to ticked at the “redneck from KY”, I would like to point out that while I am from Eastern KY, I have various college degrees, enlisted at 17 and retired as a combat arms officer (double branched), work as a white collar engineer for a major Health Care focused company in Louisville, KY, own an estate in Greater Cincinnati in KY not far from the Cincinnati/Northern KY airport in KY, and own a mountain in Eastern KY. So, I can live anywhere and do just about anything. While I do not like Illinois, I am not trying to be hateful to a person just because they are in IL. So please, don’t be hateful to me just because I am some “poor, dumb, inbred, reckneck from Eastern KY”.
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Posted: 9/11/2011 9:05:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By Marie:
Something like this one?

Is it safe to store the little propane canisters inside my building? Stupid question, but I've never used them before and I only know you don't store the 20 lb propane canisters inside...

I have a storage closet out in the hall...


It is not safe to store any such thing ... where the apartment management might see it. SO, use a carboard box to hide the heater and propane where ever you store them.

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Posted: 9/11/2011 9:20:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/11/2011 9:45:10 AM EST by citifiguy]
Originally Posted By Marie:
Originally Posted By EXPY37:

Propane for preparing food is a good solution. The inexpensive butane stoves from an ethnic store or ebay or Harbor Freight are good.

We like the Kero Sun model K 'cooker' that are often on ebay. Mostly we use a single burner Coleman propane stove from W-M, etc. Keeping the 1# canisters around should be done in a box on your balcony, etc, just to be on the safe side.

This is the time to buy your gear and WHATEVER YOU DO , USE it before you need it.



Well, that's part of my issue - no balcony, no patio, no outside space, period. That's why I've got Sterno for food prep. I've used it several times (I have the little Sterno stove) and it works very well.




Don’t know where you are in IL, but even KY can get cold in the winter. Il is a long state, and varies a lot. So, when you can afford it, get a nice stove or two.

Propane stoves are very easy to use. They can handle colder temps than butane or mixed fuel stoves (those small canisters for backpacking). A single burned propane stove can work in your apartment or carried in a vehicle. A two burner Coleman may run you $50 to $75 and a single burner simple design only about $20.

White gas, and especially multi fuel liquid fuel stoves, have the most flexibility. (Some quality backpacking stoves burn white gas, gasoline, kerosene, and rapeseed (canola) oil.) You can safely and easily run them on white gas and gasoline in an emergency. They come in a large range of sizes, from large multi burner “power house” models from Coleman down to tiny backpacking stoves from MSR, Optimus, Primus, and others. The big Colemans can run about $100 and the average size about $80. Good backpacking models will run $50 to $200 .

The smaller something is, the more likely you could use it on the move. Some frown on the use of such indoors. But, the fact is, you have gas stove in your apartment. So? Think you can set up a portable stove on top?

The BIGGEST advice I could give anyone is to get outdoors, use their gear in some safe of demanding situations, and LEARN.
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Posted: 9/11/2011 9:24:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By Marie:
Originally Posted By InfiniteGrim:
How safe are Keroseen (SP?) heaters? I remember my neighbors had one and one day I cam home and they were watching the thing engulf itself in flames in the driveway. The thing started to catch fire/burn itself and they somehow got it outside. (The room they were heating was an added on room with a door to the outside.)


That's why I'm asking....


I have had some nice ones many years ago. I did notice that they would degrade over time and flare with age. Basically, they told me when it was time to go. Used them for a while over twenty years ago. It was a nice experiment and was popular at the time. They have faded a bit out of favor and I do not need them.

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