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Old 02-23-2012, 09:24 AM
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Default Safe Indoor Use - Coleman lantern vs Aladdin Genie Oil Lamp?



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I hear all the time that coleman lanterns(propane or coleman fuel type) are not safe to use indoors during a power outage. I have never used an Aladdin oil lamp but they seem a bit similar in function to a coleman.

Are the Alladin oil lamps safe for indoors? If so, how are they different than a Coleman that makes them safe?

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Last edited by bigislandhikers; 02-23-2012 at 09:45 AM.. Reason: added coleman information
Old 02-23-2012, 09:31 AM
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We use our oil lamps inside every time the power goes out, three to four times a year....there not coleman or alladins, what makes them unsafe ? The way that there made or breathing fumes from them..
Old 02-23-2012, 09:31 AM
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I'm not sure exactly what kind of lantern you're referring to,oil? I'v purchased two Coleman 4D lanterns from Wallyworld-about $20 each. They are totally safe around kids or whatever and they get the job done.They use 4D batteries. Just re-read your post and see you're talking about oil lamps. We also have a couple of oil lamps made by who I'm not sure. I've heard the trick is to not let the flame get too high so as to avoid smoke and such. Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:48 AM
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Why would you think they would be unsafe? We have several kero lamps, some aladdins, some Rayos, and some plain single wick and lantern type, and have used them to light the house on occasions with no issues. The Amish use only kero lamps to light their homes and barns.

The Aladdins and Rayos give more light then the others but also a lot more heat. My mom uses an Aladdin lamp to keep the chill out of her kitchen in the winter, and has for years.

You do need to know how to trim the wicks properly and the different wick heights to burn cleanly with no smoke but that isn't really that hard. Aladdins can be tricky cause they need to warm up and then be turned down or they will smoke and soot up the mantle.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:04 AM
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The Coleman gas lanterns aren't generally accepted as safe indoors. Probably because of the fuel they use. It produces CO. Their propane lanterns are probably a different story, but I'm not sure. I don't have one.

Aladdins and other oil lamps are safe to use, though they do give off products of combustion and can effect air quality.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by besidethecreek View Post
Why would you think they would be unsafe? We have several kero lamps, some aladdins, some Rayos, and some plain single wick and lantern type, and have used them to light the house on occasions with no issues. The Amish use only kero lamps to light their homes and barns.

The Aladdins and Rayos give more light then the others but also a lot more heat. My mom uses an Aladdin lamp to keep the chill out of her kitchen in the winter, and has for years.

You do need to know how to trim the wicks properly and the different wick heights to burn cleanly with no smoke but that isn't really that hard. Aladdins can be tricky cause they need to warm up and then be turned down or they will smoke and soot up the mantle.


I guess I should reword my question. If the Aladdin is safe why aren't the coleman propane and oil lamps?
Old 02-23-2012, 10:56 AM
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I don't know if the Coleman is safe or not. I know growing up as a kid, every power outage, my parents would light up a Coleman Propane lantern and hang it from the ceiling in the family room.

That house had relatively low ceilings because it was in a colder climate, yet nobody ever died of CO poisoning and nobody had any symptoms, either. We just didn't worry about it back then.

Also, we cooked with our camp stove indoors as well... again, no problems!

***************************************

Fast Forward 1996 they bought a home in Southern California and we had a permanent natural gas cooking range. Sometimes, things would be cooked on that range and simmered for 18+ hours! Other times, all 4 burners would be fully going cooking dinner for 4. No Carbon Monoxide detectors were in there, and it was NEVER a problem.

Fast Forward 2012... They still have a natural gas range and use it every day. They have a CO detector now, but it never goes off and reads 0 PPM on the LCD display.

*********************************

Now, I have a Coleman Propane Camp stove and it says DO NOT USE INDOORS! Why the heck not? They are two 10,000 BTU burners. In contrast my parent's range had a 7,500 BUT, two 15,000 BTU, and a 20,000 BTU burner... That is as much heat as about 3 Coleman camp stoves, but I can't use one in doors?


That is my question. Why is it okay to use a 4-Burner Viking Natural-Gas Range indoors but not a little 2-Burner Coleman Propane Camp Stove???
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:25 AM
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Probably because ONE person had an issue and filed a lawsuit against Coleman and now they put a warning on their product.

Though I don't know why you wouldn't just use the LED ones. *shrug*
Old 02-23-2012, 12:09 PM
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I must confess the LED ones are great & safe... the only problem is that long-term there might not be a way to get batteries or re-charge them... That said, they would be great short-term for a temporary outage.
Old 02-23-2012, 12:22 PM
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Back in the 80s I landed my C-180 on a lake in Alaska and had a nice conversation with a guy living in a cabin there. I was surprised to learn shortly thereafter that he and his wife died from CO poisoning from a Coleman lantern. I would be really careful using anything generating CO without lots of ventilation. You can even say to yourself...well, I'll turn it off before I go to bed, BUT the CO will gently put you to sleep without you even realizing it. A peaceful way to die at least.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:45 PM
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From my understanding this is the same concept as a vent free gas fireplace, the only difference is the standard to which the product is held to. A stove or fireplace is designed and tested to put off few enough emissions so that under a normal household condition it will not cause a problem. The lanterns are not designed with the same efficiency so they can put off a greater amount of harmful gases. From a liability standpoint its just easier for the company to slap a label on it and say dont use indoors. However for relatively short term usage in a large room i would worry about it. Although as i think about it there are just a wide range of reasons it would be a bad idea. Poisonous off gases and risk of fire are the first two that come to mind.

If i had to choose between having nothing at all vs being a bit more careful with the lantern, i think i would choose the lantern.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:32 PM
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We had a power outage just last week and ran our Coleman 1 mantle lantern all evening. We just put it in the empty fireplace. We figured that way we were covered.
Old 11-18-2013, 06:22 AM
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I have always been told not to use a Coleman lantern in an enclosed area, because of the fumes. Earlier this year we bought a Sea Anchor Lantern. This is a remake of the Petromax Lanterns. They burn kerosene or lamp fuel and are suppose to be safe indoors. They are suppose to put off about 400 watts of light and burn about 12 hours on a quart of fuel. They also generate enough heat to heat a room. They look like a Coleman lantern but are more expensive.
A few years ago my father told me when they lived on the farm, they had oil lamps they used for lighting. They bought an aladdin lamp. He said it made a world of difference in their lighting.
Old 11-18-2013, 12:08 PM
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the main issue with a combustion light and heat sources is carbon monoxide production and oxygen depletion, which was not a problem in the leakier homes of the past, but certainly can be in our hermetically-sealed modern dwellings
make sure you leave a window cracked open about an inch in the room in which you're burning your outdoor-rated lamps and cookers, and you're good to go

and as for the op question, coleman lamps and aladdins both produce light from a rare-earth mantle, but colemans are pressurized gas lamps and aladdins are unpressurized kerosene burners
Old 11-18-2013, 12:21 PM
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In a home a fuel lantern is not as big a concern by itself, but add multiple CO emitting devices in cold weather and it can be a big problem.

The main problem with fuel lanterns is long term use of anything putting off CO especially in a tent. The problem is the confined area and tents tend to be very tight to keep out wind and rain. That is what most of the warnings are for on fuel lanterns.
Old 11-18-2013, 12:42 PM
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For those asking why indoor burners can be dangerous: A quick google search for people using propane heaters and death came up with quite a few hits and safety websites about burning propane. About 80 people have died since 1990 from CO poisoning from using propane burners/heaters.

Specifically, the websites mention coleman heaters being responsible for most of those deaths as they don't have a safety shutoff sensor if the CO levels get too high.

http://www.air-n-water.com/propane-heater-safety.htm

http://www.carbonmonoxidedeaths.com/


Here is a study on the levels of CO produced by various types of heaters/burners:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11769918
"All of the fuels created a high level of CO in a short period of time. White gas burned the cleanest and would be preferred to unleaded gasoline or kerosene in the event that the unvented use of a camp stove was necessary."

Keep some air flow in your home if you have to use fuel heaters. When we've had power outages, I've kept a couple windows cracked to create a flow when using our kerosene heaters. Also kept the CO alarm with fresh batteries close to the heaters. Never set off the CO alarm yet.
Old 11-18-2013, 06:07 PM
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Proper periodic ventilation and any lantern can be safe. Same with propane and / or kero heaters.

HTH,
EB
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:28 PM
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LEDs child safe, quiet and no soot
oil lamps around kids raised around oil lamps safe, quiet and I have an affinity for soot.
Coleman propane or white gas good for warming the room and a lot of white noise.
I use them all as needed never a problem
Old 11-18-2013, 06:57 PM
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I wonder about the humphey gas lights. I've installed a few of these in camps and such.

http://www.humphreygasproducts.com/
Old 11-18-2013, 07:29 PM
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I have 2 Aladdins and they are great lamps and equal to about a 60 watt incandescent lamp. You should never leave an Aladdin unattended at high output because you could end up with a smoke stack if it decides to run a little rich over a long time.

My Aladdins put out approx 3000 btu of heat each and do not set off my co sensor even if directly over top one of the lamps.

My white gas lantern sets off my co alarm after an hour in the same 12 x12 room.
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