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Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Can of Heater

By Joseph Parish

We haven’t departed company with ole man winter as of yet. Spring and summer are still several months away and we still need to think in terms of emergency heat during a crisis situation.

There are several ways which a person can deal with this matter. I myself maintain a kerosene heater for home use. During and emergency situation all un-necessary rooms would be blocked off with curtains and the kerosene heater would be employed. It does an admiral job of taking the chill off inside the home and our home is actually very large and poorly insulated.

The particular heater that I am about to describe below can serve as an emergency heater in the home, or as a safety heater to store in your vehicle during the winter months, if you are a camper you can certainly make use of this during those cool evenings in the great outdoors and above all it should be stored in an emergency 72 hour supply kit.

In order to construct this small heater you will need a 1 quart empty paint can which can be readily purchased at hardware stores such as ACE Hardware supply, a bottle of rubbing alcohol, one roll of toilet paper, a Phillips screwdriver and a source of fire such as matches or a lighter.

To get your heater prepared for use remove the toilet paper core and fold the toilet paper in such as manner that it can be stuffed into the quart paint can. Slowly pour one pint of alcohol into the paint can also. When you are ready to use the heater simply light it with a match. When you are finished with it and want to put it away it is very easy to extinguish it with the lid.

If you are merely storing the unit for emergency preparations you would only need to remove the core of the toilet paper and place it into the empty paint can. Next place both the can and all the other items into a large Ziploc bag separately until such time as it is needed.

Use only a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol as any higher percentage and there is a very good possibility that the flame will be too high to control properly. Don’t use any of the scented alcohols or you risk smelling up your automobile in the event it is used within its confines. Four pints of alcohol will maintain a temperature of approximately 60 to 70 degrees for a 24 hour period. These heaters are safe in the respect that there is no carbon monoxide produced.

I would however like to express some warnings on touching the rim of the can. You should be extremely careful as it becomes exceptionally hot to touch during its use and after you are finished using it. Another safety feature that you should include would be some sort of metal pan such as a cocky sheet in which you can sit the heater on when using it. Never attempt to put alcohol into the can while the heater is burning. Always wait for it to be extinguished and cooled before refueling. Although as we have said there is no carbon monoxide produced it never hurts to keep a nearby window slightly open when the heater is in use. Never use the heater for cooking food – it is strictly for heating.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish


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