Dangerous Quality of Kerosene.

Dangerous Quality of Kerosene.

The following is a simple and infallible test to ascertain exactly the quality and explosive point of any sample of kerosene oil, no matter by what fancy, attractive name it may be designated in specious advertisements. Take a common tin pan of wator, or an ordinary tin pail, say seven inches in diameter and five inches deep; fill the vessel with water and place it on the stove, or over a lump, so as to heat very gradually; put an ordinary thermometer upright in the water, to indicate the gradual rise of temperature; tako a little pan, snch as is used to bake small patties, sold for one cent each; in the patty-pan put a tablespoonful of koroseno and lot it float on the surface of the gradually heating water. When you soe the thermometer begin to indicate seventy, seventy-five, or eighty degrees, apply a lighted match to the kerosene in the tin pan. If the oil is safe, no flash will ensue, but if it is impure, and therefore dangerous, a flash like the ignition of gas will appear. In case a flash occurs while tho thermometer indicates a temperature below 100 degrees, it is safe to assume that the oil is highly dangeeous and utterly unfit for use; being more dangerous than gunpowder, which cannot he ignited by a flame at such a temperature. No oil should he purchased for illuminating purposes whose flashing or igniting point is at all below 110 degrees, and it should be remembered that the greator tho heat it will endure above that temperature the greater is the proportional increase in its safety for burning in lamps. While 110 degrees Fahrenheit is a fair test, it does not guarantee indiscriminate or reckless handling. Even with the best brands of oil a lamp should never be filled while lighted, or while near one that is lighted. As the oil burns down in the lamp a highly inflamable gas gathers over the surface, increasing as as the oil doorcases, and not infrequently forcing its way to the flame at tho edge of the wick and threatening an explosion. There are various tricks currant among dealors in kerosone to prove that even naphtha is not explosive at seventy degrees. The usual test is to hold a lighted match over an open vessol containing it. Hut lot a small portion he put in a can ami shaken up and a light introduced, when an explosion instantly occurs, showing that the inflammable stuff becomes explosive upon mixing with the oxygen of the atmosphere. Indeed, it may be safely said that every lamp in the land, when burning iu a room, steamboat cabin, or other apartment, whose temperature is seventy-five or eighty degrees, is liable to explosion, oven if burning tho standard kerosene of 110 degrees flashing point. Many scientific man have been led into the fallacy that tho flashing point of korosene at 110 degrees is tho point of safety, but it has boon recently demonstrated by an eminent chemist that thirty-five degreos below the igniting point oil, after burning twenty minutes or half an hour, will genodato an explosive gas. It has been also demonstrated by the same authority that oil with an igniting or flashing point of 150 degrees is in an oxplosivo condition when burned inclosod in lanterns on shioboard and railway cars, It is claimed that until oil shall stand a test of 300 degrees there will be no guarantee against the dreadful loss of life and property which its use regularly entails.

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