THE MANAGEMENT OF PETROLEUM LAMPS.
In view of the numerous fatal and other accidents caused by petroleum lamps, the Metropolitan Board of Works, London, Eng., have issued the following suggestions as to the construction and management of such lamps, which are founded on recommendations made by Sir Frederick Abel and Boverton Redwood, chemist of the Petroleum Association, after investigating the causes of lamp accidents:
- That portion of the wick which is in the oil reservoir should be inclosed in tube of thin sheet metal, open at the bottom, or in a cylinder of fine wire gauze, such as is used in miners’ safety lamps (twenty-eight meshes to one inch).
- The oil reservoir should be of metal, rather than of china or glass.
- The oil reservoir should have no feeding place nor opening other than the opening into which the upper part of the lamp is screwed.
- Every lamp should have a proper extinguishing apparatus.
- Every lamp should have a broad and heavy base.
- Wicks should be soft and not tightly plaited.
- Wicks should be dried at the fire before being put into lamps.
- Wicks should be only just long enough to reach the bottom of the oil reservoir.
- Wicks should be so wide that they quite fill the wick-holder without having to be squeezed into it.
- Wicks should be soaked with oil before being lit.
- The reservoir should be quite filled with oil every time before using the lamp.
- The lamp should be kept thoroughly clean, all oil should be carefully wiped off, and all charred wick and dirt removed before lighting.
- When the lamp is lit, the wick should be at first turned down and then slowly raised.
- Lamps which have no extinguishing apparatus should be put out as follows: The wick should be turned down until there is only a small flickering flame, and a sharp puff of breath should then be sent across the top of the chimney, but not down it.
- Cans or bottles used for oil should be free from water and dirt, and should be kept thoroughly closed.
These suggestions apply to ordinary mineral oil lamps, such as are generally used, and not to benzoline or spirit lamps.