Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Emergency Heater in a Can

Found this information on a site entitled "Emergency Preparedness". This is something that was talked about in a Preparedness class I took a few weeks ago. I like how thorough these instructions are:

Heater in Home
Heater in Car during winter months.
Heater for Camping
Heater for your 72 hour kit.

1 empty quart can (you can purchase at any paint store)
1 bottle of rubbing alcohol
1 roll of toilet paper (with cardboard removed)
paint can opener (you can purchase at any paint store or mini philips screwdriver. )
pack of matches or lighter.

To make as a gift: Remove core of toilet paper. Fold the roll of toilet paper in half and stuff into the empty quart can. Put the can and the rest of the items in a ziploc bag separately so the recipient may pour the alcohol in the can when heat is needed. Copy the text below and include it with the kit.

Assembly for Use:

  1. Remove core of toilet paper
  2. Fold the roll of toilet paper in half and stuff into the empty quart can.
  3. Slowly pour 1 pint alcohol into can.
  4. Light w/ lighter or match.
  5. To extinguish, replace the lid.
  6. Put the following instructions in with the rest of the items.

Instructions for using Emergency Car Heater:
Use 70% isopropyl alcohol-any higher percent the flames could be too high. Do not use scented alcohol, it will smell awful in your car. 4 pints of isopropyl will keep a car 60 to 70 degrees for 24 hours. They are extremely safe and don’t produce carbon monoxide.

Warnings: Be careful the can rim will be hot to touch during and for a while after burning, although the can could be held from the bottom even while the heater is burning. It is suggested that you carry a metal pan or cookie sheet or fold a square of tin foil into fourths to set the heater on. DO NOT pour more alcohol on the heater while burning. Wait for it to burn out or smother with metal lid.

**It is recommended that you keep a window cracked open while burning the heater.**

This heater is NOT recommended for cooking!"

(Source: http://pgward.org/ep/archives/215)


Anonymous said...

soo... do you just light the toilet paper and it keeps burning for 24 hours? I don't think I understand how it works. please help me to understand.

Thanks for all of the wonderful things on your blog, I am loving it and sharing it with my extended family! :]

K P said...

That's a great question!

At the class I attended the speaker said that the toilet paper won't burn if it is saturated with rubbing alcohol.

It appears that if you kept it burning for 24 hours it would take 4 pints (or 4 (16 oz.) bottles) of 70% isopropyl alcohol. So doing a little math I figure one bottle of alcohol will burn approximately 4 to 6 hours.

If the heater runs low on the alcohol and you need it to burn longer, EXTINGUISH THE FLAME BEFORE you add more alcohol by covering it with the paint can lid. Add another pint of alcohol, then relight.

You can extinguish it at any time by covering the can with the metal lid.

We were told that if you leave the alcohol in the can that it will cause the can to rust. That is the reason I haven't tried burning mine yet. (I'm frugal and am saving it for an emergency.)

Hope that helps clarify things.

Thanks for your kind comment!