Safely Handling Oil Lanterns

When using oil lanterns, it's important to follow simple guidelines to ensure safe operation. Oil lanterns produce flames. Take all logical and common-sense precautions to ensure fire safety. Safety takes on added importance when children and pets are present.

  • Every home should be equipped with fire extinguishers.

  • Select a safe, reliable fuel designed for use in an oil lantern. Never use highly ignitable substances such as gasoline, alcohol, diesel fuel, mineral spirits, acetone, propane, paint thinners, household cleaners, or turpentine.

  • Place the lantern in a location where it‘s less likely to be bumped or knocked over.

  • The chimney will get very hot, even after the lantern has been extinguished for a while. Use caution touching it until the chimney has cooled.

  • The heat radiating from the top of the chimney can ignite flammable materials too close to it.

  • Keep oil lanterns out of young children's reach.

  • Never leave oil lanterns in unattended areas; a responsible adult should supervise their use.

  • Don‘t add oil to a burning or hot lantern.

  • An oil lantern will give off some carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide detectors in your home are advised.

  • Use the lantern in an open area with good air circulation.

Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for your oil lantern to ensure safe operation.

Travel Tips

Extreme care needs to be taken when transporting the Peace Light in a moving vehicle.

  • Be sure the candle or lantern is secure and will travel safely without intervention from the driver. Click the link to the right for instructions to build a simple lantern carrier.

  • Place the lantern or candle in a container that can absorb and/or contain fuel or candle wax in case the flame tips over. A bucket of sand or small pebbles will work.

  • If using a lantern, use clean-burning odor-free fuel.

  • Carry a fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide detector in the car.

  • Leave a window open a small amount to ensure adequate ventilation.

  • If possible, have a passenger in the car who can keep an eye on the Peace Light.

Brian Duane

Peace Light enthusiast Brian Duane travels hundreds of miles with the Peace Light each year -- New York City to Denver to Boston -- making many stops along the way to share the flame and its message of peace and friendship. Brian shared his travel tips with us.

Oil Lantern

  • Feuerhand Lantern (German Made) – having seen so much negative feedback about low quality cheap lanterns, I made an investment. Really not that bad, I think it was just over $25 each back in 2016.

  • Two lanterns, I just do not trust having one.

  • I burn Firefly Clean Fuel Lamp Oil. Supposedly it is longer burning, odorless, smokeless and better than even paraffin oil. It is not clear exactly what it is. But it works well. I will not ever consider kerosene.

  • I use travel carriers which were constructed for me by the local High School.

  • Each carrier is placed in an older milk crate.

  • When filling a lantern, I will light one or more candles before I extinguish a lantern. Again, I keep the flame burning.

  • I have not tested the limits of how long my lanterns will last, but it is well beyond 24 hours.

I travel in a smaller SUV (Subaru Forester)

  • Carefully packed, lanterns all the way in the back

  • Lamp flame kept low while traveling.

  • Carbon Monoxide detector

  • Fire extinguisher in the car at all times

  • Generally, keep one window just barely open

  • Cautious, but no special precautions at Gas Station

Overnight stops

  • Sometimes the lanterns come inside. I ask at hotels first and have never had someone say no. Often, I end up sharing the flame with the front desk staff and others.

  • Often, I stay with friends. We just find a safe place for the flame to rest.

  • Some nights when just too tired to ask, I simply leave the lanterns in the car with a window cracked.

Even when I travel a short distance, I use the full setup. Arriving with two large lantern carriers generates a lot of interest.

For somewhat shorter distances, I have seen people using camping candle lanterns (UCO is one brand) with a bucket of sand for stability. That looked easy and simple. I have seen lots of other options, some as simple as a few candles in a bucket of sand. But a lot of those were probably only good for a very short drive from church to home.

As I prepared for my first trip with the Peacelight, I must admit that I was a little concerned about how it would all work. But my son Thomas and I planned well and really had no issues. I am totally comfortable with traveling with these lanterns. I have not become complacent in my caution, just comfortable that it all works.