Restrictions on Fuel/Heating : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Suddenly today, long after the barbeque season is over, there appears on the bulletin board at my complex a notice from the fire department that grills must be used far from the building, fuels cannot be stored, etc. Cites the laws and penalties, etc. NOW they tell us this! Could it be because they envision us using said fuels at Y2K?

Question: if you were thus warned you could not use same, what heat alternatives would you have as an apartment dweller? S.O.S.

-- Forum Regular (CannotSay@this.time), November 16, 1999


Sterno is good--jellied and not too, too flammable, IMHO.

-- Mara (, November 16, 1999.

I'd use EXACTLY what I'd planned in the first place. *IF* we end up needing it, I couldn't care less what the pencil-necks have to say about it, and I doubt that they'd have the time to persecute, er, um, PROSECUTE you.

-- Dennis (, November 16, 1999.

Sorry, Mara, I disagree re the gelled ethanol as a source of heat.

From the article on my website entitled "Y2K Prep Supplies You Probably Don't Need":

"5) Gelled ethanol heat sources: These products provide heat conveniently, but at a prohibitive price on a units of heat/dollar basis. Use other heat sources, or do without, and find better ways to spend your Y2K preparation funds."

FR, why not get a woodstove (and all its paraphenalia) into your apartment in advance, keeping it in unlabeled boxes and not installing it (especially the stovepipe) until the utility that provides your heat goes off and stays off? You could move at least 2 or 3 cords of wood into your (closed and locked) garage ahead of time as well. A wood pellet stove is another idea of a heat source that no one could get bent out of shape over its fuel being supposedly dangerous. We are talking WOOD here; how often does that explode from a spark? If you need to be even more circumspect about the wood, have piles of old lumber (construction site/pallet discards) rather than regular split logs in your garage, so you can claim it is a building material for projects.

None of these approaches is ideal, but you are unavoidably vulnerable to vagaries not only of utility supply, but of other people such as your landlord by remaining in an apartment complex near the time rollover loomed. Why don't you find SOME way to move to a rural area? It's not yet totally impossible for a resourceful/determined person, even at this late date.

-- MinnesotaSmith (, November 16, 1999.

My Goodness. I am also from MN, survive being outside in -27degree F temps. (twice--1st time it was 21 below and 2nd it was 27 below)I was winter camping in the BWCA. Not much fun but still here. Yes, I still have all my fingers and toes, no loss to frost bite. Go buy yourself a good sleeping bag and wool gear. You have to understand that living in MN, mother nature tries to kill us once or twice a year with or without y2k. Somehow, I am trying to come Minnesotasafe defense because I think he has spoken a little "outside of the envelope on the woodstoves" I have never met the man but have read several of his articles. His written message is basically clear. "Be prepared" I do not disagree!! I think a person living is a apartment should leave if it is possible. If thats not an option, your burden would be to acquire very warm clothing such as wool. Oil lamps give off a little heat,Coleman propane lanterns produce a lot of heat. Just remember to keep a window open. Good Luck!!

-- Bill (Sticky@2sides.tape), November 16, 1999.

"A wood pellet stove is another idea of a heat source that no one could get bent out of shape over its fuel being supposedly dangerous."

You'll need electricity to run this...

-- j werner (, November 17, 1999.

Thanks for the thoughts...could use some more. What about propane heaters...any good?

People who live in apartments do not have garages, unfortunately. One would help LOTS for all sorts of preps!!

-- Forum Regular (CannotSay@this.time), November 17, 1999.

Propane heaters and kerosene heaters both require fuel. The fuel has to be stored somewhere......somewhere away from the prying eyes of the apartment managers.

You might want to buy a few of the 20 pound propane tanks for a propane heater. You could easily put at least one in each closet in the place. Buy an unvented propane heater with oxygen sensor and automatic cutoff. (Valor or other such make, run from $125 to $300, depending on size and features)

Wood heat is great, but not in an apartment. Open the closet door and get buried by the wood falling out. LOL! Wood pellet stoves require electricity, as mentioned, plus you still have to store the pellets somewhere.

Here's a thought. If power goes out and you lose heat, the apartment isn't going to argue with you about your use of an auxilliary heater. They will have violated an implied obligation to furnish safe housing for you. Your argument is -- "give me heat and I don't have to use this." Will they run to the fire department? Doubt it, since they are legally at risk.

If you have the money, you might want to mix, getting both kerosene and propane. Whatever, be sure you vent the place adequately.

-- propane (, November 17, 1999.

No garage? Rent storage space. Keep kerosene/propane in there, only drag it out when needed. Can also keep food, water.

-- rents (rents@a.lot), November 17, 1999.

FR, how is the apartment building heated and how cold are your winters? If heated by natural gas, then you won't have any heat unless there is both natural gas and electricity available. However, if the reason you don't have heat is because there is no natural gas, then electric space heaters could help a lot (depending on how cold it is).

-- Brooks (, November 17, 1999.

If your apt is heated by natural gas, consider spending $150 or so on a wall-mounted "vent-free" space heater that uses NG. It does not need electricity to work and you could always hook it up to the stove inlet. Make sure you get the proper piping and flex hose to connect it if you need it.

If you have a way of storing 20# propane tanks somewhere's else, do so. then buy a bunch of 1# "camping tanks that you can put a 3000btu infrared heater on. these 1# tanks will last about 18 hours or more.

There are adapters that allow you to refill small 1# tanks from 20# tanks, just turn the 20# tank upside down to refill so that you get the liquid and not the vapor. Then you can go back to your apt with the small tanks and noone will be the wiser.

I would also suggest buying some plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off rooms so you only heat one room.

my 2cents

-- plonk! (, November 18, 1999.

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