There are quite a few options when it comes to lighting during a blackout but one that we don’t recommend is the use of candles.
Each year, candle fires result in around 300 casualties in England, UK alone with more than 40 percent of all fires started by candles resulting in a death or injury. While candles may increase visibility in the dark, there is also an increased risk of causing a fire.
Now, obviously there are safety tips that you should use when using candles around the home, but it is safer to avoid using them altogether when planning for a blackout. Flashlights still remain a very good option for your survival kits although you will also need a good supply of spare batteries unless you want to do a little work and buy a crank flashlight.
In our opinion, a much better option is to pack glow sticks instead of candles in your survival kit. There are many good glow sticks available that can last for up to 12 hours ensuring that you always have plenty of light without the risk of fire. You should however, avoid the “toy” glow sticks that are sold as they are pretty useless in giving off light.
They are also very easy to use, even in the dark as all you need to do is bend, or “snap” them and you have instant light (just as much, if not more light than a usual candle).
Safety is the biggest reason that you should use glow sticks instead of a traditional candle. They are easy to use, safe for all ages from 36 months and remove the hazard of a fire.
- No flames = no fire hazard
- No mess – No wax dripping on furniture/clothes/floors etc.
- Not affected by wind
- No Heat generated
- No batteries required
- 360 degree light
- Non flammable
If the glow stick is punctured or damaged in any way, it should be disposed of immediately.
Extra Survival Uses for Glow Sticks
1. Mark Your Location for Rescuers
You can activate the glow sticks and place them inside empty and capped water bottles to float on water to signal aircraft and watercraft.
2. Follow in Formation
When traveling at night as a group, attach a glow stick to each backpack so that you can all stay together and follow along more easily.
3. When Sheltering in Place
Place glow sticks to mark doorways inside the home so it is easier to move around and means that you won’t have to use fuel and batteries on lanterns or flashlights.