Share your thoughts on the matter

Kellene ~ The use of candles is a huge concern, not so much for our house, but for my neighbors. I have read that more people die post-hurricane from fires than the actual direct hit. Don't know if this "fact" can be proven, but without doubt, some people do die from use of candles in an aftermath. So, if a grid-down situation were to occur, living and lighting becomes even more problamatic and vulnerable by the use of non-electric sources.

For several years now, I have been "decorating" my home with glass hurricane candle holders and globes, lanterns on the hearth, and other such protective glass sleeves. I collect candles on sale in glass jars (such as Yankee Candle), tapers, tea lights, whatever. My favorite source is garage sales where sellers are practically begging you to take away their unwanted candles.

The flip side of this is 5 large fire extinguishers and 8 smoke detectors located around our home. Smoke is the big killer as one breath of super-heated gas destroys your lungs or one breath of toxic fumes deprives a body of required oxygen to function, you lose consciousness, and die before flames ever reach you or you can escape or save loved ones or even dial 911. We back up to a forest and have thought this one through. Alot.

I received one of those "Sun Jars" for Christmas. It adds more mood light than useful lighting. Don't plan to read with one of these. Our yard is decorated with various solar lights, and I do want to say, "they" don't have the bugs figured out yet on these. They die, wear out, don't last. It's not a battery function, they just aren't that great. I've used the stake kind, solar fountains in the pool, fence toppers and I know this is not a long-term solution. Sorry to be such a downer :)

The most successful solar light we have is a set of tiny solar lights from China that I bought on Ebay (think Christmas lights) on an arbor with the panel high up out of the way on a roof. Those little lights have not failed or gone out. They regularly come on each night, but don't last even 3 hours until the power is gone.

So, while solar lights will afford some lighting, they probably won't be working years after a grid-down situation. I suggest accumulating hurricane globes, decorative "lanterns" (not oil burners, I have those, too), and maybe those cheap religious pillar candles in glass. Burning candles will have to be a 100% safe activity 100% of the time.

Nothing is as efficient or energy productive as burning fossil fuels. Alternative energy sources don't measure up. They just can provide an improvement to the darkness.

Thanks to Wanda and Jill for their suggestions. Worth looking into.

As always, thanks for all you do. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!