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Safety Lamps


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Safety Lamp Emails

Fuel Oil **

I think we might be able to fuel our safety lamps with B&Q outdoor torch and lantern oil. I have tried it in my own flame safety lamp and it burns very much like naphtha, smokeless, no fumes and it lasts as long as naphtha about 10hrs for every filling.

You need to start by putting a drop of lighter fluid on the wick initially then light the lamp with the striker it will burn ok; this must be done when you light the lamp.

Regards Beamish Deputy

Fuel Oil **

Just been having a look at your pages regarding protector lamps and the type of fuel to use.
I have a Type 6 and a GR6S. These two lamps run very well on Methylated Spirit. They both light first time with the built in striker as well, so no need to dismantle and soak the wick in lighter petrol as suggested. There is also the benefit of having no fumes or smoke as can sometimes happen with paraffin.

Meths is only £1.99ukp for 500mls at our local hardware store.

Maybe this information will be of assistance to others ?


Drift Deputy - Our Museum Needs Naphtha/Colzaline
Dave Johnson - Advice given mining artifacts that you own or want to sell
Cathy Hanson - How does a Koehler Carbide Lamp works?
Douglas Blackmore - Can I use lighter fluid?
Ray Turnor - How do you lite a Davey Lamp?
Peter Van Diessen - Will this magnetic lock opener open my type of lamp?


From: Drift Deputy (
Sent: 3 April 2005
 Our Museum Needs Naphtha / Colzaline

Hello Fionn

I am currently working at a very famous open air museum in the north east at the museum we are having great difficulty in obtaining some small amounts of naphtha/ colzaline for our flame safety lamps. I am a deputy at the drift at the museum mine and I have tried always to source this fuel. We did get some from a local colliery but it is now closing down and supply is getting really difficult. As you can imagine the amounts we use per year is not very high and the funding will not extend to buying a 45 gallon drum which can be got locally. I have spoken to the protector lamp company in Manchester and they can provide it if it is collected from them. We are still governed by the mines inspector and I don’t think he will be very happy to find out we have none left. As part of the demonstrations we give in the drift mine the safety lamp is a very important feature. We also need it to carry out gas tests as part of our daily duties.

Yours in anticipation drift deputy


Thanks for posting the e-mail on your site it may help us, but I think I might have found the answer in the form of B&Q outdoor torch and lantern oil. I have tried in my own flame safety lamp and it burns very much like naphtha smokeless no fumes and it lasts as long as naphtha about 10hrs for every filling.

It costs £3-98 for one litre I have also looked at the safety data of this oil and it corresponds favourably


From: Douglas Blackmore
Subject: Can I use lighter fluid?

Can I Use Lighter Fuel?

Douglas Blackmore wanted to know if he could use lighter fluid. He has a Protector Lamp and Lighting Co' Type 6 M & Q, Safety Lamp - Eccles. (I think this is often called a Deputy's Lamp).

Brian Robinson Replies: -Yes lighter fuel that you purchase in shops will be more than adequate for demonstration; it just cost a lot to do it that way. A colleague in the Forest of Dean, the "deputy gaveller" opr government man that looks after the small mines, runs his Protector re-lighter on Ronson lighter fuel. If a government man can do it, surely it should be good enough for us mere mortals!!!

Brian Robinson. I.Min.E, ISRP.Mining Consultant, Breathing Apparatus and Rescue Consultant

Paraffin can be used BUT only in imitation or ornamental lamps that are designed for it, they normally have no gauzes and it should say on the bottom of these lamps that they are only to be run on paraffin.
Paraffin is obviously more available, but gives a less luminous flame, and can be smoky (unless you use Esso Blue, remember the old TV ad?).
On a full vessel, a lamp should last around 10 hours on a medium flame, or maybe 20 hours on a low flame.

For a Protector lamp Colzaline is the official stuff, more timely they use a solvent based stuff, called Sovent 40. I will try to get more details to you later, but you should be able to order through your local oil central heating supplier, you should get a gallon (lasts long, long time) for about £25. A gallon in small lighter fuel tins = £150 or more.
Lighter fuel is very similar to lamp spirit, that's why countless miners used to fill their cigarette lighters in the lamproom!!! (It must have cost the colliery a fortune).
Southern Refining were the manufacturers of the Solvent 20 modern equivalent, at the time they were supplying small mines in Wales.
I was kind of an unofficial dealer for them about 5 years ago, but not many folk want lamp oil now.
Colzaline is a slightly heavier oil than the solvent, and as such could be a little more difficult to light with re-lighter.
On a gallon tin, the label is;
SAFSOL 2 (contains heptane)
UN 1206
EC 205 - 563 - 8
There is always the chance they may have closed down but if not Protectors phone & fax numbers are 0161 789 3013 fax, 787 8257, ask for David Mather, I was kind of an unofficial dealer for them about 5 years ago, but not many folk want lamps now.



From: Cathy Hanson
Sent: 20 March 2005
 How does a Koehler Carbide Lamp works?

Good Morning, I have found some interesting info on your site, but just not what I need.

I purchased an old Koehler Carbide Lamp, but have had no luck figuring out just how it works.

Can you tell me where I might go to learn exactly how these lamps work, how to take it apart, and so on?? It is like the Davy Lamp I believe. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Cathy H.

From: Ray Turnor
Sent: 07 August 2004
Subject: How do you lite a Davey Lamp?

How to Lite A Davey Lamp

Ray Turnor was wondering how he could lite a Davey Lamp:-.
A friend of mine has got a Davey lamp, but we can't figure out how to fill it up! It seems that there is a round adapter type thingy under the base, if so what did it connect too?
All I can tell you about the lamp is:-
* The Wolf Safety Co (W.M.Maurice Ltd Sheffield)
* Wolf type FG M&Q safety lamps
* APP No B2-222

James Findley Replies;-

I think the round adapter thing on the bottom of the safety lamp will in fact be the adjuster for the size of flame.
We hardly ever took lamps in to the pit with us (only when the inspector was coming and then there was a mad rush to find a lamp by the deputys !)
The man that used to monitor the shaft pumps and fan used to service the lamps, he had a special tool to open the lamps. It was simple enough to open them without it however. On the ones I have see (the protector type) there will be a small lever on the side of the base this prevents the base from turning. To pull the lever out of the way requires a magnet. The lever has two pins, one to pivot on and one to lock the lever in place. Place the magnet under the locking pin and slowly pull the magnet down (pulling the pin with it) and then you should be able to pull the lever out of the way and unscrew the base enabling it to be filled up.
A good tip to light the lamp is to swing the lamp with one arm and then to blow into the top holes (you exhale about 16 % oxygen so it helps). A good hard push with the lighter and it should light up. As is the case the lamp lights up ok at bank but will not underground ! I hope it helps.

  From: Peter Van Diessen
Sent: 06 August 2004
Subject: Wolf Safety Lamp

Hi there,
Hope you can help me out!
A few years ago I got a Wolf safety lamp from an uncle of mine who emigrated to South Africa in the fifties.

He worked in a mine near Johannesburg for several years and took this lamp as a souvenir.

When I got the lamp they told me it has a magnetic lock.

This lock intriged me for several years now and a few weeks ago I started to look on the internet for more information on the lamp and specialy about the magnetic lock.

The only site I found with some explanation about this lamp and lock is your site, on other sites I found exploded views of other magnetic locks.

On your site I found a description about a similar lamp and a picture of a magnetic lock opener.

What I'm specially interested in is: -

  • Will this magnetic lock opener open my type of lamp?
  • Is there a way to buy such an opener?
  • Is there another way to open the lamp?
  • Does the opener on your site have two opposite poles (do they both push to the lock or pull at the lock our does one side push and one pull? left / right ?)

I enclosed some pictures of the lamp.

I hope you can help me, thank you in advance!

Sorry for my English, I'm Dutch.

Hi Peter

I wish I could speak and write a foreign language half as well as you. So far as I know any strong magnet will work. Unless someone knows better.
Thank you for the quick response.
I have all ready tried several magnets with no luck, perhaps they where not strong enough.
Lets wait an see if someone comes up with some advise.

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