Letter Re: Devotional Candles as an Emergency Source of Light and Heat

Mr. Rawles,
I am enjoying your “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” book, which I purchased on Friday and have read most of it by now. I have something to offer to you by way of experience regarding votive candles as good emergency candles. We are practicing Roman Catholics and, as such, have lots of experience with the 10″ candles that you recommend for emergencies or even small-scale food heating. While they cannot be beaten for long-term service ( a week to 10 days per candle), the amount of light and heat you obtain from the candles deteriorates significantly after the 4th day. I believe it has to do with the narrow cylinder of glass the candles are encased in allowing lower and lower amounts of oxygen in the “throat” as the candles burn, leading to smaller and smaller flames. By the 9th day or so, the flame is a tiny 1/4 of an inch high. Good for devotional purposes to be sure, but not for any kind of light or heat. I would recommend the smaller 4″ tall votive candles which are constructed the same way but whose shallower depth allow more oxygen at the base of the candle. God Bless, – Tim in Miami