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Condemned Kerosene.

What becomes of all the condemned kerosene (asks the Post)! A year or two ago public attention was directed ; very forcibly to the risk attaching to the use of certain qualities of kerosene then in the market, by a fatal explosion in this city. We urged strenuously the necessity of a stringent inspection of the imported oil, and the result was that on such inspection all the oil then in the town was found to be below the legal standard of safety, so that it could not legally be sold without being distinctly marked as dangerous. Since that time the work of inspection has been energetically carried on by the Inspector of Nuisances to the Wellington Corporation, and in fully three instances out of four the inspected oil is condemned. But what happens next ? That is the grim question which it interests the residents in this wooden city to have satisfactorily answered. Assuredly the condemned kerosene is not stored in the Corporation hulk, for enough has been placed under the ban during the last two years to fill a perfect fleet of hulks. Indeed, we have a strong, impression that it would form a lake of very decent size. What on earth can be done with this huge quantity of dangerous oil ? It may be asked in turn, “ What does it matter so long as it is not allowed to be sold to the public ?” That, however, is exactly the point on which we cannot help feeling just a little uneasy. 5 Are we sure that it is not sold to the public after all ? What real check is there ? We wish very much that we could feel quite certain that the condemned kerosene does not find its way into hundreds of domestic lamps just as readily as if the fiat of condemnation had not been pronounced against it. The public is deeply interested in having some distinct assurance on this head, Kerosend with a low flashingpoint is a much more dangerous substance than gunpowder to have in a household. It gives off inflammable vapor at a temperature below that of the human body —some, indeed, that has been tested “ flashed ” at a temperature of more than twenty degrees less than “ blood heat ” —rapd in that case contact with any flame may produce a disastrous explosion or conflagration. The existence of sqch a dapger is not, to be lightly ignored, and jt ought to clearly known whether or , not any security exists against the possibility which we have indicated. The frequent fires which haye lately occurred'in New Zealand from kerosene explosions prove incontestibly that the risk is no remote or imaginary ope. What with perils from dynamite and perils from condemned kerosene, there seems no certainty that we are not calmly reposing over a slumbering volcano, which may break forth at any moment, and bring with it death and destruction,

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Condemned Kerosene. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 197, 22 November 1880

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