I heat my shop and the wife's dog kennel with propane heaters. With the temps near zero in the evenings I needed something to let me know if the heat should go out. I took an old electric blanket and replaced the blanket with a 110v outlet. I plugged in a lamp with a low watt bulb and set the lamp in a window visible from the house. The controller can then be set to light the lamp when the temp falls to a selected level. Now then: I've posted this for information only on what I have done for my sole use. Anyone building or using a like or similar item does so at their own risk.
I have a 40 watt obama bulb in my barn that stays on all the time. If its out i know the power is out in barn as i have freezer and tank heaters for livestock. Freezer not a big deal this time of year.
Careful, yesterday morning @ 6:45am I was going to work and a few doors down from me a barn was on fire. Traditional barn probably full of hay and straw caught fire about 6am. I have never seen anything like this...flames 100' in the air with no side walls but beams were holding it up while the roof burned. Hell on earth and at least a dozen goats and sheep inside. The owner has MS and today no lights on in the house...I am worried, she also had 2 of those dogs that think they are sheep.
Stock heater, lights, bad wiring...I don't know but have never seen anything like that in 56 years on earth. Just unbelievable the fire and the fire department could do nothing but spray the house.
I had a friend who wanted to be able to check on the heat in his house up north when he was in Florida. He put a telephone cord on an old thermostat, plugged it into the phone jack, and headed south. He would then call his number and if the phone rang, he knew he had heat. If he got a busy signal, he knew he didn't. No charge for the long distance call either way.
I watched a barn burn from spontaneous combustion one summer in ND from hay to damp. Never will forget that huge fire. just checked ours at the coast on our coldest day 34 going to 32 at mid night.
Tim...sorry to hear of your neighbors misfortune. Sayin' a prayer for her. Hope the stress didn't set off her MS real bad. Sounds like she's all alone? What a shame. I've seen those barn fires and yes, they're not pretty.
In another life I played with bombs missiles and rockets, I used to think they were bad until I witnessed a grain elevator explode and set a nearby barn full of hay on fire.... scary stuff Tim prayers for your neighbor
Hey Dallas, What's an "Obama bulb"? I have never heard the term. I know that Al Gore invented the internet; did our president invent a light bulb?
Marc, I had one of those. They are commercially available for fairly short money.
Tim Moore, We had horses and a barn in Massachusetts. When we built it, we made sure that the hayloft - which held nine tons of hay, was extremely well-ventilated and leakproof. We also never would put even slightly damp hay in the barn. Barn fires due to damp hay are more common then you might thing. One more think: Rule one of keeping livestock is never lock a barn with animals inside. While it was in use as a barn, ours didn't even have locks on it.
Old means dirt and dust which will burn anywhere!Even on the steel work of modern buildings!Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
A quick search for "Obama Bulb" reviled this:
Ken is correct about old dust burning...
We were rebuilding a glass furnace in GE's Ohio plant and sent someone to do a bit of welding in the rafters.
It was amazing to see the dust burn.
It flashed over and there were embers dropping all over the place.
The old guys just laughed and the young ums needed to change their pants.
Stephen thats it! As for barn fires Ive been on many over past 30 years. This weather makes it even worse . It got up to 7 here today. We are a rural fire dept so we haul our water to fire. We cant stop work outside because its COLD OUT like other jobs. Hog barn or chicken barns are bad. Cant eat bacon after those. The last fire in these temps it was 8 below and the heater blower in the truck quit. I drove home with 5 other firefighters soaking wet and covered with ice. As soon as we got in the truck the windows frosted over. Fire trucks dont carry ice scrapers and all i could find was a seat belt cutter. Of course it was a 6 man cab over with the wind shield about 24 inches from the steering wheel. Quit a stretch in full turn out gear.