While I can't speak to the safety aspects of your particular
situation, I can address your questions about the Blazer.
When I first started, I was in an apartment and I used a Blazer
butane torch. You can't do anything really big like a solid
sterling bracelet, but there's no problem with most other jewelry
items. It wasn't quite hot enough for some larger pendants I was
doing, so I got another Blazer. Then I figured out the key to
making jewelry with these torches, and I learned to build mini kilns
out of charcoal blocks. It can even be just a backsplash, but you
need to make sure there's enough heat, and that it's reflecting
With a little practice, this setup is sufficient. It does require
dexterity, to manipulate torches, solder picks, tweezers, etc. in
both hands, but jewelers as a rule are either ambidextrous enough to
handle this and/or clever enough to work it out. The trick is to
learn how to manage the heat and the flame.
A couple years later, I still have an studio in my apartment albeit
a very slightly larger one. I still have a Blazer, but I pretty
much use it only occasionally for making creme brulee (because,
sadly, you can't have something that delicious and fattening more
than 3 or 4 times a year). My current torch is a Meco, oxy-propane,
with the smallest refillable tanks, kept outside and set up up each
time I use them. I have an unrelated full-time job, so I set them
up once or twice each week. I plan my soldering carefully, doing a
lot of sawing, filing, preparation of various projects, etc.,
in-between soldering days. I also have excellent ventilation - only
12 blocks from the Pacific Ocean and a pair of east and west windows
that create the perfect ventilating cross-breeze.
You have a predicament, but it can be overcome. Good luck! And
feel free to email me directly if you have any specific questions.