Oven can do more than cooking, cannot they? Like, heating your apartment or keeping foods warm overnight. If you are on that page, leave. You will be awed to know what a terrible danger is looming over you for leaving oven on unjustifiably.
Imagine you are blissfully sipping in a cup of coffee at your friend’s lodging. Suddenly, out of nowhere, your neighbour calls you to report smokes coming out of your apartment. What more is needed to ruin a perfectly serene mood.
The peril of leaving the oven on while not home is unmeasurable, but that does not mean you can do it while at home. Here in this article, we will talk about the potential outcomes of such actions at length.
How Long Is It Safe To Leave Oven On?
Leaving gas oven on all night or day is out of the question unless you want to poison yourself. But what about an electric oven? Can you leave it on for some time? Or perhaps, to cook food overnight.
The maximum time you can leave an oven on is 12 hours. After that, it will automatically shut down. That is the extra facility you will enjoy on the electric oven, assuming you are not using an old model. However, keeping it on for half of the day is not safe either.
The reason behind prolonged time setting is keeping the electric oven on does not necessarily cause a fire. But if there is something inside it or the door somehow left open, that might start the fire. If you have the habit of leaving oven on low overnight to cook food, this is high time you change it.
Gas Oven Vs Electric Oven
It is not that you can keep any of them on when unattended. However, the severity of consequence for the two may slightly vary. When an electric oven poses the threat of burning the whole house down, a gas oven only exacerbates it, including the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Two of the most occurring reasons for Leaving an oven on are to heat the house and to keep foods ready when needed. What we fail to understand is the food inside may turn charcoal. And consequently, become the igniter of fire blast.
Moreover, leaving oven on to heat house means leaving the oven door open. That is just an open invitation to fire. The heat you are looking for to warm up your house, no doubt, will do it entirely. It will heat up the room temperature and at the same time any inflammable material located nearby.
The situation might become worse if your oven happened to be a gas oven. As the gas oven releases carbon monoxide, you may succumb to poisoning. The chance is even higher for a small apartment with no proper ventilation system.
Due to its characteristics of being a colourless, tasteless, and odourless gas, there is no way to feel it before it is too late. Some of the symptoms of poisoning that you will widely notice are confusion, hazed vision, breathing trouble, lack of clarity in thinking, headache, and some more.
If you experience any of these, please take emergency medical assistance. But the impending danger of fire is still there. And you can easily avoid all these hazards by turning off your oven every time you use it.
How to Protect The Oven From Fire?
Now, if after all the precautions your oven set on fire, what should be your immediate response? Putting out the fire might not always be possible. But that does not mean you should not make any effort towards it.
Here are some steps you should take to die down oven fire:
- Keep the oven door closed (assuming that is not the cause of a fire) and shut off the power immediately.
- If the fire dies itself, give it some time to cool down completely. Then open everything for proper air ventilation. Remove the scraps left after burning down and thoroughly clean the oven.
- If the fire does not die down on its own within a few minutes and starts getting larger, leave the house right away. And call the fire department for assistance.
Note of Precaution: If you find out the root of fire is not the food inside rather an electrical malfunctioning, please do not use it before inspecting with an expert technician.
Protective Mechanism You Can Install at Home:
The precaution is always better than actions. Misfortune does not come with an announcement. And as a human being, it is not feasible to stay alert all the time. But there are specific applications you can use; that will watch over the oven on your behalf.
You will find many alarms and timers with automatic shut-off design available in the market for electric and gas ovens alike. Installing one will not only protect you from unsolicited perils but also will give you rest in mind.
And we have hand-picked some to make your quest easy.
Wallflower Smart Monitor for Electric Stoves
This device is compatible with all kinds of smartphones; android phone or iPhone. The device is easy to set up and provides good coverage. However, you will need a wi-fi connection to run it. The device warns both physically and through an application.
FireAvert Electric Auto Shut-Off
It is a simple made device that works straightforwardly. It triggers through the smoke alarm and automatically turns the oven off before the fire gets any chance.
CookStop Stove Device:
This is quite easy to set up and does not call for professional help. It has two plug-ins designs and a motion sensor that works to induce automated shutdown.
FireAvert Gas Auto Shut-Off
: It functions in a similar manner to the FireAvert Electric device. Operates in harmony with a smoke alarm, the device turns off gas ovens with the first buzz of the alarm.
iGuardStove Intelligent Device for Stove
The device activates through a motion sensor to spot any unattended food left inside and shuts off the stove immediately. The sensor works along with the power box. It is compatible with wireless connection and permits online notifications through an application.
The device is quite easy to put in motion and allows personalization. And the best thing is you can shut off your stove any time using iGurardStove.
Can The Oven Itself Catch Into Fire?
Leaving the oven on not necessarily will set the oven itself on fire, except that you feed it with something to incinerate. The interior of the oven does not contain inflammable materials. So if you keep the door securely latched and do not leave anything inside, there is no reason for a fire to break out.
But then again, why do you need to leave it on if you have no use for it? That will only cost you in terms of electricity bills.
Here are some of the most recurrent sources of fire breakout from the oven:
- If you are cooking something greasy and let it seat right under the heating coil, then the oil spatters can lead to a fire.
- If you use wax paper for baking food over long hours instead of oven-safe parchment paper.
- If you leave leftovers or food residues inside without cleaning off.
- If you get busy with other things forgetting the food that has been cooking inside.
- If you bake things without baking sheets that have the chance of dripping.
- If you forget that the oven is for cooking, not for heating your house.
How you should use the oven to avoid combustion:
- Always clean your oven after cooking or warming foods.
- Use baking trays and sheets to avoid dripping on the oven floor.
- When cooking oily items, use a covered pan or drain excess oils every now and then. And make sure to clean any oily substance before next use.
- Do not leave food leftover inside.
- Check on the food you are cooking and set a reminder when necessitates.
- Do not leave the door open unless you are cooling down before cleaning.
- Examine the working condition of your oven with professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q.Can the oven shut-off automatically?
Ans: Most electric ovens are protected against long hours of negligence and turn off after 12 hours without intervention.
Q. What is the most common cause of house fire?
Ans: According to NFPA, the primary reason for a house fire is food left in the oven to cook for prolonged hours.
Q. What should you do if the oven catches on fire during self-cleaning?
Ans: It is better not to try anything on your own in such cases. Even if it seems like the fire dies down, still do not open the oven door. Leave immediately and call for expert assistance.
Q. How long do I need to wait after the self-cleaning of the oven?
Ans:You can start cooking right away once the oven is completely cooled down and all the residues have been cleaned off.
Q. Can I leave the house during self-cleaning?
Ans: Certainly not. It is highly dangerous to leave in such a state when you need to watch over it constantly. Besides, make sure there is proper air circulation inside the house.
Give your oven its due credit by using it properly. In most cases, it is not the oven that initiates fire but our thoughtless application of it.
Yes, your oven is to cook for you; that is its part, after all. But getting busy with other tasks while leaving oven on for hours to cook dishes does not seem rational. After all, it is a machine that knows only to function, not to think. It is your role to check on the food, keeping track of cooking time.
And do not use it for other purposes. Remember, it is just an oven that is supposed to be for food. With good care and cleaning, your oven can own its rightful place of a harmless appliance, rather than the source of some tragedies.