An oven is an electrical appliance we use every day, from cooking to baking. An oven can stay on for up to 12 hours, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it on for that long. Keeping the oven unattended over a long period of time can be dangerous and even lead up to a house fire in the worst-case scenario.
Is It Dangerous to Leave the Oven On?
It can be dangerous to leave the oven on. But it often depends on what you are doing with it. For example, the oven may be on from 8 to 12 hours per day during many holiday seasons. So if you are cooking or baking with it at that time, it will be fine. But trying to warm the room or just leaving it on can be dangerous.
Many times, people leave their oven on to warm up the room. This can be dangerous. Ovens are not made for warming up the rooms. They are inefficient at doing so and can lead to starting a fire.
Even when you are cooking in an oven, you should keep an eye on it. It can become pretty hot inside the oven. So, using it over an extended period of time and leaving it unattended is not worth the risk.
How Long Can I Leave the Oven on With Nothing in It?
You can leave the oven on for 12 hours with nothing inside it. After that, the safety feature will kick in, turning the oven off. But if you are asking how long you can keep the oven on safely with nothing inside it, then the recommended thing is not to keep it on unless you need to preheat it.
The risk of an oven getting on fire is low if nothing is inside it. But it is never zero. And frankly, it is not worth the risk to keep the oven on.
Even if you don’t have anything inside the oven, your previous cooking may be left crumbs or fats inside the oven. Or there may be a flammable substance in contact with your oven, which can also lead to a fire.
So, it is better to not keep the oven on if you are not using it. But if you keep the oven on, do not leave it unattended since about 33% of housefire each year are caused by ovens. And the risk is just not worth it to take.
Dangers of Leaving Electric or Gas Ovens On
Leaving your electric and gas oven on over time can be dangerous. These days, electric ovens have safety features where they shut down after 12 hours. But in these 12 hours, there is a possibility it will start a fire inside the kitchen.
This is especially true after you have cooked or baked something inside the oven. If you have cooked or baked in the oven, chances are, there will be crumbs left inside the oven. If you keep the oven on, it can get very hot and start a fire.
Gas ovens are more dangerous than electric ones when left on. This is because gas ovens emit carbon monoxide (CO) when they are left on. This is a poisonous gas that can even kill people if inhaled too much.
But that is not the end of it. Keeping the gas oven on will emit a gas that can get ignited when you turn on your stove and start a fire in that way.
How to Put Out an Oven Fire?
When turned on for an extended time, the oven can catch on fire, especially if there is grease or crumbs. So if your oven gets on fire, you need to be prepared to put it out. And by put out, we meant to control the fire until it dies down.
It may seem tempting to open the oven door to put out the fire, but this is the worst thing you can do. Opening the door will give the fire more room to spread. So, do not open the oven door.
Open your window to start better ventilation and use a fire extinguisher if the fire gets out of the oven. Besides that, just wait until the fire runs out of things to burn and die down. And call 911 for professional assistance if things seem to get out of hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it safe to keep the oven on overnight?
Ans: No, it is not safe to keep the oven turned on unattended overnight.
- Will my oven turn off automatically?
Ans: All the electric ovens made after 1995 comes with safety features that turn them off after 12 hours. So, if your oven is a model made after 1995, it will turn off automatically after 12 hours.
- Is it ok to leave the house with the oven on?
Ans: You should never leave the house with an oven on. Any amount of flammables can start a fire, and if you are not at home, the fire can get out of hand.
Keeping the oven on for an extended period is fine if you are using it. You can use the oven for up to 12 hours straight. But if you are not using it, you should turn it off. This will make sure the oven causes no safety hazards.
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