What To Do When The Gas Stove Was Left On

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It can happen to the best of us! One little slip on the ring or cooking when you’re tired can mean that you can accidentally leave your gas stove on without realizing it! It is hard to know what to do when the gas stove is left on, or if it’s even okay to do so.

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Leaving the gas stove on with a flame will release carbon monoxide into your home which can be hazardous to your health. While leaving the gas stove on without a flame can fill your home with natural gas which is extremely flammable and may pose the risk of a catastrophic explosion.

It’s important to know how to distinguish between these two scenarios and what steps to take in each. In this article, we give you advice and steps to follow if you have left your gas stove on, with or without the flame.

Table of Contents

What to Do If You Leave the Gas Stove On With Flame

Is it okay for your gas stove to be left on for 1 hour? The answer is always no, no, no!

You should ideally never step away from your gas cooking while cooking. Always make sure to turn off the gas stove when you have finished. Leaving your gas stove on can be very dangerous for your health and can even cause explosions. These effects can happen quickly and no matter how much time it has been, it is still not safe.

If the cooker is lit – and it’s left on for an extended period of time – it will produce “carbon monoxide” as the gasses the burnt methane turns into include carbon monoxide – which is fine if vented, but if in an enclosed space, this will remove oxygen from the air and can be dangerous to your health.

Carbon monoxide when inhaled in large amounts can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. You can be breathing in excess amounts of carbon monoxide and be unaware you’re doing so as carbon monoxide doesn’t necessarily smell.

If you have kept the stove on but there is no particular strong gas scent, don’t be fooled! Even if your gas stove is left on without a flame for 2 hours or your gas stove was left on low for 3 hours, this is still very dangerous to your health.

Here are some steps to follow on what to do if you have left your gas stove on with the flame:

  • Immediately turn off the stove or burner to prevent the problem from continuing.
  • Turn on the cooker’s fan to the highest setting possible to help air the room.
  • Make sure to evacuate everyone in the property including pets.
  • Open all windows and doors to air the property. Make sure to take breathers in the fresh air so you do not inhale too much carbon monoxide.
  • At no point should you light anything inside the property if you think a lot of carbon monoxide is present as this can cause a fire.
  • Do not turn on any appliances or activate anything electrical.
flaming stovetop

What to Do If You Leave the Gas Stove On Without Flame

This is the real danger. If you leave your gas stove on without the flame, then the stove is slowly releasing methane into your home which can result in a catastrophic event!!

If you detect gas, which has a rotten egg-like smell, you might be in trouble. Gas companies add an odorant that smells like rotten eggs to natural gas and propane since they are odorless as a safety precaution. It’s obvious that gas is escaping into the air if you notice that aroma. The stove should be turned off, and you, your family, and any pets should leave right away.

Call 911 immediately. If your stove has electrical or sparks ignition because many ranges can spark when the knob is turned to the “OFF” position, which might result in an explosion. If the meter is outside the house, shut off the gas supply to the house at the meter. The local fire brigade is skilled at locating and isolating gas meters.

Regardless of whether your gas stove uses natural gas (composed of 70-90% methane) or propane gas (liquefied petroleum gas LPG), you need to be extremely careful as both are very flammable. They are equally explosive mixtures with air at room temperature in enclosed spaces.

It’s important to understand these two different varieties of stove gas dissipate differently:

  • Propane gas dissipates in about 2 hours
  • Natural gas dissipates in about 1 hour

The safety advice is to never turn on any electric devices or start a flame (e.g., light a candle or cigarette) if you are in a home where there may be a gas leak because it takes an hour or two for the gas to dissipate. An electric spark occurs during switching electrical appliances, and this can ignite the explosive gas present in the air. As long as first responders have not cleared the house, you should leave.

Although you might think you should open the windows to air out your house, resist the urge to do so. Keep the windows closed! Natural gas can ignite once it accounts for between 5 and 15% of the air in a space. Opening a window can actually increase the danger in your kitchen, which already exists due to the gas there.

Although this is very unlikely, as gas autoignition requires temperatures of around 450 to 500 degrees to occur, which will start a spontaneous fire, it is important to be aware of this. Leave it to the experts!

A gas leak in a closed space means that all of your furniture will presently be relocated to all corners of the neighborhood should you even turn on a light switch. Not only that but opening windows would delay your exit and cause toxic fumes to spread beyond your home.

Here are some steps to follow on what to do if you have left your gas stove on without the flame:

  • You should immediately gather your family and any pets and leave the house, then call 911.
  • Call 911 once you are in a secure location (a neighbor’s house or at the very least on the other side of the street). When emergency personnel comes, they will inspect your gas line and your residence.
  • Do not turn on or off any type of electric device (i.e. lights, ), or gas items (i.e fireplace).
  • Do not open or close the windows.
  • You shouldn’t even start the automobile in your driveway or garage.

Using a Gas Stove Safety Tips

If you use a natural gas stove in your house, the advice and safety suggestions listed below will help you keep as safe as you can.

  • Having your gas appliances examined annually is a great idea.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector.
  • When using the gas stove, always turn on the exhaust vent.
  • Use only pots and pans that completely enclose the stove burner. Never allow an open flame to reach the sides of a pot or pan.
  • To prevent a fire hazard, never use cookware with handles or other combustible materials.
  • Away from the stove in the kitchen, keep items like oven mitts.
  • Never cook while wearing loose clothing, dangling jewelry, scarves, or anything else that could catch fire from the flame of the stove.
  • When cooking, never leave a gas stove alone.
  • Install a smoke alarm correctly close by.
  • Use safety knobs on your gas stove to assist protect young children and/or the elderly with dementia or Alzheimer’s safe.
  • Clean the top of the stove after each use once the burners have cooled (small food particles can catch on fire).
  • At least once a week, wash the grates and each burner cap of your gas stove by immersing them in warm, soapy water. Clear out any debris from the burner’s openings using a toothpick.
  • NEVER put water on a fire in a gas stove. Put a lid on the pot and turn off the burner if there is only a small fire in the pot. If the fire is larger, you can put it out using a fire extinguisher, a fire suppression blanket, a wet cloth, or a ton of salt or baking soda.
  • If you smell natural gas but did not leave the stove on, get out of the house right away. Use your mobile device to call 911 or your neighborhood gas company from a safe distance outdoors and outside in the fresh air to report the event.
  • Read the safety instructions that come with your natural gas appliance. You can get in touch with the manufacturer or look it up online if you don’t have the printed handbook.

FAQs

How Long To Air Out The Room If The Gas Stove Was Left On?

What at least an hour before reentering the property. This will give you enough time for the property to be properly aired.

Is Carbon Monoxide From Gas Stove Left On Dangerous?

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be very serious and can be caused by leaving a gas stove on. You should aim to seek medical advice immediately.

How Long Should I Wait Before Using My Gas Stove After It Has Been Left On?

After ventilating the property properly it is best to wait at least two hours before using your stove again after it has been left on by accident. If the property has been aired out well you are at a smaller risk of any fires occurring or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Always play it safe!

Whether you’re cooking or baking, responsibility is key. If you discover you have left your gas stove on, follow the steps above immediately. It’s important to understand the risks of leaving a gas stove on with and without a flame. One leads to a silent death due to hazardous health, the other leads to a catastrophic explosion. Let’s stay safe!!

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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