Many people worry about the dangers of a stove being left on for long periods of time. The dreaded “Did I forget to turn off the stove?” as you are out and about is something that will cause some anxiety level for most people – but is there any need to panic if a stove is left on?
A gas stove can explode if the flame fails to light when you turn on a burner. This will cause the oven to fill up with flammable gas, making it very easy for the stove to ignite and explode. If you smell a gas leak or hear a hissing sound coming from the stove, make sure it is turned off, open all windows, and don’t be afraid to evacuate.
This article will be going more in-depth on this topic – covering what can make a gas stove ignite and how you can take the proper safety measures to prevent a tragic event. We encourage you to read on so you can have the knowledge necessary to maintain your stove and know when to spot signs of danger.
How Can a Stove Explode?
To understand how a stove can explode, we first need to know how a gas stove functions. Essentially, when you turn the knob to ignite a burner, you are opening the intake valve that releases the gas, which then passes through a pipe called a venturi tube.
This tube gets tighter near the middle to allow the gas to compress and take in oxygen through a small hole. This process allows the gas to ignite and create a functional burner.
What makes the gas combust is the igniter, which heats to a high temperature by using electricity. This one-piece can be the sole reason why a burner will refuse to produce any flames if it is not functioning properly.
Speaking of faulty stoves, multiple factors can affect a gas stove’s functionality, ranging from user error or a stove that is simply not working properly and needs to be repaired.
Factor #1: A Faulty Igniter
A faulty igniter can usually be discerned through the noise coming from a stove. You’ll typically either hear a clicking, booming, or hissing noise. The igniter is trying to light the gas but is failing to do so either from it being dirty, damaged from spills, or a manufacturing error.
Factor #2: Loose Connection
Another thing that can cause a stove burner not to produce flames is a loose connection. If your stove is failing to ignite, the wires that handle the connection between the control modules and the igniter may have become loose.
If you would like to know how to fix common stove issues, you can check out this guide.
Factor #3: The Stove Needs Cleaning
If you neglect a stove for a long period of time, there is a very strong possibility that you will have a build-up of food debris and grease that will prevent the igniter from igniting the gas.
When you see something fall into the stove as you are cooking, keep a note of it and return to clean the debris out once the stove has had a chance to cool down.
Additionally, you should clean your stove regularly. Lesslie Richert, a green cleaning expert, advises that everyone should clean their stove every 3 to 6 months.
The Verdict: Stoves Can Explode if Left on When the Burner Isn’t Igniting
A stove will not randomly explode out of nowhere. Paying attention to the warning signs that a malfunctioning stove gives off, such as unusual noises and the smell of a gas leak, will help prevent a tragic fire hazard from occurring.
Safety Tips For a Gas Stove
A stove is one of the most important appliances in a kitchen, and while a stove, in general, is a critical addition to any household, knowing how to keep your house and anyone living in it safe is very important.
If you would like a rundown of important fire safety tips while using a stove, this short video will go through the key things to keep in mind to stay safe:
In the video, they cover key safety tips while cooking; some of these tips are as follows:
- Never leave a stove unattended when you are grilling, frying, or broiling food.
- Set a timer while cooking.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing.
- Never leave the house when cooking.
- Do not throw water onto a grease fire.
If you aren’t able to view the video or would like to know additional critical tips on what you can do to prevent fires or other things that can go wrong, keep reading to learn more.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher In The House
Fire extinguishers aren’t just for public buildings – you can own one yourself, and they can make all the difference in the event a fire breaks out in the kitchen.
As previously stated, throwing water on a grease fire is something you should never do, and a fire extinguisher is oftentimes the best possible option when a fire breaks out.
If you’re concerned about this (and you should be), you should get a fire extinguisher. You probably won’t need to use it, but it can save your house, your life, and the lives of your family and pets if you have one when a fire breaks out.
I recommend the Amerex B500 ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher for most people. It’s affordable and durable, and the Amerex company is known for quality. And most importantly, it puts out all types of fires:
- Class A (ordinary combustibles)
- Class B (flammable liquid) spills
- Class C (fires involving live electrical equipment)
Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Make Sure Your Smoke Alarm Works If You Have One
A smoke alarm is another safety device you should have in your home; it acts as a signal for potential fire and when one has broken out.
Like a fire extinguisher, a smoke alarm is a relatively minor investment that can save your possessions or even your life.
Additionally, you should be aware of whether your smoke alarm works. Usually, they will emit a beep if the battery is low. The specific smoke detector we linked to has a battery life of 10 years, so if you decide to pick it up or any other smoke detector, be mindful of how long they are able to function.
Clean Your Oven
We previously mentioned how gas could fill up in the oven if the burner fails to ignite. A dirty oven filled with food debris and grease is more susceptible to catching on fire; therefore, you should be aware of the cleanliness of your oven and take action as soon as possible if a spill happens in there.
Do Not Use a Stove With a Warm-Colored Flame
If the flames emitted from your stove have a warm color such as orange or yellow, this is due to incomplete combustion.
This is dangerous because, as we previously went over, carbon monoxide gas can build up if your burner fails to ignite, and the same applies to a burner that is only partially ignited.
Stoves can explode if there’s a gas leakage either from a faulty stove, user error, or both. Following the key safety principles mentioned in this article will help ensure that you will stay safe.
- Keep your stove and oven clean
- Do not leave a stove on that refuses to ignite
- If you smell a gas leak even when the stove is off, exit the home and call your fire department or gas company immediately.
- Do not use a stove that emits an orange or yellow flame
If you are following these precautions, you likely won’t have anything to worry about. Think of it like a car, it can be dangerous in certain situations and a very useful tool that does more good than bad in the hands of someone who is aware of the potential dangers and has the knowledge to prevent tragic accidents as much as possible.