Is It Safe To Leave the Oven On and Go Out? (For How Long?)

The oven is one of many electrical appliances considered a must-have in the kitchen. It is regarded as a handy heating device. 

The way you utilize your oven now and then matters a great deal. Your oven has a high chance of boasting an extended lifespan when used properly. Yours and the safety of the people in your home is another factor to consider.

This post is about how to use the microwave oven safely. We’ll address the question “Is it safe to leave the oven on and go out for a stroll or do something else?” Read to learn more. 

Can You Leave Something in the Oven And Go Out?

No, please don’t do that. It is a decision you might regret. You might be wondering what could go wrong if you leave something in the oven and go out. Well, several unpleasant things can happen. 

Let’s discuss them one after the other. 

1. Your food will get burned

Ovens don’t have a stopper technology that water heat has. When the electric heater gets hot, the automatic shut-off turns the device off. 

That doesn’t happen with most ovens. Your food will continue cooking until the power supply goes off or someone turns it off. In a worst-case scenario, the food might get burned to ashes. 

The burnt food would be useless to you anyway. So, what’s the point of leaving it in the oven when you know it’s going to get burned, and you can’t eat it? There’s no point in doing such. 

2. It might start a fire

There’s a possibility of fire kick-starting if you leave food inside your oven and go out for hours. 

How oven work is this, they release waves of energy, which the food absorbs as it gets cooked or heated. 

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Food left in the oven for hours would get burned. And there won’t be something to absorb the energy the oven release. Thus, the oven will start absorbing its energy. 

This act can damage the oven or start a fire. However, a couple of modern ovens are designed to address this problem. But that’s not enough reason to leave your oven on and go on. 

3. Release poisonous gas in the air

It is not advisable to leave any oven on and go out. It doesn’t matter if it’s an electric or gas oven. Both appliances can cause serious damage to your property or the individuals in the building.   

So, don’t leave your gas oven on and leave the house. If left for long, it might release carbon monoxide into the air, which might be dangerous for anyone that inhales it. 

So, protect your property, life, and appliance. Do not leave your oven on and leave the house. 

A Handy Tip: There’s a low chance of fire outbreak or other damages if the door of an oven left for hours is closed. But still, there’s no point in leaving the oven on and going out.    

How Long Can You Leave an Oven On With Nothing in it?

It is not advisable to leave an oven on for an extended period with nothing in it. But we cannot rule out the fact that mistakes happen. 

So, how long can an oven stay on with nothing in it? It can stay on for 12 hours or even a little bit more.   

Nevertheless, your oven must be in a certain condition for it to operate safely for 12 hours. 

The first condition is to ensure the door is shut throughout the 12 hours. Next is to operate the oven at a low temperature. Additionally, you have to make sure your appliance isn’t faulty, and no flammable material is inside or near it. 

If you meet the rest conditions, but your oven is faulty, chances are fire might break out. 

Will My Oven Turn Off Automatically?

The feature that performs this function is the automatic shut down. Most manufacturers have started adding this technology to their ovens. 

Your oven will shut down automatically if it has the feature. And the beauty about this feature is that you don’t need to lift a finger. Just set the timer, deciding how long you want the food cooked. 

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How can you determine if your oven has automatic shutdown installed? It is a simple thing. 

The first is to read through the oven’s manual. You’ll find a list of features and know if your appliance has automatic shutdown. 

Another area to look in is the manufacturer’s official website. Paste the serial number on the website, and you’ll find details about the oven model you have. 

So, not all oven models turn off automatically. You have to check and be sure yours has this feature. 

Can Just Leaving the Oven On Actually Start a Fire?

Well, if your oven isn’t faulty, you can leave it on for several hours, and nothing will happen. But if it’s defective, it could start a fire or stop working entirely

The grease buildup in the oven is quite flammable, and it could start a fire. But as earlier said, microwaves come designed with safety features. Thus, if your device isn’t faulty, the possibility of starting a fire is slim. 

Dangers in Leaving Your Electric Oven On

Most people leave their oven on and open its door to provide heat during winter. Many believe it’s the cheapest way to warm and make their property comfortable. 

It is important to warm up your room at this point. But the question is this. Are you doing the right thing? No! It is important to use your oven for the intended purpose while you’re around and turn it off after use. 

It is wrong to leave an oven one for an extended period. Why is it dangerous to leave an electric oven on?

1. Heating element

Leaving your oven on for an extended period damages the heating coil. You can change this part of the oven. But don’t forget that you’re making yourself spend money unnecessarily. 

A Handy Tip: Prolong usage can cause your oven to short circuit. The element could break, allowing current to flow to the oven’s main body.  

2. Shorting out

Your oven can short out when left on for an extended period. What does this mean? It means a certain portion is no longer well-insulated and exposed. And those exposed parts could touch each other, causing a disaster. 

3. It could start a fire

Leaving your oven on for an extended period is dangerous. The appliance could start a fire when there’s a food item left inside

If the food item is greasy, there’s a high of fire starting. Grease buildup in the oven can also start a fire

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Most people might quickly spot the fire caused by their oven and react by extinguishing it. It is possible when there’s someone in the house. 

It would be a disaster if one is miles away or isn’t around the kitchen when the fire starts. It can easily spread to other areas if not curtailed quickly. 

There’s a danger of losing the property built with one’s hard-earned money. Don’t forget building materials are quite expensive these days. 

If the fire got extinguished before it consumed the house, damages caused could cause a fortune to fix.

4. Dangers of hurting yourself

Leaving an oven turned on open is an unacceptable decision. Anything can happen. The heat can escape and overheat a wooden structure nearby and start a fire. 

There’s a chance you or someone living in the property can walk across the oven or try getting close and get burned. You might have forgotten that you left the oven on, and such could happen. 

Can You Get Carbon-Monoxide Poisoning From Leaving The Oven On?

Yes, carbon-monoxide poisoning is common with gas ovens. There’s a possibility of releasing this gas in higher volume if you leave your gas oven on for a long period. 

Here are tips for detecting carbon monoxide poisoning. 

  • Watch out for higher condensation inside your windows.
  • The pilot light might blow out frequently
  • You’ll find floppy orange or yellow flames instead of the normal blue ones. 
  • Sooty and dark stains around or on your gas appliance. 

This gas is highly poisonous. It kills or can cause serious damage to one health. So, avoid carbon monoxide from the oven by using the appliance accordingly. 

It is crucial to check if the appliance is faulty before turning it on or during every use. 

Conclusion: Is it safe to leave the oven on and go out?

No, it’s not safe. You can see the various dangers when one leaves an oven unattended while cooking. 

It is dangerous and it could make your day a terrible one. There’s a chance the oven could start a fire or cause carbon monoxide poisoning. 

So, monitor your microwave whenever it’s in use. Some models have automatic shutdown and allow users to set the cooking time. But that doesn’t mean you can leave the oven unattended. 

We have discussed several dangers of leaving the oven on and going out. We hope you will start attending to your oven after reading this post.

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)