Is It Safe To Leave The Oven On Unattended While You Leave The House?

If you’ve ever been in the situation of putting the oven on for dinner only to realise that you need to pop to the shops to get a final ingredient then you may have considered leaving the oven on and unattended. However, this is a bad idea.

That’s because it’s unsafe to leave the oven on, and unattended while you leave the house, even if only for a short while. That’s because in a short space of time the appliance could easily catch fire and cause catastrophic damage to your home.

Depending on the type of oven your using, the settings the oven has, the temperature you are cooking at and even the food you’re cooking the risk of a fire can increase or decrease.

Types of Ovens

The type of oven you use can increase or decrease the risks associated with leaving the oven on for extended periods of time, or unattended.

Gas Oven – This kind of oven is the most popular and it is mostly used for baking. This oven produces moist heat that prevents food from going dry. It is easy to maintain and it works fast.

Electric Oven – This kind of oven produces dry heat and it is perfect for roasting. In terms of cost, it is cheap and it is also quite easy to maintain and operate. Most households make use of this kind of oven.

Steam Oven – This oven is mostly used to cook food items that require slow cooking. It has a water container and a boiler space that produces the steam used for cooking.

Conventional Oven – This kind of oven has a built-in heat source at the bottom like a stove. In using this kind of oven, you have to place it on an actual stove to produce heat. The heat flow here is usually uneven.

Convectional Oven – This oven has a built-in fan that distributes heat and is powerful enough to cook, bake, or roast food items from all directions. Unlike the conventional oven, the heat distribution here is even and this produces uniformly cooked grilled or roasted food.

Ovens can also be classified according to their sizes; there are single ovens, double ovens, and even triple ovens.

Some ovens are free-standing and can be placed anywhere in the kitchen, there are also wall-mounted ovens that are fitted into wall spaces. There are slide-in or drop-in ovens which are mostly fitted into cabinets.

While these ovens all have the same function some come with extra features like self-cleaning, delay-start etc.

Will My Oven Set On Fire If I Leave It On Unattended?

There’s no additional likelihood of your oven catching fire while unattended.

The issue comes with your response time should something happen during the cooking process or your inability to turn the oven off once the appliance has finished cooking if there’s no built-in shut-off timer.

If you’re in the house and the oven catches fire then you are likely to smell the burning or see the smoke and action the issue within a matter of minutes.

However, if you’re out at the shops while your oven catches fire then it could be ten minutes to an hour before you’re home. By which point the fire will have likely spread through the home.

While an oven being attended or unattended doesn’t increase the risk of a fire, some other things can;

  • Foods with a high volume of fat & grease
  • Food scraps and remnants
  • Setting the timer incorrectly (if applicable)
  • Using the incorrect oven cleaner
  • Putting non-oven friendly materials inside

Will My Oven Turn Off Automatically?

Some ovens may turn off automatically if they have this select built-in feature. This feature is then designed to stop the appliance from cooking after a set period of time.

However, this automatic timer isn’t the only reason you might find your oven turning off. That’s because some ovens can turn off by themselves as a result of their ventilation system.

If your oven is not properly ventilated and all air sources are blocked or restricted, it can overheat and consequently turn off by itself. Sometimes, if an oven is overheating while left unattended, a fire can start.

How Long can I Leave My Oven Unattended?

There is no exact or stated time to leave your oven unattended. It is very possible to not be with it and nothing bad will happen.

However, it is also possible for you to leave it and have a lot of issues to deal with when you get back.

For safety reasons, you should not leave an oven unattended, even when you leave your food items on low heat throughout the cooking process.

If you must do so, only consider it if your oven has a working timer. The timer would turn the oven off for you automatically when the time you set is up.