At some point, you must have used gas. Most kitchens, residential or commercial, use gas as a source of fuel. Gas is considerably cheaper than other fueling alternatives such as electricity. Therefore, using gas can help you save on your utility bills. At some point, you may get occupied with errands and leave your gas stove on without anything cooking. You may remove whatever is cooking and unknowingly leave it running. On other occasions, you may have forgotten to turn off the flame completely. Say you have mistakenly left gas stove on for 20 minutes, what are the necessary steps to take? Using gas requires a lot of care as any other fueling method and we discuss some of the vital information you need to know regarding gas usage.
What You Need To Do Having Left Gas Stove On For 20 Minutes
Do you wonder about what to do when the gas stove is left on? Probably. The objective should always be not to leave on a gas stove, except when you are cooking. However, sometimes this may happen accidentally. Leaving your gas stove on is not always hazardous, primarily depending on how long it is left on.
While it is not advisable to leave an open flame unattended, leaving the burner on is safe. It will just keep running. Gas is dangerous mainly if it is leaking or is left on for very long. Leaving gas on for extended periods can cause it to overheat to cause a fire and can also be a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you have left gas stove on for 20 minutes, there will be no gas smelling because the gas has been burning unless, the system has a leaking point. You will see a flame. What you need to do is;
- Turn off the stove’s knobs immediately and completely to put out the flame, whether big or small.
- Put out any other lit flames.
- Tune the setting of the range’s hood to its highest.
- Avoid igniting any flames.
- Avoid turning on appliances and switches. Check and turn off other gas, propane, or oil appliances, for example, water heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces.
- Ventilate the room and move to a different location to let the room be supplied with fresh air. Gas appliances consume air and give off combustion products to make a space stuffy and deficient of adequate ventilation. You can discard a faint smell by a few open doors and windows. If the smell is very potent, open every available door or window. You can use fans cautiously since they can be ignition sources.
Time Taken For Gas To Dissipate
Natural gas dissipates faster than propane since it is lighter than air. Propane is heavier than air. Propane is what is commonly referred to as Liquified Petroleum Gas or LPG. Usually, manufacturers compress and store propane as liquid. It is virtually odorless and therefore an identifiable odor will be added for detection. It is also colorless and nontoxic. To dissipate natural gas, wait an hour. For propane, wait for at least two hours.
Understanding Gas Leaks
If installed and correctly used, gas is safe. However, at times, gas leaks occur. They may lead to physical symptoms and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Some of the physical conditions that result from gas leaks include; fatigue, headache, flu-like symptoms, dizziness, and nausea. If you feel better when away from the gas leak area, chances are you suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning. Due to this, it is essential to understand gas leaks and their characteristics.
- You will detect a gas leak through the smell of a rotten egg or a Sulphur-like smell.
- You may hear a hissing noise. It is characteristic of a gas leak.
- If your gas is leaking, the bill may eventually be higher than usual.
- You may see white mist or moving dust.
- Soot or scorching may be evident in an unusual location of your gas appliance.
If you detect a gas leak, you need to first inspect and ensure that all burners are turned off completely. If they have been turned off and you still smell gas, leave the house, go to a different location and contact the gas company (your utility) or call 911. These first responders will determine when it is safe to access the area again.
Safety Tips For Using Gas Burners And Stoves
The following are safety precautions that you need to take when using gas stoves and burners;
Having Left Gas Stove On For 20 Minutes
Leaving your gas on may be understandable but, it can also be very dangerous if safety measures are not followed. Soon after realization, if you smell gas you need to open the doors and windows. This will let the gas out and allow for ventilation. Avoid any sparks, flames, or electricity.
The recommendation is that you do not turn on electric devices and avoid creating flames. Don’t turn on lights, other appliances, light a match, candle, or cigarette. For homes whose cars are in an attached garage, they must not be driven. Electrical ignition can potentially ignite your gas to cause a fire.
Ensure that the flame underneath does not extend past the sides of your cooking pot. Use the right pot size as per the size of your burner or stove. Additionally, adjust the flame accordingly for it not to flare up around the pot.
Don’t leave your cooking unattended to prevent the boiling over of the contents. If for example, you are cooking with oil and the contents overflow, a fire can be started. Upon reaching a specific temperature, cooking oils and fats will ignite.
Content that boils over can put out the flame leaving the gas on which is dangerous; it increases the potentiality of fire or an explosion. Food that boils over can also clog the burner holes causing more lighting and cooking difficulty. Don’t leave children to attend to cooking unsupervised.
Have Functional Smoke Or Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A gas burner left on without flame is dangerous and a health hazard. This is because there is a gas that is leaking. You may not even be aware since gas may escape invisibly and silently. It poses a risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Unlike natural gas, carbon monoxide is odorless and can result to injury or eventual death. Having quantities of carbon monoxide in the air lessens one’s ability to inhale oxygen.
To reduce the likelihood of carbon monoxide, do not use your gas stove as a source of heat. Depending on the manufacturer’s directives, venting gas stoves is important- vent to the outside and the vent should not be blocked. Having a smoke or carbon monoxide detector in areas where gas appliances are used is essential.
Detectors come in handy, especially where there are older people who may have an impaired sense of smell. They evidently can’t smell gas leaking. Do not install the detectors inside the kitchen otherwise, you will always get an alarm every time you use your stove, even under the right circumstances.
Avoiding Fire Hazards
You need to ensure that you do not leave flammable materials near gas stoves or on the burner(s). Flammable materials mean anything that may catch fire, such as plastic, paper, kitchen towels, and so forth. Keeping them away from the burners eliminates the risk of fire. Once you are done cooking, make sure to turn off the gas. For some stoves, the burner needs to be lined correctly for them to light. For such, don’t line the burners with foil.
Always turn the gas on before lighting then adjust to your preferred level. If your stove does not initially light, it may mean, you lack gas supply or the burner holes are blocked. You need to act accordingly. You can clear the channels with a wire brush or toothpick. Unblock the holes but don’t leave whatever you use inside the holes. Be careful that the instruments do not break.
Gas Installation, Repair, And Maintenance
It is crucial that professional installs and maintains your gas appliance(s). This is not only a matter of preference but a legal requirement. Gasfitters must be fully licensed and competent. Gas services and appliances that are not handled properly are serious hazards.
Short Video On How To Detect Gas Leak
Conclusion On Having Left Gas Stove On For 20 Minutes
When used properly, gas is clean, efficient, convenient, and safe. When using gas stoves and burners, one should always aim to make use of them exclusively for cooking. However, in case these gas appliances are left on by mistake, there are several steps that can be taken upon realization.
We have highlighted what to do if you leave a gas stove on and other ways that you can prevent gas-related damage. Leaking gas is a health and fire hazard. It raises the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and can potentially be the cause of the fire. As you use gas, remember to follow the safety precautions advocated by manufacturers and professionals to prevent fire.