Can I Leave My Oven Unattended?

Can I Leave My Oven Unattended?

It is very relatable to wonder if you can leave your oven unattended, chiefly when trying to multitask. Some people also wonder if they can leave their oven on overnight, either to cook a meal or to warm up the house in extremely cold seasons.

However, in some cases, mistakes happen, and we forget to turn off the oven before heading out of the house. Intentionally or not, can the oven be left overnight or unattended?

Quick answer: You can not leave your oven on without supervision. It is a very terrible idea for the oven to be left on for too long with no one to oversee it.

A lot of things can go wrong when you leave the oven on for long unattended, that being said, it is very dangerous. No reason is good enough to leave the oven on without staying in the kitchen or close.

The major reason why people would think of leaving the oven unattended is when they wish to cook a meal overnight (either baking or making a roast) or keep the whole house warm, however, the US Fire Administration strongly advises against this.

In this article, you will, be finding out the reasons why it is a bad idea to leave your oven unattended for hours, read on.

Risks Involved In Leaving Your Oven On Unsupervised

It is very risky and dangerous to leave your oven unattended, even if you are taking a quick trip to the grocery store.

A lot of people do not think it to be risky, and this is a general misconception. Stepping out of the house while cooking or baking your favorite recipe for thanksgiving or Christmas will result in the following;

1. Start A Fire

The most common risk is leaving your oven unattended, although other factors can cause an oven fire as well, when you are not around to keep an eye on your oven, do not be surprised if you have to call the fire service when you come home.

Oven mishaps take about 33% of the cause of house fires in the US, do not leave the oven to cook a meal unsupervised as it is extremely risky and dangerous.

2. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

When the oven stays on for an extended period, a toxic gas called carbon monoxide (CO) is.

Inhaling carbon monoxide excessively is very dangerous and harmful to your health. And the time you wouldn’t know how much of this toxic gas you are inhaling until it is too late. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • General weakness
  • Headaches
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath.

It is best to get a carbon monoxide detector to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. That being said, leaving an oven on and unattended can not be compared to when you are cooking with a slow cooker or a stovetop.

Will Gas Oven Turn Back On After Power Outage?
Source: GE Appliances

How Long Can An Oven Stay On?

How long you can leave your oven on totally depends on some factors. An electric oven can stay on for about 10-12 hours, however, this is not ideal especially when you are not hanging around to keep an eye on it and also what is cooking.

Leaving the oven on is not the problem but forgetting it on or unattended is, as it can cause a series of issues, fire being the most common issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it risky to leave the oven unattended for a long time?

Yes, it is very risky as this can possibly start a fire in a home, carbon monoxide poisoning is also another risk to be aware of when leaving your oven unattended. Ovens are high-risk appliances, they must be used correctly to avoid some kitchen hazards.

Can I leave my oven on low heat?

Although this is less risky, it is not still advisable. However, it relatively depends on how long you intend to leave the oven on.

What can I do when I mistakenly leave the oven on for an extended period?

Mistakes are inevitable, and a mistake such as accidentally leaving the oven on for long hours sometimes is bound to happen. Most ovens are designed to automatically turn off after 12 hours of being on. If the oven hasn’t been on longer than 12 hours the obvious thing to do is to turn the oven off, asides from that there is nothing more to do.


Leaving your oven unattended while in use is a risk not worth taking.

Your appliance can get damaged in the process, as well as the fact that it can cause a fire to start. Carbon monoxide poisoning is another downside of leaving the oven on without supervision.

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