When it comes to shopping for the right gas range for your kitchen, there are many factors to consider. Size, number of burners, design, and color are just some of the options to consider. But if you’re preparing to install a new gas range, you may also be wondering: Are gas ranges safe? Here we’ll dive into safety tips for gas ranges.
When many people are shopping for gas ranges, apart from price, color and durability, safety is the other important factor that one considers. This is because the appliance will be in the vicinity of the house and the family members therefore it’s wise to prevent accidents early.
Are gas ranges safe?
Any product manufactured by man is made with safety in mind but the way it is used, shows more about the users safety concern. Unless the appliance was defective from the factory floor, chances are the user will either ensure safety or not.
When they are designed, they are made with safety in mind therefore making them the right appliances to use in your kitchen.
Below are the extra safety precautions you need to have in mind.
Pay attention to the smell of gas
What many people don’t know is that methane or cooking gas is odorless in nature but to help identify its presence, manufacturers add the rotten smell in it. In your home, it is important to always be prepared by paying attention to any unfamiliar smells.
To identify if there is any gas leakage, you need to inspect the appliance which you may have left it on by mistake. Apart from the smell, you need to identify any hissing sound around the stove. What you don’t know is that a gas leak will fill up the room very quickly and if you strike a match, you will blow the whole house away.
To prevent this, immediately you smell rotten eggs in the air, check the gas range, shut off any open valves, open all windows and remember, do not strike any match. This is one of the most vital safety tips for gas ranges.
Keep your gas range clean
To ensure efficiency, make sure you clean your gas range regularly. Unlike electric ranges, gas ranges have open burners which can get clogged up with food particles, making them more difficult to clean. When crumbs and debris accumulates around the nozzles, it can prevent the efficient flow of gas. Also, the open flame can cause food particles to catch on fire, creating a safety hazard and/or an unpleasant odor in the room.
Inspect the pilot light before use
One safety feature that is added to gas ranges is the pilot lights. This is small flame that is constantly lit and burns a small supply of gas. When you start your gas range, the light is responsible for the appliance catching on fire in order for you to use it.
When you don’t continually inspect the appliance, the continuous gas feed will fill up the room and you may one day
burn your home by mistake. If by any chance you notice the pilot light is out, you need to shut off the gas supply and open the windows.
Let the gas flow outdoors before turning the appliance on. You can also opt to purchase modern appliances which have an electric ignition therefore eliminating the need for a pilot light.
Ensure pan handles aren’t over the burner
The one mistake that many people make when using such appliances is never hanging the handles away from the open flame. Since the open flame heats the appliance directly, it will not only make it hot but the handles too. This can become dangerous especially when one handles them with bare hands. If you handle it when it’s hot, you will drop it spilling the content and create further mess or even an accident.
It’s best to always to turn away the handles from the open flame.
Why venting your new gas range is vital
One of the most important safety tips for gas ranges is ensuring it’s vented properly. A gas range uses gas to ignite flames within the burners. It’s vital that the fumes produced by this process are properly vented. Otherwise, dangerous levels of fumes and carbon monoxide can build up in your home. While many of us only think to switch on the vent over our range when we burn something, venting your gas range is essential. When you cook on a range, particles of food, smoke and grease go into the air and land on the surfaces of your home. Without proper venting, that grime builds up over time, making your home both smelly and greasy.
Venting to the outdoors is best
To keep the air in your home as clean and safe as possible, it’s best to vent your gas range to the outdoors. This will ensure that dirty, smelly, potentially dangerous air produced by your gas range is sucked up and sent outdoors. A properly installed range hood will do the job.
Choosing the right range hood
Range hoods come in many different styles, the most common being wall mount range hoods and island mount range hoods. Which style you choose will depend on the layout and look of your kitchen. Apartment kitchens and lower-budget kitchens are often equipped with microwave range hoods, which do not vent outside. Instead, they take in the air, filter it, and circulate it back through your home. While these are fairly effective, they won’t do the job for people who do a lot of heavy smoke and fume cooking like frying or pan-searing in cast iron.
In your lifetime we're willing to bet you've probably used both gas and electric stoves. Gas stoves are characterized by burners that ignite the gas, producing an open flame on which to place your cooking vessels. Electric stoves have coils that glow orange or red as they're heated via electricity, and your pots and pans are placed on top of the coils to absorb that heat.
The dangers of carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas produced by fuel-burning devices that can cause severe respiratory issues or even death at high exposure levels. Gas ranges producing carbon monoxide are a common reason for high concentrations of CO in homes. To minimize the risk of CO poisoning in your home, always be sure to heed the following guidelines.
Install a carbon monoxide detector
Carbon monoxide alarms can detect the poisonous gas and give you early warning. Think of it as a smoke detector but for a substance that humans cannot detect. Installing a carbon monoxide detector is vital for your family’s safety and will help set your mind at ease.
Service your range when needed
If you notice any of the following issues with your gas range, discontinue use and call a professional immediately to have it serviced. These are all indicators that your range could be producing elevated levels of CO into your home.
- Burner flames are red or orange (instead of blue)
- The burners aren’t lighting properly
- The burners or pilot start to produce soot
So are gas ranges safe? They are, as long as you take proper precautions. As a home user, it’s important to ensure your safety and the safety of your family and property. Even though care has been enhanced in every home appliance before purchasing, it is wise to set up extra safety measures.
Read through the provided documentation in order to know the various ways of ensuring safety when you are using gas ranges. Your life and that of your family matters. Small mistakes can lead to huge losses therefore it’s wise to be cautious.
Remember, prevention is the best cure.
Ready to Buy Your New Gas Range?
Now that you’re familiar with safety tips for gas ranges, are you ready to buy a gas range? If you’re overwhelmed by the huge selection, be sure to check out our picks for the best gas ranges. (Or if you’re going electric, we’ve got a guide to the best electric stoves as well.)
Find Out More About Gas Ranges
If you’re in the market for a gas range, get educated first. You might be surprised to learn that gas ranges aren’t Energy Star rated, however there are other ways to ensure they’re energy efficient. If you’re preparing to install a gas range you should know that generally gas ranges require a dedicated circuit. If conversion is something you might consider down the road, read about converting a gas range to propane. You’ll also want to learn How to Clean a Gas Range Top (it’s really not that hard!) so you can keep your new stove looking its best and operating safely. If you prefer to do your gas cooking outside, check out our picks for the best gas grills.