Gas stoves allow for precise heat control while cooking. In some areas of the country, gas appliances are more economical to operate. Take precautions to operate a gas stove safely. Improper operation could lead to fires, burns or carbon monoxide poisoning 1.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Any gas appliance can be a source of carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas that deprives the body of oxygen, resulting in serious injury or death. Don't use a gas stove as a source of heat, as this increases the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure the stove is vented to the outside and the vent it not blocked. Install a carbon monoxide detector in homes where gas appliances, including gas stoves, are being used.
- Any gas appliance can be a source of carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas that deprives the body of oxygen, resulting in serious injury or death.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in homes where gas appliances, including gas stoves, are being used.
Propane Stove Safety
The flame beneath a pot on the stove shouldn't extend past the sides of the pot. Use the right size pot for the burner and adjust the flame so that it doesn't flare up around the pot. Don't allow food to boil over. This could put out the flame, while still leaving the gas on, which increases the potential for a fire or explosion. Food that boils over could also block holes in the gas burner and lead to uneven cooking or difficulty lighting the burner. Don't line the stove burners with foil, as this could inhibit air flow to the burners.
- The flame beneath a pot on the stove shouldn't extend past the sides of the pot.
- Don't line the stove burners with foil, as this could inhibit air flow to the burners.
Don't leave flammable materials such as dish towels near the stove. Don't set boxes, plastic dishes or items other than cooking pots on top of stove burners. Make sure you turn burners completely off after use. Don't allow pots to boil dry on the stove.
- Don't leave flammable materials such as dish towels near the stove.
Health Dangers of Gas Grills
If your stove won't light, first check that the holes around the burner aren't blocked with food or other debris. You can clean these with a piece of wire or a toothpick, though be careful not to break the toothpick off in the hole. On some stoves, the burner cover must be lined up correctly in order for the stove to light, so check this also. If the electronic igniter clicks, but doesn't work, try lighting the stove with a match. This will help burn off debris blocking the igniter.
- If your stove won't light, first check that the holes around the burner aren't blocked with food or other debris.
- On some stoves, the burner cover must be lined up correctly in order for the stove to light, so check this also.
If you smell gas, first make sure all the burners are turned completely off. If they are and you still smell gas, get out of the house and go to another location and call the gas company.
Even if you don't smell gas, if you suffer from persistent headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness or flu-like symptoms -- especially if you feel better away from home -- you may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Leave the house and contact the gas company to inspect the stove.
- If you smell gas, first make sure all the burners are turned completely off.
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- Colorado State University: Carbon Monoxide Problems
- University of Texas: Fire Safety Awareness
- Mother Earth News: Troubleshooting a Gas Range
- Chen, Y., Lin, T., Dai, M., Lin, C., Hung, Y., Huang, W., & Kao, C. (2015). Risk of Peripheral Artery Disease in Patients With Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Medicine, 94(40), e1608. doi:10.1097/md.0000000000001608
- Jung, Y., Lee, J., Min, Y., Park, J., Jeon, W., & Park, E. et al. (2014). Carbon Monoxide-Induced Cardiomyopathy. Circulation Journal, 78(6), 1437-1444. doi:10.1253/circj.cj-13-1282
- Styles, T., Przysiecki, P., Archambault, G., Sosa, L., Toal, B., Magri, J., & Cartter, M. (2014). Two Storm-Related Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Outbreaks—Connecticut, October 2011 and October 2012. Archives Of Environmental & Occupational Health, 70(5), 291-296. doi:10.1080/19338244.2014.904267
- Unsal Sac, R., Taşar, M., Bostancı, İ., Şimşek, Y., & Bilge Dallar, Y. (2015). Characteristics of Children with Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Ankara: A Single Centre Experience. Journal Of Korean Medical Science, 30(12), 1836. doi:10.3346/jkms.2015.30.12.1836
- Wu, P., & Juurlink, D. (2014). Carbon monoxide poisoning. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 186(8), 611-611. doi:10.1503/cmaj.130972
- Zou, J., Guo, Q., Shao, H., Li, B., Du, Y., & Liu, M. et al. (2015). Lack of Pupil Reflex and Loss of Consciousness Predict 30-Day Neurological Sequelae in Patients with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. PLOS ONE, 10(3), e0119126. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119126
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.