Cooking is a big part of our lives. Personally, I spend hours and hours every week preparing meals for the family. A shared job in my house!
Although I thoroughly enjoy the cooking process, I can’t stop from thinking about all the other things on my “To Do” list while I spend all this time at the stove.
Writing for this website is one of those ‘To Do’ things for me, and I know that some people can get a bit forgetful as they get older. So I began to wonder what happens if the stove is left unattended and then forgotten about for a while whilst other things are done around the house?
Do electric hobs turn off automatically?
No, almost none do. Most electric hobs require that you turn them on and off manually. If you leave the kitchen for long periods of time, you run the risk of causing a house fire. However, there are various gadgets you can install to turn electric hobs off such as timers, alarms & motion or smoke sensor cut offs.
Auto shut-off devices can be useful when you want to fire-proof your kitchen, especially when you have older family members at the house. Most of these work only for electric hobs but I did find one that also works with gas hobs too.
Are you ready to find out more about this kind of kitchen safety feature?
The Dangers of Leaving Your Stove On
When you take a look at the data collected by the National Fire Protection Association between the years of 2010 and 2014, you will notice that every year, around 166,100 home fires started because of cooking equipment.
Out of those fires, 62% started because of the hob, while ovens accounted for 16% of the fires.
If anything, those numbers show how important it is to monitor the activation of your hob at all times.
Let’s investigate a little more and learn about the available shut-off hob devices to keep your home safer!
What do I Need to Know Before Buying an Automatic Shut Off Device
Before we get into the selection of available hob and stove shut-off devices, you need to consider a few things before you make a purchase:
- Does the appliance have a safety cut off mechanism at all – is that timed so you can change it according to your needs?
- Where do you have to install the shut off device – find out if the device goes above the stove or to the side of it and how it connects. Make sure that there is a place for it. Every kitchen is designed differently, so make sure it fits.
- What kind of plug is necessary – some devices are installed straight into the socket, and they might require a 4-prong plug to work. Don’t overlook this issue before you make the buy!
- How can you turn the stove back on – some devices require that you press a button after it has shut off, while others will switch back on once you step back into the room.
What Kind of Stove Turn-Off Devices Can You Find?
There are different kinds of devices you can purchase, each one with special features that you might find useful. Are you ready to find out what those are?
1. Timed control shut off devices – Those devices are usually attached to the socket, cutting off the power after a specific amount of time.
In some cases, like with the C30004 Auto Shut-Off Safety Outlet, the product is simple provides you with a single timing option only, while others allow you to change the settings according to the situation.
If the stove operates for longer than usual, on the power level you deem too high, it will shut off automatically.
2. Devices connected to the fire alarm or smoke detector – these are triggered by the sound of your existing fire or smoke detector going off.
Those devices are quite sophisticated. They have a special sound sync feature that responds to the sounds emitted from your smoke detector, turning the stove off immediately.
FireAvert, for example, does just that with another special treat – the power cuts off only 30 seconds after activation. So if you accidentally trigger the fire alarm while cooking, you will have time to respond before the stove is turned off.
3. Motion detector shut off devices – these will turn off the electrical supply to the hob if no motion is detected.
Those devices are quite smart as well. With the help of motion detectors, those shut-off devices put the stove on standby until you get back to the kitchen.
This feature is activated 5, 10, or 15 minutes after you leave the kitchen, so if you want the stove to keep working for longer periods of time in your absence, you can change the settings.
Products such as CookStop and iGuardStove operate with motion detectors, and they are quite useful.
4. High-temperature sensors – These sense high heat levels to cut off electricity supply to the appliance
These devices do not depend on your existing fire or smoke detection equipment but have their own sensors
Those devices, like the SONA Stove Guard, detect abnormal temperatures in the kitchen and they cut the power off right away.
Simple and effective, those devices manage to alert you of a dangerous situation before the fire starts.
How Much Do Those Devices Cost?
Although you must always want to own the best fire safety products, you can’t overlook the budget issue. So which automatic shut-off devices are more affordable than others?
For your convenience, we’ve gathered information regarding the available products, so you will be able to compare costs and decide on what suits you most!
The prices vary widely according to feature. Some have remote alert and control built in whereas others are more stand alone with only an audible alert. Some just switch off the electricity. Some have highly configurable timers and others are much more basic as you would expect.
For the basic models expect to pay somewhere under $40 up to around $500 for the most expensive and a range of units with prices in between.
For up to date prices I suggest you check out the Simple Touch C30004 or the Fire Avert product (Amazon links) where you can find several other products. Just select the one with the features you want within your budget.
The Motion detector model from Cookstop you can find on their website but I could not find this on Amazon.
For the SONA Stove Guard model, I suggest a search as there are many distributors but the product is not yet on Amazon. Take care with these thrid party sites please.
Fire Safety Items You Must Have
Apart from the auto turn-off devices you can buy, there are other ways to make your kitchen, and the other rooms in the house, safer.
For starters, you should always have a few fire extinguishers spread around the house. There are all kinds of extinguishers you can buy, each of them contains a different substance: water, AFFF foam, CO2, water mist, or wet chemicals.
Water-based extinguishers should not be used on electrical appliances, so when you place a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, opt for one of the other options.
Having a fire blanket is also useful, and it can help you put out small fires before they spread.
On top of it all, you might want to install smoke detectors throughout the house, so you will be aware of any fire the moment it starts.
If you have all those items in your possession, you will be well equipped to deal with all kinds of dangerous situation. Always be prepared!
You might also be interested in these related issues:
Are there any other Appliances that can Automatically Shut Off?
There are other kitchen appliances with an auto turn-off feature that you can get. For starters, there are various ovens that with this option.
Some of them are controlled by timers you can set, while others shut off after 12 hours of working non-stop.
You also have induction hobs, which might as well be the safest kitchen appliances you can find. Those hobs never heat up, while the pan heats up quite quickly.
Also, once you remove the pan, most induction hobs will automatically switch off. That does not stop the unit cooking in your absense though, so the risk of fire from oil boiling over etc,. remains a danger.
If you are interested in increasing the safety in your kitchen, think about having those items in your possession!
Can an Electric Stove Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
The answer is no. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a major concern in many households, but luckily, electric stoves can never be the cause of it.
You see, Carbon Monoxide (aka CO) is produced when you burn fuel, which is the case when it comes to gas burners. But since electric appliances don’t run on fuel, they are safe!
As it turns out, there are a lot of electric kitchen items that can’t turn off automatically, including electric hobs.
I do urge you to think about kitchen safety and make sure to purchase the safest gadgets rather than those that seem to have the most gimmicks. The more gimmicks, the more likely it will go wrong anyway. Safety first, decrease the risks for a home fire as soon as you can.
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Ian has a degree in Civil Engineering & ran a construction company for some years. He spent many years as a professional in the construction industry with his own surveying practice. He has designed many social housing projects in London as well as worked as an Arbitrator. Ian is interested in design and having just turned 60 is keen to share a wide and varied experience to help people his own age and older.