Turned on cooking stove, came back 2-3 minutes later....

…and the cooking flame was out. I assume this means the stove was still pumping gas into the air but it just wasn’t being ignited (doesn’t stop emitting gas just because the flame isn’t there?)
I’ve opened some windows.

The question is? If the stove is still pumping gas three minutes later, the smell should have been very obvious.

Did you hear the “hissing” sound of gas or smell it in the air? When you say “assume”, it implies that you weren’t sure, and that implies there was no obvious evidence that it was there.

Oh, if that ever happens at night, don’t make the mistake of flipping on a light switch because that could make a big “kaboom”.

Is it? I thought gas itself is odorless or that not all gas has artificial scent added.

I’m pretty sure all natural gas and LP gas has the odor added.

The stove should have a pilot light/glow plug detector that turns off the gas if the lighting mechanism isn’t active.


It’s been a requirement over here for decades and I am sure it will be in the USA. If the flame goes out, there is a detector that cuts the gas off.

Don’t count on it. Gas ovens, gas furnaces and gas water heaters all have flame detectors, but I haven’t yet seen a gas range with flame detection. There’s this:

All natural gas in the US piped into homes for cooking and heating has mercaptans added for that distinctive smell.

Machine Elf, you’re right! My mind was thinking of the oven, not the stove top burners.

How is the gas supplied to your house? We have a tank in the yard. Occasionally my gas flames sputters. It’s never actually went out, unless the tank was empty. It famously ran out one Thanksgiving. Our holiday meal was strange, to say the least.

Why on earth are you turning on a flame and turning away for two-three minutes? That’s def NOT best practices !

I’ve always had a gas stove and even the oldest ones, in the student digs I was in 30 yrs ago, had a detector built in. I know, I had to relight the pilot a few times, after it shut off gas to the range top.

All the gas ovens I’ve had in the last 20 years have had a flame detector, but none of the gas stoves.
And I put a pot of water on stove, turn the flame on and walk away for a few minutes all the time.
And not just because a watched pot never boils.

:dubious: So your policy is to stand there watching for fifteen minutes while a two-gallon pot of water comes to a boil?

My bad, the OP did not mention actually putting anything on the stove. I had a caregiver in my home who used to turn on the element before filling the kettle, just leave the flame burning then turn her back, while at the sink. I thought it a terrible habit. I’ve seen other people do the same. This is what I thought the OP was describing.

Clearly I should have assumed differently. Apologies to all. Carry on regardless.

I leave the kettle for few moments everyday, boiling water for my frenchpress. Modern gas stoves are as about as safe as you can get. Bearing mind, flammable gas, fire, and an enclosed area. Crudded up gas snozzle-thingy may be a problem.

My gas stove top definitely does NOT have a flame detector. It is approximately 10 years old and middle of the range expensive.

Fun Fact: My mom worked as a chemical engineer for the gas company and worked with the guy in charge of stinking up the gas. For his b-day, my mom got him the he-man action figure “Stinkor

Boiling over can sometimes cause a gas burner to go out. But the OP’s 2-3 minutes might not be enough time to allow for this (assuming even that there was some liquid to boil). Of course once the flame goes out, the pan stops boiling and cools down so if you come back it may not seem like that was the cause.

Just another thing to worry about if you have a gas stove.

Same for mine. It’s a nice GE Profile (gas on top, electric in the oven). You can turn on the gas, but if it the spark doesn’t ignite it, it’ll still keep going. In fact, it’s not difficult to do it by accident if you happen to be leaning on the knobs.
My ex once left one of the burns “on” for probably a half hour. I don’t know how she didn’t smell it, but I could smell it before I even opened the door to walk in. We opened a on of windows and took and went on a walk for an hour or so. When we got back, the smell had gone down substantially and we put some fans in the windows. IIRC, when it happened we asked her firefighter brother about it and he said that was the right thing to do, we were fine.

On another occasion, she didn’t smell something burning that hit me in the face as soon as I walked in. The belt on the washer was slipping and burning. I don’t know how she missed that one either, the basement was full of smoke.

I have it on good authority that what you describe is impossible.