Did you forget to turn off your stove burner before leaving the house this morning? Don't worry about it. Easier said than done, but...
"A stove is designed to run indefinitely," says John Drengenberg, the Consumer Safety Director at Underwriters Laboratories where they test such things. "Do we recommend that? Absolutely not."
"If you leave it on, and there's nothing on the stove or near the stove, it probably will stay running until you come back," he tells DIGG.
UL tests just about every stove that hits the market. Part of that testing involves ensuring they hit thermal stability. In other words, they turn the stove on, and check the temperature of the burner, and keep checking the temperature until it stops increasing — just to make sure the burner doesn't ultimately set the entire stove on fire.
That said, leaving something cooking unattended on the burner can absolutely cause a fire.
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