By: Arron Williams
October 11 2022
Red flames on a stovetop are a sign of appliance faults, issues or blockages, and potential indications of carbon monoxide leakage.
A recent post by the Facebook page Pontefract Hot Tub Hire claims that red flames on a gas stove top result from gas being mixed with higher doses of oxygen to increase consumption costs. The post warns readers to check their gas flames. According to the post, blue flames mean all is well, and red flames mean gas is burning at a lower temperature, thus increasing consumption costs. The post associates this with some kind of ploy, stating, "they are selling you gas mixed with a higher dose of oxygen." The post has gained over 1,000 shares and more than 20,000 views.
There is no evidence that red flames on a gas stove result from someone selling gas mixed with higher oxygen rates to increase costs. However, there are a variety of causes of red flames, which can give reason to be concerned.
Red flames emitting from a gas stove, as mentioned in the U.K. Health and Safety Executive pamphlet on Gas Appliances, can be an indication that carbon monoxide is being released due to a fault in the appliance or a blockage. Carbon monoxide is deadly, partly because it is hard to detect, with no discernible smell or visibility. Exposure can kill unsuspecting victims through constant exposure. The symptoms of early carbon monoxide poisoning include tiredness, headaches, nausea, and pain in the arms or chest, and are easily confused with flu symptoms or general fatigue. Orange or red flames from a gas stove are an indicator that the appliance might need checking for faults to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and to ensure it is safe to use. Other indications that may result in a red flame include blocked flues, faulty installations – including incorrect orifices – and blockages in the appliance due to built-up soot in the burners, according to home and design magazine Hunker.
This claim is potentially harmful as it ignores the concerns of carbon monoxide poisoning and potential stove faults. The post does not present factual information and ignores the safety concerns that red flames indicate. If your stove has a red flame, it is important to contact a technician to check the appliance, due to the potential dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and because red flames usually indicate a fault.
Red flames are signs of a fault in an appliance and a potential indication that a stove is releasing carbon monoxide. There is no evidence red flames indicate a scheme to sell low-quality gas to increase consumption costs. Therefore, this claim has been marked as false.