How much to worry?
July 19, 2011 9:28 PM   Subscribe

Burning hunk filter: How long can you let salt dough sit in an oven at 200 degrees before it burns or becomes a problem? Do we need to wake people up or call 911? Or can it stay in until morning?

My daughter works at a daycare and was making salt dough fossils with her partner teacher. They put the fossils in the oven at 200 degrees and then forgot to get them out before leaving for the day. They just figured it out just now, over eight hours later.

So how worried should she be? Should she call the fire department? Wake people up? Or just wait until morning?

How dangerous is this situation?
posted by cross_impact to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Why take a chance!

Call whoever and get access to turn off the oven. Likely it will be fine (if it is a true 200 degrees) but if the temp is higher, or the oven is wonky, or a cat jumps on the stove....

Fires are dangerous for the neighborhood, but especially for firefighters who can get injured or worse.

Handle this now.
posted by jbenben at 9:36 PM on July 19, 2011

Can she just go back over there right now and turn the oven off?
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:36 PM on July 19, 2011

It's probably fine. When my mom makes beef jerky, she leaves the oven on a low temp all night long, and she's never had a problem. Since the goal is to dehydrate the clay, it'll probably work the same way. And presumably a daycare would have fire sprinklers installed and a smoke alarm rigged to call in an emergency if it goes off.

While I doubt it would cause any problem, I would personally be extremely uncomfortable in this situation and not want to take any chances. If I lived nearby, I'd do a drive-by of the place and seriously consider calling someone with a key (if she doesn't have one herself). If I lived far away, I'd call the (non emergency) fire department line.
posted by phunniemee at 9:38 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: She can't get into the building and doesn't have a key or code. She also can't get anyone's contact who can check. We are calling the fire department's non-emergency line for advice.
posted by cross_impact at 9:42 PM on July 19, 2011

200 degrees == not a problem. I don't think they'll even brown overnight at that temperature, much less burn.
posted by Bruce H. at 10:20 PM on July 19, 2011

I love you, seriously.

Being proactive about a potentially dangerous situation is a beautiful, wonderful, sexy thing. I work on an emergency response team responding to Hazmat 'issues' that arise in my workplace.

When people come to me, hat in hand, saying "I might have fucked up, how do I fix this?" I feel like kissing them. When people run up to me and ask "Hey, so no paticular reason, but do you know where the fire extinguisher is?" I want to throttle them.

You're doing this exactly right by activating the emergency response system.
posted by JimmyJames at 11:50 PM on July 19, 2011 [14 favorites]

Response by poster: As it turns out, nothing bad happened but this morning the owners of the school were plenty mad about the oversight and the safety risk it introduced. My daughter's decision to take responsibility and call the fire department and police about the potential risk saved her job. MeFi to the rescue!
posted by cross_impact at 1:11 PM on July 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

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