Often we get complaints from customers about the temperatures of the oven facia panels and the oven doors, usually the fault description is that the appliance is too hot to touch and this is in fact correct in many cases.
There are many different ovens out there and generally speaking the lower priced ones will not have a cooling fan fitted to them and it is worth asking if one is fitted before you buy as they cannot be retro-fitted to an existing appliance. A cooling fan is normally a tangential fan fitted at the top of the oven carcass that draws cool air in from the bottom front of the oven and then blows that air over the top cooing the facia and handle areas. This tends to work very well in most cases albeit with a little more noise and the fan can run on for some time after the appliance has been switched off, in some cases up to an hour. So if the fan on your oven runs on for some time don't worry about it as this is normal and is often determined by the amount of ventilation in the oven housing, obviously the more heat that can escape the quicker the appliance will cool off.
Without a cooling fan fitted ovens, especially single built in models, can get very hot indeed in fact too hot for some people to touch them, yet they are fully legal and meet the BSI safety standards.
Doors also matter a lot, as does the glazing in them. Similarly to glazing for your home, the more glass and therefore layers of insulating air that are in the door, the cooler the door front will be. Many models also actively drive cool air through the door glasses to enable even better cooling. Without these and with a simple inner and outer door glass they can get very hot indeed and still remain with in the BSI specifications.
The BSI regulations state that a glass or painted metal (stainless) control panel is safe if it reaches 60˚C above ambient room temperature operating at 200˚C or an enamel fascia can be 65˚C above room temperature. So you take the room temperature, usually about 20˚C and add that to the rise allowed so, for example, a stainless fascia would be allowed in this case to reach 80˚C and still be within operating specifications. As you can appreciate this is pretty hot since hand hot is regarded as 50˚C so 80˚C is way over that.
Other rises that are based on the same circumstances are:
This allows the surface temperatures to be pretty high, in fact hot enough in some cases to cause light burns if you held your hand there but not enough to burn by simply touching or brushing against the appliance when it was at temperature.
As a general rule of thumb, if the appliance is cooking ok and not burning everything you attempt to cook the chances are that there is no fault and it is operating correctly. There are minor problems with ventilation that can cause slight overheating and scorching of the kitchen units but the oven's thermostat will most likely be just fine.
Where units do get scorched we often find that it is down to the installation and that there is not enough of an air gap between the oven and the adjacent doors or units. Kitchen cabinets should be able to withstand temperatures of about 100˚C and slightly over although in an older oven this can be caused by faulty or worn door seals.
So, in essence if you have children or wish to have an oven that runs cool examine very carefully the options before you buy an appliance as it's not as cut and dried as many people think it is and not all appliances are equal. Often you get what you pay for!
The full text for testing is as shown below but for even more on oven temperatures for engineers and what to test and look for when you get a complaint about oven temperatures please see this article.
Electric ovens are measured in accordance with the European British standards EN60335-2-6.
For a central oven temperature test.
Pre heat the oven to a temperature of 200°C
Depending on the height of the oven different temperatures apply.
For Freestanding cookers and ovens built-in below 850mm from the floor
Temperature limits are as follows
For Freestanding cookers and ovens built-in above 850mm from the floor
Temperature limits are as follows
Temperature limits for control knobs and handles
Gas ovens are measured in accordance with the European British Standard EN30-1-1
Front and side Accidental touch.
Ovens are operated at 200°C Centre Oven Temperature
The cooker is run for 60 minutes.
Grills are not operated if the user instructions state open door grilling.
If the instructions state closed door grilling, then the grill is operated for the last 30 minutes with the control set according to the maximum in the user instructions.& then turned down to 50% for the last 15min.
Temperatures are not measured for surfaces that are:
Temperature limits for gas ovens
The temperature limits are as follows