The instructions with an Esteelle suacepan say if overheating occurs leave the pan where it is to cool. I know because I just had to buy a new one and read them.
The longer versuion of the story is that yesterday I put a little water on to boil to steam some asparagus. I then came in to do some e-mails etc. I forgot about the saucepan till I smelt a strange metallic smell.
Sure enough the saucepan had boiled dry. I turned off the heat and thought I'd just leave it where it was. Then (stupidly) I thought I'd check how hot it might be (whether I could cool it down by putting cold water in it.
So I tilted the pan towards me to have a ook. Suddenly molten metal is pouring TOWARDS me. Thankfully (and remarkably) it splashed on the side of the stove and scattered across the kitchen everywhere but on my (or my legs or my feet - I had shorts on and no shoes).
The explanation was it was the solder that attaches the copper base to the stainless steel saucepan - so it had been pouring from the bottom of the saucepan. The stove cleaned up Ok but the floor has burn marks all over it as have some of the cupboard plinths. It is the second kitchen I've damaged like that (the first was burning oil).