Health Watch - Warmth: Makeshift Heat

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about staying safe while staying warm. Previously, we discussed the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. One major cause of carbon monoxide poisoning is using makeshift methods to heat the home.

Dr. Paul Pepe, chairman of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says ovens and stovetops should never be used to heat the home. Doing so could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or burns or could start a fire. If you use space heaters, keep them away from children, pets and flammable objects such as drapes. Before using the fireplace, make sure the flue is clear of obstructions such as leaves or branches. When using a fireplace or wood stove, make sure the room is well ventilated. Don’t use charcoal grills or stoves designed for outdoor use indoors.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in emergency care.


January 2010

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