Winter Weather: Heating Dangers

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau 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.



The doldrums of winter are upon us, and this week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about some ways you can deal with winter weather. With high fuel and electricity costs, some people may turn to alternative heating sources, and that could be dangerous.

Charcoal grills, camp stoves, space heaters and stoves or ovens used as heaters can all create hazards in the home. Dr. Paul Pepe, chairman of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says ovens and stovetops should never be used for household heating, and space heaters should be used carefully and kept away from pets and children. In addition to being fire hazards, grills and camp stoves are also possible sources of carbon monoxide poisoning. Even real heaters can be dangerous if they’re not properly installed and maintained. If everyone in the house gets a headache at the same time, get out of the house and call the fire department.

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January 2012

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