Fighting the battle against deadly CO
TENS of thousands of homes in Kirklees are now safer in the aftermath of a tragedy that claimed the life of a Fartown schoolboy.
The Examiner can reveal that 100,000 carbon monoxide alarms have been distributed around the area over the last few years – and one couple’s lives were saved the moment they switched theirs on.
The life-saving units are backed by Deighton mum Stacey Rodgers, who has experienced the tragedy the gas can cause.
Her son Dominic was just 10 in 2004 when he was killed by fumes which seeped into his bedroom from a neighbour’s faulty boiler.
The Christchurch Woodhouse pupil was a keen footballer who attended the Space Football Academy.
Stacey, 32, now urges householders to take the steps to avoid a similar tragedy.
She said: “When Dominic died the coroner recorded a narrative verdict and because the exact cause couldn’t be pinpointed no-one could be held accountable for his death.
“I don’t believe that his death has been in vain. It has prompted me to talk about carbon monoxide and I think he has prevented the same thing happening to others.
“I didn’t want anyone to go through what I went through.
“It is absolutely vital that people have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted, but also that they get their annual gas safety check on all fuel burning appliances.”
Stacey says she wants all houses in the country to be fitted with one of the alarms.
The new influx of alarms in Kirklees has proved a life-saver for one couple.
One resident detected the deadly gas as soon as she turned the alarm on.
She had been suffering headaches and her husband had also said he was ill and tired.
The national Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed project is designed to raise awareness of the gas which over the last two years has killed 130 people.
Stacey’s story was filmed for a video which appears on the campaign website www.co-bealarmed.co.uk alongside advice from property expert Kirsty Allsop.
Many people do not recognise or report their poisoning so the actual figure of those affected is probably much higher.
The colourless, odourless gas is produced when burning fuel and the most common cause is appliances which are not fitted correctly.
It is released when natural fuels like gas, coal and wood do not properly combust.
The gas can leak through walls and ceilings and affect neighbours, as it did in the Dominic’s case.
Carbon monoxide alarms are available from most good hardware stores.
If you have one and you would like it to be tested you can register for a free reminder service at www.safelincs.co.uk/coreminders