THEY are vital for every home.

And the lifesaving devices now being made available to 1,000 Examiner readers could mean the difference between life and death - literally.

Following the tragic deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning of a couple in their flat in Lockwood this month and of 10-year-old Dominic Rodgers at his home in Fartown in February 2004, the Examiner and British Gas have teamed up to launch a major campaign about carbon monoxide safety.

The move follows research by the energy firm which showed that - despite three deaths on their doorstep in the past year - Huddersfield people are still ignoring the warnings and failing to protect their homes against carbon monoxide.

Now, British Gas has given 1,000 life-saving carbon monoxide detectors for Examiner readers to claim and make their home safer.

The SF350 detector - made by safety firm SF Detection - is the only carbon monoxide detector recommended by British Gas.

It meets the highest safety standards, conforming to British Standard BS7860, the standard recommended by the Health and Safety Executive and the Council for Registered Gas Installers (Corgi).

The detectors work like a smoke alarm. If they detect a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide in your home, they emit a loud, piercing alarm to alert you and allow you time to get out of the house safely and call for help.

The alarm will even alert you if you are asleep - and could save your life and the lives of your family.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, highly-poisonous gas with no taste or smell. It is produced by faulty heating appliances and claims up to 50 lives each year. It also injures hundreds more.

BRITISH Gas safety experts recommend that to protect your home from the danger of carbon monoxide, everyone should follow a simple two-step safety guide:

1. Get every gas appliance in the home serviced every year by a Corgi-registered engineer.

2. As a second line of defence, fit a carbon monoxide detector with an audible warning signal approved to BS7860 for extra peace of mind.

British Gas is including a carbon monoxide safety message on all bills sent to its energy customers as part of its ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the deadly risks of the gas.

Safety tips, information on the gas and other home safety issues are included on the website www.brit onmonoxide. Details on the SF350 and other safety products can be found on the SF Detection website at