GAS suppliers and mortgage and insurance companies are being urged to fund a nationwide campaign about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
And people caught breaking the law doing dodgy work on gas appliances which lead to serious injury or death must face harsher punishments.
The plea came at the launch of a major campaign in Kirklees warning of the dangers and how to avoid them.
The campaign - three years after the death from carbon monoxide poisoning of 10-year-old Fartown boy Dominic Rodgers - will see his photograph on buses across West Yorkshire.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman gave the main speech to supporters and sponsors of the campaign when it was launched at the Galpharm Stadium in Huddersfield yesterday.
He said far too many people continued to die tragically and needlessly from carbon monoxide poisoning each year and called on the big companies to do far more to spread the safety message.
He said he was so shocked by Dominic's death in February 2004 that he looked deeply into the issue and ended up as chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group.
He said: "It's a much greater problem than I could ever have imagined or a lot of people realise. A lot of people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year - another one in Doncaster over the weekend."
He said odourless carbon monoxide could kill in a single night or disable people over time.
"It can so easily be prevented," said Mr Sheerman. "And that's what this campaign is all about."
He urged all the big gas suppliers, along with mortgage providers and insurance companies, to either put money into carbon monoxide warning campaigns or provide free carbon monoxide detectors to customers.
He said: "These big companies pump the stuff into our homes so why not pay for detectors?"
He added that engineers who go into homes to carry out work on appliances must be fully qualified for all the work they do - not just some of it.
He said: "Health and Safety experts have found classic cases of negligence, but the penalties are trivial and they get off with not much more than a slap over the hand.
"Every appliance should be checked and serviced every year and we may need to have regulations for that.
"Today's campaign is a prototype. If we can replicate this all over the country we can make some real changes."
The poster featuring Dominic will be displayed on 50 buses throughout West Yorkshire over the next month.
His mum, Stacey Rodgers, who has spearheaded a carbon monoxide safety drive nationwide, said: "The launch has gone absolutely brilliantly with senior officials from many different organisations here.
"We believe the photograph of Dominic displayed on buses will have a big impact. People will see him and know it is about carbon monoxide.
"Now each time I see that photograph of Dominic I see it as the safety campaign getting more successful.
"Dominic was a happy person and would not have wanted me crying."
In a tribute to Stacey, Stephanie Trotter, president of national pressure group CO Awareness, said: "Within months of Dominic dying, Stacey helped us by coming on a sponsored walk and touched everyone she met.
"She's been an absolute inspiration and has done so much to promote carbon monoxide safety. She's a wonderful person."
Stephanie said there were 3,500 unexplained deaths in the UK each year, yet these people were not routinely checked for carbon monoxide.
Dominic used to support Huddersfield Town and the players let promotional balloons go in his memory as the safety campaign got under way.
The 500 orange helium balloons carry the key campaign message.
More were being released from Crowlees Junior and Infants School in Mirfield today .
The first 50 people who find them will be able to claim a free carbon monoxide detector worth more than £25.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, drowsiness, aching muscles, shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness, rapid pulse, nausea and chest pains.
Any carbon-based fuel can cause carbon monoxide poisoning - gas stoves, fires, heating boilers, gas-powered water heaters, paraffin heaters and oil and solid fuel heating systems.
It becomes a problem when appliances don't work properly or aren't well ventilated.
Blood has a component called haemoglobin which normally absorbs oxygen into lungs and carries it around the body, but haemoglobin absorbs carbon monoxide 240 times more easily than oxygen, in effect starving the body of oxygen.
Signs of carbon monoxide leaking include soot stains, condensation or burning with a yellow flame.
The campaign, led by the Dominic Rodgers Trust, is being supported by Kirklees Building Services, gas safety watchdog CORGI, Kirklees Council, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, Northern Gas Networks and the Sadeh Lok Housing Association.