HOMES across Kirklees are to be checked for gas safety after the terrible death of a young boy.

And Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman wants every home in the country to be fitted with a free carbon monoxide alarm.

His call came as campaigners in Kirklees stepped up efforts to prevent needless deaths from gas poisoning, like that of 10-year-old Dominic Rodgers.

Thousands of homes with front-to-back passageways in the district will be checked for carbon monoxide build-ups in the new drive.

It is backed by Mr Sheerman, councillors, gas company Transco, British Gas and the safety watchdog Corgi.

Houses at serious risk will have their gas turned off.

Campaigners hope the move will prevent another tragedy like the death of Dominic.

He was killed in his sleep at his home at Spaines Road in February.

He died after fumes from a poorly ventilated boiler seeped through the floor of his bedroom from a passage running between two back-to-back homes.

Yesterday, a meeting between the Health and Safety Executive, Kirklees Council, Transco, British Gas and Corgi was held at the HSE offices in Leeds to set out an action plan.

As well as checking an estimated 12,000 homes, every gas engineer in Kirklees will be sent a special notice from Corgi about the correct fitting of boilers.

And next week, Mr Sheerman will meet British Gas bosses when he will call for all properties in England to be fitted with a carbon monoxide alarm as standard.

"These companies are making a great deal of money supplying energy to our houses and they want to be responsible, in my view," he said.

Audible alarms cost about £35.

"I want to know how much it costs to retro-fit these things."

Dominic's mum, Stacey, has welcomed the swift action by the council and Transco in checking homes at risk.

"I'm pleased. At least I know they are out there doing something.

"If we can prevent this happening again, we'll try."

David Powell, principal inspector with the HSE, chaired yesterday's three-hour meeting in Leeds.

He said: "The problem is potentially county-wide but the scale of the problem is worse up here and certainly in the Kirklees area."

Many homes with passageways were fitted with heavy metal doors in World War Two to act as make-shift air-raid shelters.

Some householders still close the doors at night as a security measure. That means dangerous fumes cannot escape and build-up and seep into adjoining properties.

But even properties without such doors could be at risk.

Around the UK, it is estimated there are about 200 deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning every year.

Five-thousand people are also injured. The effects of the gas can lead to brain damage.

Mr Powell said council and Transco workers would be checking every home where there was a problem.

Transco workers will be conducting meter checks over the next two months when they will carry out visual inspections.