PEOPLE should take nothing for granted when it comes to carbon monoxide.

That was the message today from a highly-trained British Gas specialist to Examiner readers.

Paul Crook, 31, has spent nearly 15 years with British Gas and is one of their top technicians.

He is backing our "Silent Killer" campaign 100% and wants more people to realise the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and to take action to prevent another tragedy.

Mr Crook said: "People need to make sure they have their appliances serviced regularly and have carbon monoxide alarms in their homes.

"It's no good just buying a carbon monoxide detector and not having your appliances checked.

"At the same time, it's no good just having your appliances checked. There are 364 other days in a year when you need to be vigilant.

"People need to protect themselves and their families as much as they can against what really is a silent killer."

Mr Crook said that over the years he had discovered people who just had no idea of the dangers they were putting themselves and their loved ones in.

He added: "In one case a family had a conservatory built and the flue was blowing into the conservatory.

"The family were just opening the windows when they got a hint of a funny smell.

"It could have been very, very serious."

Mr Crook said carbon monoxide dangers were caused by the incomplete combustion of gas, often due to a lack of ventilation.

He said: "We can only offer safety advice. We can't force someone to take it.

"Every home should have an alarm - but many homes do not.

"I've got two in my home, one for the boiler and one for my appliances.

"People need to make sure they are making themselves safe and not take carbon monoxide for granted.

"It is a silent killer and can strike at any time."

* Look out for stains, soot or discolouring around a gas fire, water heater or boiler.

* An appliance that burns with a yellow or orange flame instead of a blue one.

* A strange smell when the appliance is on.

* Increased condensation inside windows.

* If these signs are present then stop using the appliance, open doors and windows to ventilate the room and don't use the appliance again until it has been checked by a Corgi-registered engineer.

For more information log on to from www.britishgas ide