DEMAND for alarms that detect the 'silent killer' gas carbon monoxide has rocketed in the UK.
The rush to the shops follows the deaths of two Yorkshire children on holiday in Corfu and other high-profile cases.
These include the death of 10-year-old Dominic Rodgers, of Huddersfield, and a Chinese couple in their Lockwood flat.
Christi and Bobby Shepherd, aged seven and six, of Horbury, were poisoned as the gas leaked into their holiday apartment in Corfu during October half-term this year.
British Gas and B&Q said they had seen a huge increase in demand for the alarms, which emit a sound or change colour when levels of the gas exceed a safe point.
But shoppers at Huddersfield DIY stores have been left frustrated in their bid to buy alarms.
Manufacturers Honeywell Analytics, based in Poole, Dorset, said the sales boost had caused a delay in them getting supplies into stores.
Adrian Keats, national account manager for the SF Detection division of
Honeywell Analytics, said instead of the usual two or three day delay on orders, the delay was currently at two or three weeks.
"Sales have more than doubled since the tragedy and current orders are in excess of 100,000 units.
"I have not seen demand like this before."
B&Q said there had been a ten-fold increase for its alarms, which cost between £6 and £35.
A spokesman said: "We have already sold what we expected to sell over winter until March.
"There was an increase in the few weeks following the tragedy in Corfu, which we expected, but the trend has continued."
British Gas are also supplying 6,000 alarms a week, almost doubling usual demand.
Regional spokesman Mark Duffell for the company said: "The increase in sales has been considerable.
"It appears that the tragedy in Corfu has made people more aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and encouraged them to make sure their home and family are protected.
"But fitting an alarm is only the second step. The first is to make sure every gas appliance is serviced once a year by a Corgi-registered installer."
Stocks in smaller hardware stores and at supermarkets have also been affected by the tragedy.