A NEW safety campaign is under way after a carbon monoxide detector given away by the Examiner may have saved a Huddersfield couple's lives.
British Gas joined with the Examiner to give away 1,000 detectors last March following three tragic deaths in Huddersfield - including that of 10-year-old Fartown boy Dominic Rodgers in February, 2004.
In March last year Kam Shing Lam and his wife, Hisu Ying Lam, died in their flat above their Chinese takeaway on Woodhead Road, Lockwood.
One of those to pick up a free detector from the Examiner was Glenys Beardsell, of Newsome.
She fixed it to the wall in her sitting room and it went off one evening this month while Glenys and husband John were sitting reading.
It had alerted them to leaking carbon monoxide after their boiler developed a fault.
Glenys said: "I don't think it's an overstatement to say it may well have saved our lives."
British Gas had cut the price of the detectors from £38 to £22.99 - cost price including postage - after teaming up with the Examiner in last year's safety campaign.
The company is now offering another 100 free detectors to give away to Examiner readers.
British Gas corporate affairs manager Mark Duffell said: "We are delighted to see our safety campaign with the Examiner is working.
"Ideally, people should have a carbon monoxide detector in every room where there is a gas appliance.
"What happened to Mr and Mrs Beardsell proves that carbon monoxide detectors do save lives.
"If we have averted two more deaths then all the hard work will be worthwhile."
When the 1,000 detectors were given away last year the response was amazing.
All of them were snapped up in just two hours by readers who came to our Queen Street South reception desk.
"We were amazed by the response that day," said Mr Duffell. "But be aware that carbon monoxide detectors are a vital second line of defence.
"The first is to make sure all your gas appliances are serviced every year by a Corgi-registered engineer."
Anyone buying a carbon monoxide detector should make sure it conforms to BSDN 50291 standard.
Mr Duffell said: "The detectors are extremely sensitive to low levels of carbon monoxide and have an audible alarm."
He advised people not to have cheap carbon monoxide detector cards which change colour, as the warning could easily be missed and the cards have a short lifespan.
The carbon monoxide monitors have in-built batteries. They last five years and warn people when the battery is running low.
People then need to buy a new carbon monoxide detector.
Dominic Rodger's mother, Stacey, has set up a trust fund in her son's name.
It highlights awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and also raises money to buy detectors and smoke alarms.
Stacey welcomed the new giveaway, adding: "British Gas may have saved the Newsome couple's lives by giving detectors away last year.
"It's brilliant news they are now giving more away."
Anyone wanting to buy a carbon monoxide detector from British Gas should phone 0116 250 3128.
The 100 detectors will be given away in a free draw.
Send in a postcard with your name, address and daytime phone number on it.
The address is Carbon Monoxide Detector Competition, Newsroom, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, PO Box A26, Queen Street South, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD1 2TD.
The winners will be the first 100 drawn out.
Closing date for entries is Friday, March 31.