Page last updated at 09:25 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 10:25 UK

Campaign launched over killer gas

Dominic Rodgers
Ten-year-old Dominic Rodgers died from carbon monoxide poisoning

A campaign has been launched to cut deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning after a survey found 20 million UK homes could be at risk.

The initiative encourages people to have an audible carbon monoxide alarm and have their gas, oil and solid fuel-burning appliances serviced every year.

It also aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed campaign follows a YouGov survey of 4,333 people.

It found that almost one in 30 of those surveyed believed they had experienced carbon monoxide poisoning.

'Silent killer'

Only 6% of those polled said they were "very confident" they would recognise the symptoms as a result of poisoning from the potentially fatal gas, known as the "silent killer".

The symptoms include nausea, dizziness, tiredness, headaches, loss of balance and forgetfulness.

When I touched him he was frozen. I called paramedics and Dominic was pronounced dead on the scene
Stacey Rodgers
Mother of victim

The campaign has been organised by the Carbon Monoxide Consumer Awareness Alliance (COCAA).

Its chairman Nigel Dumbrell said: "Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that has no colour, taste or smell - it is impossible to detect without an alarm.

"Even at levels that don't kill, carbon monoxide can cause lasting damage to your health.

"This is the first time such a broad alliance of organisations has come together to drive the message home that people need to protect themselves."

'Family shock'

The campaign is being supported Stacey Rodgers whose 10-year-old son Dominic died in 2004 after carbon monoxide fumes from a faulty boiler in a neighbour's property seeped into his bedroom at their home in Huddersfield.

She told BBC News: "I woke up calling Dominic to wake up for school, he wasn't getting up.

"I went into his bedroom and he wasn't moving. I went over to try and wake Dominic up, same again he wasn't moving.

"When I touched him he was frozen. I called paramedics and Dominic was pronounced dead on the scene.

"It wasn't until half-past-two in the afternoon that we discovered Dominic had died from carbon monoxide poisoning which obviously shook me and all my family."

The tragedy prompted her to set up a campaign, the Kirklees Carbon Monoxide Awareness Group, which last month won Best Gas Safety Initiative at the annual awards of industry watchdog Corgi.

Award for gas safety campaigners
20 Sep 08 |  Bradford
Boy's gas death prompts campaign
02 Feb 06 |  West Yorkshire
Boy's death caused by faulty flue
03 Nov 05 |  West Yorkshire
Gas death sparks checks on homes
22 Oct 04 |  West Yorkshire

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