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We beat the silent killer.

Byline: Andrew Hirst ,

lifesaver Glenys Beardsell with the Examiner detector

THE lives of a Huddersfield couple have been saved by a gas detector.

John and Glenys Beardsell picked up a free detector from the Examiner's reception on Queen Street South during a high profile campaign last spring.

The campaign began after the tragic death in February 2004, of 10-year-old Dominic Rodgers in the bedroom of his Fartown home, where he lived with his mum Stacey.

He died after carbon monoxide fumes seeped into his room from a faulty gas boiler in a neighbouring house.

It was a tragedy sadly echoed in March last year when Lockwood couple Kam Shing Lam and his wife, Hisu Ying Lam, died in their flat above their Chinese takeaway on Woodhead Road.

The Beardsell's detector went off at their Newsome home and alerted them to leaking carbon monoxide after their boiler developed a fault.

Mr Beardsell said: "We had put the detector on the wall in the living-room as described in the instructions and then thought nothing more about it.

"We were sitting reading when it suddenly went off.

"It was such a piercing shrill at first we thought it was the burglar alarm and we rushed to the control panel.

"Only then did we realise it was the CO detector."

He wondered if the detector had become faulty so he opened the doors and took the detector outside until it stopped. He then put it back on the wall - but it went off again five minutes later.

"That was it," he said. "I called British Gas immediately on their emergency number."

An engineer was at the house within 30 minutes and his monitoring equipment backed up the carbon monoxide detector's warning.

The couple's gas was turned off.

An engineer fixed the faulty boiler the next day.

Mrs Beardsell added: "Without the Examiner campaign which highlighted the danger we would probably never have thought to get a detector.

"In the end we managed to pick a free one up from the Examiner and I don't think it's an overstatement to say it may well have saved our lives.

"It just shows how vital carbon monoxide detectors are and they should be in every home. People talk about smoke detectors, but you never hear them talking about CO detectors."

Last March the Examiner gave away 1,000 detectors as a part of a safety campaign which led to British Gas slashing the prices of detectors.

The Examiner's campaign came second in the Campaign Of The Year section of the Yorkshire Press Awards.

The detectors the Examiner gave away were worth pounds 38 each and all 1,000 went within just two hours.

British Gas was amazed at the response and cut the price of the detectors to pounds 22.99.

Carbon monoxide - dubbed the Silent Killer - is produced by faulty heating appliances and kills up to 30 people every year in the UK.
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Title Annotation:Health
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 16, 2006
Words:487
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