In October 2018, we gave 1,000 carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to a handful of Which? Trusted Traders to offer to their customers who didn't have a working alarm.
Boiler manufacturer Viessmann also joined our campaign and gave away 1,000 alarms to its own customers to protect them from the deadly odourless gas.
Recently, we were delighted to hear from Blue Flame in Cumbria, one of our Trusted Traders, who brought to our attention that one of the free alarms may well have already saved a customer's life.
After installing a new heating system in an old Victorian property and leaving the customer with their free CO alarm, Blue Flame was called back almost immediately by the customer who was complaining that the alarm was constantly going off.
The customer suspected that the alarm was faulty.
In fact, after further investigation, three of the four gas fires in the customer's property were leaking dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
On discovery, these fires were immediately decommissioned until they could be properly serviced, at which point a carbon monoxide alarm was installed for each individual fire.
Despite suffering from migraine-style headaches for a number of weeks beforehand, it had not occurred to the customer that it could be the gas fires in her home that were slowly poisoning her.
Luckily, in this case, the gas fires were not in any bedroom and the rooms that they were in were relatively well ventilated.
This story highlights the serious implications of not having a carbon monoxide alarm installed in your home.
In July 2018, we surveyed more than 2,000 members of the general public about CO detector ownership.
Our research reveals that renters and students are the least likely to own a CO alarm, but anyone who doesn't own one is at risk of poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is an odourless gas that can render you unconscious in a matter of minutes.
Central heating boilers (including both oil and gas) are the single biggest contributor to CO deaths in the UK between 1995 and 2017. During this period, they caused over a quarter (27%) of all CO deaths.
If you don't own a carbon monoxide alarm, buy one today.But make sure you pick one of our . We've tested many that aren't fit for purpose and don't sound an alarm even when dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are detected.
A typical boiler service costs around £70, and any Gas Safe registered heating engineer will be able to safety check any gas appliance in your home - so make sure that you ask them to check every appliance before they leave your property.