Mothers lead killer gas campaign

The mothers of two teenage boys, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a holiday flat, are spearheading a campaign to get more people to fit alarms

Two mothers who lost their teenage sons to carbon monoxide poisoning are spearheading a campaign to highlight the lethal risk of the silent killer.

More than half the population ofWales is at risk from the deadly odourless gas because people are failing to fit alarms at home.

Many others have a false sense of security because they wrongly believe a home smoke alarm also protects them against the invisible gas.

Millions more across the UK risk tragedy through a combination of failing to fit an alarm and falsely believing they are already protected, new research reveals.

Mothers Catherine McFerran and Katrina Davidson lost their 18-year-old sons, Neil and Aaron, to carbon monoxide poisoning in August 2010.

The teenagers were on a holiday break at a seaside apartment complex in Castlerock, Co Londonderry, Northern Ireland, awaiting their exam results.

Both were found overcome by poison fumes by their parents, who travelled to the apartment complex after they failed to return home. A teenage friend survived.

National campaign Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! has published new research highlighting that many people remain at risk from the deadly poison gas.

Its findings are made public as it becomes compulsory in Scotland to install a carbon monoxide alarm whenever a new fuel-burning appliance is fitted.

“Since our sons were cruelly taken from us by this silent killer, we have campaigned to try to prevent similar tragedies,” both mothers said today.

“Carbon monoxide alarms are now compulsory for all new homes in Northern Ireland and when new appliances are installed in Scotland, but many people in older homes or in the rest of the UK may still be at risk.

“Make sure you and your loved ones are protected: make sure you have a working, audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home. It is not a risk worth taking.”

The new research shows more than 1.6 million people in Wales are still at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning because they don’t have an alarm in their home.

Of those without a carbon monoxide alarm, 42% said it was because they have a smoke alarm, indicating many do not realise it cannot detect the gas.