A HALE father-of-four whose family survived a carbon monoxide leak is caling on Messenger readers to protect themselves from the deadly peril.

Jeremy Hart spoke out following the deaths last month of two men in Wythenshawe from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

Reliving the horrific events that almost claimed the lives of his family a decade ago, he said: "One Sunday morning my wife and I saw one of the children having what looked like a fit. Then the other children started being sick and falling over.

"We feared it might be meningitis so we rang 999. An ambulance and fire engine came and a fireman said that he could smell gas.

"We found condensation on the boiler - an indication of carbon monoxide. Then I started to feel ill too. You think it won't happen to you, especially with a reasonably new boiler.

"We were taken to the hyperbaric unit at Murrayfield Hospital, Liverpool, where we were put in a sealed metal room and given diving helmets, to receive pressurised oxygen.

"It was only later we realised that we could have died."

He warned: "You should have a carbon monoxide alarm in every room which has a gas appliance. Have your appliances serviced regularly, but get alarms as well.

"If you think you have a leak, go straight to your GP. Symptoms include headaches and feeling sick. You can also fall unconscious, but it could be too late by then."

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, gas which can be emitted by faulty gas appliances and claims 150 lives a year.

Lynn Griffiths, president of the charity CO-Awareness, says: "Alarms should be compulsary in every home. It's easy to mistake the symptoms of CO poisoning for those of flu, and I people should go to their GP if they are worried.

"And it should be on the school curriculum, so children can warn their parents about it."

Further information can be found at www.co-awareness.com.