Gas engineer saves lives of two as he issues warning of dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning

Dan Howard - Gas Engineer
Dan Howard had to carry one man out of his home over his shoulder after carbon monoxide poisoning took effect. Credit: Liverpool Echo

An emergency gas engineer has saved the lives of two people after pulling them from separate houses - after deadly carbon monoxide almost killed them.Dan Howard, 30, had to carry two seriously-ill people from their homes in Merseyside just two days apart.

The first incident happened at an upstairs flat in Liverpool City Centre.

Dan, who has worked for Cadent Gas as an engineer for nine years, said he received a call after a man was reading through a leaflet and recognised he had some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Dan said when he arrived at the man's house he did all his checks and went to check on the customer.

The Gas engineer said: "The customer was upstairs, in a front room, slurring his words and very lethargic."It didn’t look good. He told me there was a boiler in the kitchen, where the door was closed.

"I used my kit to check the edges of the door and the readings started to rise dramatically.

"I opened all the windows and told the customer we had to get out, by hell or high water we had to get out.

"He said he couldn’t move - so I put him over my shoulder and got him outside."I learned later that he was in intensive care for days and, if he’d stayed in the house for just a few more hours, he would most likely have died.

"Unfortunately, his home didn’t have any carbon monoxide detectors."The second incident happened just two days later, on Boxing Day where, after Christmas celebrations, a women complained of feeling unwell.

Her family came back to check on her the next day after putting her to bed to "sleep it off" and noticed the carbon monoxide alarm had activated.Dan said: "When I got there, I isolated the gas and ventilated the property. I could see the customer had lots of tell-tale symptoms – red eyes, red face, things like that.

"What can catch you out is that the symptoms are a lot like a hangover.“I immediately rang for an ambulance and informed them of the severity of the situation, due to the CO readings throughout the property.

"I assisted the customer to a safe place and waited for the paramedics."Next thing, three incident support units arrived and she was treated for CO poisoning.”Cadent confirmed that both incidents were traced to defects with boilers. Dan is sharing the stories in the hope of educating people to the dangers of carbon monoxide.He said: “It never ceases to amaze me that people don’t get an annual gas service, and don’t always install CO alarms. I know times are hard, but this isn’t something that’s worth taking a risk about.“Book a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out your service and pick up a CO alarm – or alarms – for as little as £15 from many retailers. It could save your life, or your family.”