When thinking about home security
it is easy to focus on obvious threats: Theft, fire and (in certain parts) flooding.
However, Brits are also at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or, as it is commonly known, the Silent Killer.
Every year families fall prey to disasters caused by malfunctioning gas equipment, but less than 45 per cent of people have carbon monoxide detectors installed in their homes.
According to Richard Clarke, chairman at 1st Action, this is because people are still not "quite aware of the dangers and threats of carbon monoxide" because of relatively sparse media coverage.
However, "by its very nature, it is more important that you have a carbon monoxide alarm because you can't smell it," Mr Clarke explained.
"We have seen cases where families have been lying asleep in bed and have not woken up," he continued.
Figures from the Health and Safety Executive have shown that in the last five years, carbon monoxide poisoning has risen by 90 per cent in the UK.
While provisional figures for 2010 to 2011 predict that only 14 deaths have occurred this year as a result of carbon monoxide, the number of non-fatal incidents has almost doubled since 2007, going from 184 to 343.
Despite this, the number of families who have a carbon monoxide detector is still less than half of those who have smoke alarm.
To protect against carbon monoxide poisoning the first port of call – as well as installing a detector - is to ensure that gas boilers are working properly.
Poor quality boilers are the largest cause of carbon monoxide poisoning. Moreover, if a boiler is not working properly it hikes up energy bills and can cost hundreds in repair.
Research from uSwitch revealed that a 22 per cent of homes in the UK suffered a broken down boiler last year, with repair costs amounting to an average of £320.
With a substantial number of homes reporting boiler problems, having a carbon monoxide detector is vital.