The public are becoming more aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide as Eastenders storyline airs to 9 million viewers.

Eastenders character Heather Trott, played by Cheryl Fergison, gave 9 million UK viewers a shock when she fell unconscious in her bedsit after a faulty boiler leaked carbon monoxide in a recent episode.

Gas Safe Register worked with BBC scriptwriters and producers for several months in the run up to the cliffhanger, aimed at raising public awareness of gas safety risks and the importance of always using a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Promoting the storyline and gas safety messages across national media in the week the soap story aired, Fergison appeared on ITV’s This Morning and warned another 1.5 million viewers about carbon monoxide signs and symptoms and how to avoid the dangers.

Fergison said: “It’s something that people don't really know much about but it’s very important; people die from it. People should have their boiler sorted regularly and install carbon monoxide alarms in their houses.”

Gas Safe Register also launched a campaign to help vulnerable elderly people stay Gas Safe, with a big tea dance at the Metrocentre in Gateshead, featuring special guests James and Ola Jordan from BBC1 television show Strictly Come Dancing.

Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, welcomes the support of popular television stars and their power to educate huge audiences about the importance of gas safety.

Johnston said: “There are no second chances with gas, so let’s keep talking about how to stay gas safe.

"The support of stars really helps get the message out there loud and clear but we can all play a part in spreading the word about gas safety in our local communities, particularly to those who are vulnerable like Heather was for example, or like the elderly who live in your area.

“There can never be too many reminders that failing to get gas appliances regularly serviced, attempting DIY fixes, or using a rogue trader can all lead to fatal carbon monoxide leaks. Let’s talk gas safety and try to prevent another tragic, real-life storyline.”