A FATHER is encouraging people to make sure their homes are safe after noticing his family were in danger due to a faulty boiler.

In a bid to save money, Luke McCloud from Bury had decided to get a smart meter installed in his home, where he lives with his wife and three-year-old daughter.

But as the device was being fitted an engineer discovered that there was gap between the flue and the boiler, putting his family in potential danger and violating safety regulations.

The problem could have led to toxic gases created by combustion fumes not being able to escape properly or getting back into the property, resulting in a threat of carbon monoxide poisoning ­— which in extreme cases can lead to brain damage and heart problems and even be fatal.

Mr McCloud said: “It was a bit of a shock to find a risk in my home. Although small, it was still very concerning that I knew nothing about it and my three-year-old was potentially in danger.”

His warning comes as recent figures published by British Gas revealed that their engineers found 26,000 faulty electrical or gas appliances when visiting homes in the first seven months of 2019. Unsafe appliances were found in one in 20 homes visited, with the most common faults found with boilers and old cookers.

Lauren Vazquez, an engineer and safety expert at British Gas, said that some of the unsafe appliances found could have caused “devastating effects”.

However almost two thirds of people admitted using an appliance despite it being faulty.

As well as helping to keep his family safe, Mr McCloud also says the new smart meter is making it easier for him to monitor his gas and electricity usage, enabling him to save time and money on his bills and make his home more environmentally friendly.

He said: "Even with the cost of replacing my faulty boiler I think the smart meter will still save me money.

"I check the display every other day and find that it’s a great way to see if anything’s been left on when it shouldn’t be."

He added: “The fact they picked up on the safety issues with my boiler really means a lot to me as well, especially as I’ve got a small child in the house. When she’s older I think it’ll be a great way to teach her to be environmentally responsible, as she will always be able to see the impact her energy use is having, and ways she can cut down.

“My wife actually complains I look at the display too much, but I think that’s just because I keep catching her leaving the straighteners on.”