A Southgate home narrowly avoided fatalities after dangerously high carbon monoxide levels were left undetected.

The London Fire Brigade were called to a semi-detached house converted into flats on Osborne Road in Southgate.

The call was made after residents noticed a burning smell, and crews discovered it was because of an open fire next door.

Firefighters feared that if the resident had not raised the alarm due to the burning smell, it could have been fatal to all the occupants in the building.

The open fire next door was not venting correctly as neighbours went out for the evening.

An appeal has been put out by the brigade for people to be more wary of their chimneys and flues.

Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Charlie Pugsley, said: “This incident is a timely reminder to Londoners to make sure that anyone with an open fire has their chimney and flue swept regularly by a registered chimney sweep.

“As we enter some of the coldest months of the year, it’s natural to want to heat homes in a cost-effective way but keeping warm does need to be done in a safe way.

“This incident could have had very deadly consequences were it not for the resident smelling the fire burning and calling 999.”

“If you’re lighting an open fire, do follow our safety precautions carefully. We know with financial pressures people are thinking about ways to reduce energy bills, but we’re really concerned that they may be putting lives at risk by doing so.

“For example, don’t risk using treated wood on fires.

“Not only can they produce toxic fumes, but they are also more likely to spit embers when burnt, which could set alight to nearby objects. It’s also important to make sure you have carbon monoxide alarms in your home. You can't taste, see, or smell carbon monoxide fumes, but it can kill in minutes.”