Newport youngsters take on the gas safety challenge

Posted on: 19/07/2022

Pupils from Newport’s Clytha Primary School have taken on the gas safety challenge after they received a special visit from gas emergency and pipeline service, Wales & West Utilities.

The 30 pupils were paid a ‘Safety Seymour’ visit as the company encourages young people to take home important gas safety information. Aimed specifically at young people, Safety Seymour encourages pupils to take home important gas safety information. Safety Seymour is a fun and colourful character who has an important message to share about gas safety in the home, and the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (or CO) poisoning in particular.

The event was delivered by Wales & West Utilities Gas Safety Ambassadors, Julie Spicer and Andy Firth, who spent time in the school delivering sessions to the year one pupils to help drive home the simple steps people can take to stay safe from the dangers of Carbon Monoxide – the Silent Killer.

As part of the day, the ambassadors explained what gas does in the home and how it gets there. They described what Wales & West Utilities do to make sure people continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply, as well as the steps they should take if they were to smell gas or suspect CO poisoning. Pupils were then encouraged to learn the national gas emergency number – 0800 111 999.

During the session Julie and Andy also challenged the year 2 pupils to put their learning into practice and enter the national ‘Get Creative, Be Safe’ competition.

Pupils wasted no time and quickly set about designing posters to inform others about the deathly dangers of carbon monoxide (CO). Their entries will now go forward to the competition which is run nationally amongst all the UK’s gas networks.

Clytha Primary School teacher Mrs Worton said:

This was a great opportunity for our pupils to receive vitally important safety messages from Wales & West Utilities.

The event was delivered in a fun and informative way and all the children were really engaged. We’re thrilled that they’ve been able to put their learning into practice and enter the competition – we’re now keeping our fingers crossed!

Julie Spicer, a Performance Manager at Wales & West Utilities and one of the company’s Gas Safety Ambassadors helped deliver the event. She said:

We were delighted to visit the school and give the children information about how to stay safe form the dangers of gas. As a company we work hard to help keep the communities we serve safe and warm as well as raising awareness of the deathly dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, which is called the Silent Killer because you can’t see it, smell it or taste it.

Carbon monoxide (CO), known as the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, kills 50 people a year in England and Wales and hospitalises many more. In the UK, there are more than 4,000 visits to Accident and & Emergency for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning – which can often lead to lasting neurological damage. Even low levels of exposure over an extended period can cause serious health issues, including brain injuries.

To stay safe, people are urged to:

  • Make sure that gas appliances are serviced annually: that includes gas boilers, gas cookers and gas water heaters.
  • Know the signs of carbon monoxide: Look out for your gas appliances burning a floppy yellow or orange, not crisp and blue; pilot lights on boilers frequently blowing out; extra condensation inside your window; soot or yellow stains around appliances.
  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: similar to the flu or food poisoning without a high temperature.
  • Get an audible carbon monoxide alarm in every room with a gas appliance and test it regularly.
  • If your alarm sounds, or you suspect carbon monoxide, take action: move outside into fresh air, leaving doors and windows open as you go. Then call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. In a medical emergency, don't delay, call 999 immediately.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we'll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We'll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

If you’d like a visit from Wales & West Utilities Gas Safety Ambassadors, contact them at Engagement@wwutilities.co.uk