The gas distributer for the North of England is encouraging the public to be aware of the warning signs of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning and reminding people what to do if they smell gas over the busy festive period.

Northern Gas Networks (NGN), who provide energy for heating, cooking and hot water to 6.8 million people across the North of England, has launched the campaign to promote the National Gas Emergency Service number and raise awareness of the dangers of CO, as well as how it can be reported.

In 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics, there were 53 UK deaths from accidental CO poisoning, which is a number NGN is committed to reducing through awareness.

Jill Walker, Social Strategy Project Manager for Northern Gas Networks, said: “CO cannot be tasted, seen, heard or smelled, therefore detecting it is difficult however the effects are serious. Knowing the signs and symptoms to look out for is vitally important. These include vomiting, nausea, dizziness, stomach pain, difficulty breathing and tiredness – all symptoms that could be mistaken for hangovers, flu or food poisoning over the Christmas holidays.”

As well as raising awareness about CO, the campaign aims to help the public to remember – and call – the 24-hour National Gas Emergency Service hotline if they smell gas, on 0800 111 999.

Jill continued: “Sprouts, grandparents and the dog are often blamed for escaping gas, so we wanted to add a festive spin to a serious message. A gas escape is a serious matter and it’s important to act quickly if you suspect a gas leak.

“We also want to ensure that those who are eligible, are aware of signing up to the Priority Services Register (PSR), which is a free service and is designed to look after those who need a little extra help, in a gas emergency or in the event that they lose their gas supply unexpectedly. This includes those who are carers, above pensionable age, disabled, living with a mental health condition, have trouble communicating, or live with children under five years old.

“We are passionate about supporting our communities and giving them the knowledge they need, to help them in an emergency situation.”

If you smell gas or suspect a carbon monoxide, call the National Gas Emergency line, which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 111 999.

If you are eligible for the Priority Services Register, please call 0800 040 7766 (option 3), or visit www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk/network-supply/priority-customers/

For further information about the work please contact NGN’s Customer Care Team on 0800 040 7766 or email: customercare@northerngas.co.uk.

Anyone that smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24-hours a day, seven days a week.