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Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Written by on 26th April 2018

Time is running out for kids across the Valleys to enter a national competition to highlight the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) – known as the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see it, smell it or taste it.

Children from across the area are being jointly urged by CBeebies TV presenter Rebecca Keatley and Wales & West Utilities to come up with something creative that raises awareness of the dangers before the competition closes on Friday 4 May.

The gas emergency and pipeline service, which runs the annual competition in the region, has teamed up with presenter, Rebecca, to raise awareness of the dangers of CO poisoning. And, now, together they are urging youngsters in Key Stages 1 and 2 (ages 5 to 11), to put their artistic skills to good use and produce an eye-catching poster, poem, film or song, which is both informative and accurate, and warns of the dangers of CO poisoning and how to avoid them.

Wales & West Utilities Head of Emergency Service, Clive Book, said:

“We have been impressed by the standard of entries we’ve received but it’s not too late for those wishing to enter. There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs – including cash prizes for both the winning entrant and the organisation they’re representing.

“We continually work hard to raise awareness of the deathly dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and this competition is a key part of that. The competition is an enjoyable way to improve carbon monoxide awareness and I would encourage as many young people as possible to enter.”

©Steve Pope – Fotowales

Presenter Rebecca said:

“Children of this age have an abundance of creativity and we’re urging them to use their talents to have some fun in designing something that warns of the dangers carbon monoxide poses and help spread the vitally important safety message to their loved ones.

“There are some very talented children in the Valleys and with some fantastic prizes to be won I’d urge young people to get involved!”

Wales & West Utilities will judge entries and pick four area winners – two from Key Stage 1 and 2 in both Wales and south west England – who will personally receive £150 and £300 for their school / organisation (which can include uniformed organisations such as Cubs or Brownies). The regional winners will go forward to a national final in June 2018 where they have a chance to win a further £300 for themselves and £600 for their school / organisation.

Entries should be sent to and must be received by Friday 4 May 2018 and judging will take place by the end of May 2018.

Last year’s regional winners produced posters warning of the dangers of carbon monoxide, with one entry, which was declared as the national winner, producing an eye-catching film, all of which can be found here

Known as the ‘silent killer’, accidental – and therefore preventable – CO poisoning is responsible for around 40 deaths, 200 hospitalisations each year. In the UK, there are more than 4,000 visits to Accident and & Emergency for treatment of CO poisoning – which can often lead to lasting neurological damage.

Symptoms of CO poisoning are often confused with flu, especially in winter, as they include severe headaches, a sore throat, dizziness, coughing, feeling sick, and a general lack of energy.

Entries can be emailed to:

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night. 

The company also has a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.


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