Pontypridd youngster scoops top prize in national competition

Written by on 12th July 2023

Pontypridd youngster, Megan Hole, has scooped a top prize for her creative entry in a national gas safety competition.

Megan, age 10 who attends Hafod Primary School in Rhondda Cynon Taf, won the Key Stage 2 Wales entry of the ‘Get Creative, Be Safe’ competition picking up a prize of £150 for herself and £300 for her school.

The ‘Get Creative, Be Safe’ competition is run nationally by industry body, Energy Networks Association, and is supported locally by gas emergency and pipeline service Wales & West Utilities. Each year it invites school-age children to produce something creative to warn of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Megan produced an informative poster which warns others of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and the signs to look out for.

Wales & West Utilities: Megan celebrates her win

Megan was thrilled to win and said:

“I can’t believe I’ve won! I really enjoyed learning about the dangers of carbon monoxide and the signs to look out for and when I learnt about the competition, I knew I had to enter.

“Carbon monoxide is dangerous, and I hope my poster will help others learn about the steps they can take to stay safe.”

Ms Zoe Lloyd, teacher at Hafod Primary School, said:

“We are delighted to have been part of this initiative and are very proud of Megan. It is an important message that children will take home to their families.”

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

“Megan has clearly taken in a lot of information about carbon monoxide, its dangers and the steps you can take to stay safe. Her poster clearly demonstrates her knowledge and she’s a worthy winner!

“By entering the competition we hope more youngsters have been able to help spread the vital gas safety messages to their friends and loved ones.”

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.

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