The North of England’s gas distributer, Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has become a BPEC accredited centre for carbon monoxide (CO) awareness training.
The British Plumbing Employers Council works in close partnership with further education colleges and private training providers, identifying education and training needs for those working within the building and engineering industries.
NGN’s emergency engineers are on the streets 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, responding to gas escapes. They all carry specialist hand held CO detection equipment to detect dangerous levels of gas in the atmosphere. They also deliver in-home CO safety briefings to around 4,000 vulnerable customers every year as part of the emergency response.
Through awareness events and wider social outreach, it became apparent to the gas distributer that more people could help spread awareness about the dangers of CO, known as ‘the silent killer’, which is odourless, colourless and kills around 50 people every year in the UK alone.
This year, NGN has put over 30 people through CO awareness training to BPEC standard, from Customer Care Officers to local stakeholders. NGN expects to reach 3,500 more people throughout the network every year with key CO messages as a result.
With BPEC accredited centre status, NGN is now hoping to roll this out across the wider business and deliver its own training over this year.
Tom Bell, NGN’s Head of Social Strategy said: “Many people aren’t aware of the potential dangers of CO, with only 12% of the UK owning an audible CO alarm. It’s important people recognise the signs of CO, which is odourless and colourless, and know how to stay safe at home or outdoors.
“Becoming an accredited centre for CO awareness training means NGN can deliver training to more of our staff, partners and community supporters, resulting in delivery of these vital safety messages to more of our customers.”
Working with fellow gas distributers NGN launched a CO awareness campaign aimed at campers and festival goers last year. The online game can be played at http://www.gdngames.co.uk/
Anyone that smells gas, or suspects Carbon Monoxide poisoning, symptoms of which can include headaches, dizziness, nausea or breathlessness, should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.