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Tunes not fumes: festival goers urged to avoid ‘the silent killer’ this summer

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Festival goers and campers are being urged not to use portable gas stoves or BBQs inside tents this summer – because of the carbon monoxide (CO) risk they pose.

The warning comes from Northern Gas Networks, the region’s gas distributor.

Using stoves and BBQs inside, or close to, a tent can result in a build-up of CO in the confined space – with the potential to cause fatal poisoning.

Dubbed ‘the silent killer’, CO claims around 60 lives in England and Wales each year.

Tom Bell, Northern Gas Networks’ Head of Social Strategy said: “Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas, which can be fatal when breathed in.

“Many people don’t realise that bringing a BBQ inside the tent, or using a stove to warm things up when it’s cold, could result in fatal poisoning.

“By keeping portable cooking and heating devices well away from your tent, you can enjoy a fantastic, safe summer.”

Northern Gas Networks owns and maintains the North of England’s underground gas pipes, as well as providing the region’s emergency response service, if customers smell gas. All the company’s emergency engineers carry portable devices which can detect CO.

The company will be delivering a social media advertising campaign around the dangers of CO this summer.

The ‘silent killer’: facts

  • Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. Breathing it in can make you unwell, and it can kill if you’re exposed to high levels.
  • Every year there are around 60 deaths from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales.
  • After carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body) to form carboxyhaemoglobin. When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to fail and die.
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Sunderland shoppers take time out for TLC

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Shoppers at The Bridges in Sunderland were encouraged to take time-out for some TLC recently, at a caring roadshow supported by the region’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN).

Members of the public were encouraged to spend a few minutes at the company’s stand, to pick up some valuable tips on how to stay safe and warm.

Advice on offer included information about the signs, symptoms and dangers of carbon monoxide, and the opportunity to sign up to the Priority Services Register – which ensures customers get extra help if the power or gas goes off.

Tom Bell, Northern Gas Networks Head of Social Strategy said: “It was great to reach out to shoppers in Sunderland, and offer some simple but important advice about staying safe, warm and healthy.

“As the region’s gas distributor, we keep 2.7 million homes and businesses cooking on gas. We take our social remit very seriously, and give our customers support and advice to keep them safe, and improve quality of life.

“We’re taking our roadshow around the North of England over the summer, and look forward to chatting to thousands more customers.”

More information on the Priority Services Register, and the dangers of carbon monoxide, can be found at the Northern Gas Networks website: www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk

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Solar powered clean up wins award

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A project in the North of England which used solar powered pumps to clean up contaminated land at a former gas holder site has notched up another prestigious national award.

Northern Gas Networks, the gas distributor for the North of England, won the Sustainability category at the Ground Engineering Awards, held this month (June 2019) at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London, for its project at Redheugh, Gateshead.

The project, delivered in partnership with Sweco UK Limited and Geo2 Remediation Limited, used solar powered pumps to remove more than 5,100 litres of toxic coal tar from an underground tank on the site of a former gas holder.

Through the use of only solar power, the gas distributor saved the equivalent of more than 55 tonnes of CO2 and approximately £23,000 in running costs.

The project has won a further three prestigious industry awards over the past 12 months.

Neil Whalley, Environmental Strategy Manager at for Northern Gas Networks, said: “This project has really captured the imagination of people working in utilities and civil engineering.

“Using solar power allowed us to reduce CO2 emissions, avoid the noise of petrol generators on site, and reduce vehicle movements associated with waste disposals.

“At Northern Gas Networks, we’re committed to reducing our environmental impact on the customers and communities that we serve, and where possible make a positive impact.”

NGN is now exploring the use of solar power on future projects.

For around 100 years gas holders were a vital part of the local gas supply system, responsible for supplying gas to thousands of people across the country. However, advances in technology and the enhanced capability of the modern-day gas network mean that gas holders are no longer in use.

NGN is aiming to dismantle 23 of the region’s gas holders by 2021 as part of continued investment in modernising the gas network.

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Whitley Bay gas upgrades

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The North of England’s gas distributer, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), will be starting essential works to upgrade the gas distribution network in and around Earsdon Road and Fairfield Drive, Whitley Bay.   

The £450k project is part of NGN’s ongoing investment in the gas infrastructure in the area and involves replacing more than 3.5km of existing metal gas pipes with more durable plastic ones.  This will ensure the continued, safe and reliable supply of gas to customers in the area for years to come.  

The works have been carefully planned in conjunction with North Tyneside Council in order to minimise any disruption to customers, and are expected to last 17 weeks.

In order for the works to be carried out safely and efficiently, it will be necessary to implement some temporary traffic management measures in and around Earsdon Road, Seatonville Road and Fairfield Drive.  

Some initial works were carried out on Earsdon Road earlier this year to replace 400m of gas main, and the remaining phases have been planned to coincide with the school holidays when traffic in the area is expected to be lighter than usual.  

Works will begin on Seatonville Road on Monday 17 June, working north up Earsdon Road towards West Monkseaton Metro Station.

From Saturday 20th July there will be temporary traffic lights in place at the roundabout between Seatonville Road and Earsdon Road, as it will be necessary to partially close some of the roundabout. 

The works on the roundabout will be completed during the school holidays, as agreed with North Tyneside Council, when there is expected to be reduced traffic on the roads.

It’s expected the traffic management will cause some delays to journey times, so motorists are advised to leave extra time for travel whilst the temporary traffic signals and road closures are in place. 

NGN’s Customer Care Officers have been door-knocking local residents and businesses to make customers aware of the project’s latest phase, while on-site signage will advise motorists of the work taking place.

Regular updates will also be available on NGN’s website northerngasnetworks.co.uk, Twitter @NGNgas, and Facebook @northerngasnetworks.

Shops and businesses in the area will remain open as usual throughout the project and customer drop-in sessions will be held throughout the scheme. You can visit NGN’s social media pages for updates on these sessions, and the project itself, at the bespoke project webpage https://www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk/upgrade-to-gas-network-at-earsdon-road-and-fairfield-drive-whitley-bay/

Mick Smith, Site Manager for Northern Gas Networks said: “We have been working closely with North Tyneside Council to carefully plan these works and will be doing all we can to minimise disruption to customers.

“We’d like to apologise for any inconvenience customers may encounter and thank everyone for their support as we work to complete this project as safely and quickly as possible.”

For further information about the project 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.

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Essential gas main repair work at Skeldergate, York

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Engineers from Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the gas distributer for the North of England, will begin emergency repair work on a gas main at the junction of Bridge Street, North Street and Skeldergate in York on Wednesday 12 June. It is anticipated that the essential repair work will take two weeks to complete.

 

In order for the work to be carried out as safely and quickly as possible, the existing four way traffic lights at  Bridge Street, North Street and  Skeldergate will be turned off and replaced by a temporary traffic light system. Pedestrian access on all footways will be maintained and a temporary pedestrian crossing will be in operation.

 

A 100m stretch of Skeldergate will be closed to traffic from the direction of Bridge Street with diversion signs in place. Traffic  heading from the direction of Bishopgate Street will have access to Skeldergate up to where the works are taking place.

 

Chris Keith, Site Manager at Northern Gas Networks said: “We’re working closely with City of York Council and we would like to thank customers for bearing with us while we carry out these essential repairs. We know this is a very busy junction, and can assure motorists that everything will be done to complete the work as quickly as possible.  We would advise motorists to take an alternative for the duration of the work, if practical.”

 

NGN will continue to provide updates on progress at northerngasnetworks.co.uk, @NGNgas and Facebook/northerngas networks

 

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

 

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Meet the gas engineer that always nose best

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Meet our cutest engineer working on the streets of Yorkshire: Midge the spaniel!

A police-trained sniffer dog, Midge is employed by NGN to sniff out gas leaks.

His uncanny sense of smell helped engineers pinpoint a gas leak on Burley Road in Leeds, where gas had found its way into the local primary school.

Midge found the leak, allowing the engineers to repair the pipe over a weekend, avoiding any disruption to the school.

Engineer Brad Metcalf said: “Midge was an absolute superstar. He found the leak almost immediately, allowing us to dig down and repair the pipe.

“Without Midge’s help, it would have taken us a lot longer to find the precise point where gas was escaping.

“When we first starting using Midge out on the network, I think there were a few raised eyebrows, but now he is just another member of the team. He is brilliant at this job, and saves us a lot of time.”

Midge’s handler, Steve Foster, a former police dog handler, said: “Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, believed to be around 5,000 times better than humans.

“Midge loves working with Northern Gas Networks, and is out on the network almost every week, helping the engineers to find and fix gas leaks.”

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Our bright spark takes flames of knowledge to Japan!

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One of our very own colleagues is heading to Japan for an industry fact-finding mission, after winning a prestigious regional competition.

Jarred Knott from the Innovation team, secured his flight by winning an annual competition held by the Yorkshire Gas Association.

The win will see Jarred spend two weeks with Osaka Gas in Japan, to find out how the company is using cutting edge technology and innovation.

Founded in 1903, the Yorkshire Gas Association is a membership group for professionals working in the gas industry.

The Association holds an annual competition called the Ralph Halkett Travelling Fellowship, which gives members the chance to spend time with an overseas gas company.

Jarred, who lives in Leeds, made his case for winning this year’s award through a written submission, and a panel interview.

Jarred said: “It’s an honour and a thrill to win. I work in the Innovation team, where we are always on the look-out for new and imaginative ways of running the gas network.

“The opportunity to find out how Japan’s gas industry is using cutting edge technology and techniques is tremendously exciting.  Osaka Gas is a very future focused company, with an innovation vision which looks as far ahead as 2030.

“I’m looking forward to bringing some of these ideas back to the UK, as well as sharing our own impressive achievements with my Japanese counterparts.”

John Holyroyd-Doveton, Honorary Secretary, Yorkshire Gas Association, said: “The Ralph Halkett Travelling Fellowship is one of many benefits of membership of our Association, whose objectives are all about sharing knowledge, education, members’ participation and personal development, while at the same time providing networking opportunities.

“Jarred was particularly successful in demonstrating how these objectives would benefit both himself and the membership as a whole. ”

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Update: Essential gas mains repair work on Kingsway South, Gateshead

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Engineers from Northern Gas Networks (NGN) are working around the clock to complete essential gas mains repair work on Kingsway South, Gateshead.

The work has meant the road has been reduced to one lane at the Coalhouse roundabout, and on Kingsway South.

The work is causing long traffic delays, and motorists are being advised to avoid the Coalhouse roundabout area, by taking an alternative routes.

NGN hopes to have the work completed by Monday morning (June 3).

Darren Pearson, Site Manager at Northern Gas Networks, said: “We are working 24 hours a day to complete this essential repair work as quickly as possible.

“Unfortunately, we have had to close a lane of the highway to carry out the work safely. It’s an extremely busy route, and the work is causing significant delays, especially at peak times.

“We’re very sorry for this, and can assure motorists that everything possible is being done to finish the job and return travelling conditions to normal.”

For further information about the project 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.

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Update: upgrade to gas distribution network at St Andrew’s Road, Huddersfield

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The North of England’s gas distributer, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), is investing £1.3 million to upgrade to the gas distribution network in the St Andrew’s and Wakefield Road area of Huddersfield.

This is part of the ongoing scheme that has included Colne Road, Queen Street South and Firth Street, and will ensure the safe, continued and reliable supply of gas to customers in Huddersfield for years to come.

The 60-week project, which began in October 2018, is progressing well and on schedule, having been planned in conjunction with Kirklees Council. For the next phase of the works, and to ensure the safety of NGN engineering teams and members of the public, it will be necessary to adapt the traffic management currently in place.

From Wednesday 5th June, NGN teams will be working overnight to replace the gas main on Wakefield Road. In order for the work to be carried out safely and efficiently, there will be reduced lane access on the carriageway during this time.  Teams will be working between 7pm and 5am for 10 consecutive nights, and all lanes will be reopened at 5am the following day.

At the same time, NGN is collaborating with fibre optic network builder City Fibre, who will be upgrading the broadband infrastructure at the same time, in order to minimise future disruption to customers.

From 24 June, a road closure will be introduced on St Andrew’s Road at the junction of Wakefield Road, for around six weeks.

Traffic will be able to enter St Andrew’s Road from Wakefield Road but unable to exit on to Wakefield Road. A fully signed diversion will be in place for motorists to follow during this time.

It’s expected that journey times will be increased because of the traffic management, so all motorists and commuters are advised to leave extra time for travel.

NGN’s Customer Care team will continue to speak to affected residents and businesses and providing regular updates on progress throughout the scheme. Updates will also be posted on Facebook/northerngasnetworks and @NGNgas as well as Kirklees Council’s channels.

Chris Nevison, NGN Business Lead for Pennines, said:  “After safety, minimising the impact of road works on our customers is our top priority.

“We would like to thank all our customers for their patience whilst we carry out this essential project, and apologise for any inconvenience the works may cause as we look to complete them as safely and quickly as possible’’

For further information about the project 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.

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Major upgrade to Withernsea’s gas network

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Many residents in Withernsea will remember losing their gas supply for three days back in January 2017,  after water found its way into the gas network.

The North of England’s gas distributer, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), is now investing £717,000  to upgrade the gas distribution network in Withernsea to ensure the continued safe and reliable supply of gas to customers in the area for many years to come.

The project  to replace 7,135m of ageing metallic gas pipe network in Withernsea with new plastic pipes will commence on Waxholme Road on Monday 3 June 2019.

The work will progress throughout Withernsea and will take approximately 50 weeks to complete. Care has been given to avoid busy tourist areas during the summer months.

The work has been planned in conjunction with East Riding County Council.

Site Manager for the project, Gerry Hart said: “We would like to thank all our customers for their patience whilst we complete these essential works.  We know that no one likes roadworks but will be doing everything possible to minimise disruption.

“Many residents will remember the incident back in 2017, when the town lost gas supply for three days. By investing nearly three quarters of a million pounds in an improved local network, we will be creating a more modern, efficient and robust network, which will serve Withernsea for decades to come.”

As an extra thank you to all our customers in Withernsea, Northern Gas Networks is donating funds to support the local Withstock Festival in August.

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

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