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Northern Gas Networks to carry out essential gas pipe diversion to maintain a safe and reliable gas supply for residents in Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough

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Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the gas distributor for the North of England, is carrying out gas pipe diversion work to ensure the continued safe and reliable supply of gas to customers in Nunthorpe near Middlesbrough.

The essential work will begin on Monday 6 July and will last for five days. It will involve digging in the road to move the gas pipework to allow for road widening on the roundabout of the A171 and the A1043. The five-day project has been planned in collaboration with Middlesbrough Council.

In order for engineers to carry out the work safely and efficiently, and to protect members of the public, some traffic management measures will be necessary. The lane of the roundabout coming off Guisborough Road on to the A171 or the A1043 will be closed for the five days. Signs will be displayed for motorists and a signposted diversion will be in place to provide an alternative route.

To ensure the safety of colleagues, customers and the local community at this time, the work is being carried out only in the street, observing strict Government guidelines for safe distance working and following health and safety guidance.

Steve Pigott, Business Operations Lead for Northern Gas Networks, said: “We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused during these essential works. However, it is vital we complete them in order to continue to provide a safe and reliable gas supply to customers in Nunthorpe.

“NGN is continuing to carry out essential services whilst observing strict Government guidelines for safe distance working and following health and safety guidance during the Coronavirus outbreak.

“We want to assure residents and road users that we will be working hard to complete this scheme as safely and as quickly as possible.”

Northern Gas Networks is continuing to prioritise work in line with UK government guidance and has extra safety precautions in place to keep everyone safe and ensure that its workplaces are Covid 19 secure.

As well as critical services, which include responding to gas emergencies, carrying out emergency repairs and critical maintenance activities, engineers are carrying out work to upgrade critical infrastructure, including planned work to modernise ageing metal gas mains, where the majority of the work can be carried out safely in the street.

You can find out more about the steps that NGN is taking to keep customers and colleagues safe during the Coronavirus outbreak at www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk

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.

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NGN welcomes new research on life-changing impact of gas connections

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Northern Gas Networks’ Chief Executive Mark Horsley has welcomed new research published today by fuel poverty charity the National Energy Council (NEA) which shows how a gas connection can benefit households on low incomes.

The Connecting Homes for Health pilot project was delivered by the NEA, NGN and YES Energy Solutions. In what’s believed to be an industry first, it combined funding from the Fuel Poor Network Extension Scheme and Warm Home Discount Industry Initiatives to install free gas connections and central heating systems in more than 100 properties in the North East of England whose residents were on low incomes and at risk of cold-related ill health. Residents also benefited from support and energy advice on how to use their new systems effectively, improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel bills.

Dr Jamie-Leigh Rosenburgh, who led the research on behalf of NEA, said: “It’s widely acknowledged that warm homes can save lives, but sadly there is still not enough being done to really address this. With the grim prospect of a second wave of Covid-19 this winter, it’s vital that we do everything we can to make homes warmer, safer and healthier.

“Thanks to NGN and Warm Home Discount Industry Initiatives funding, we were able to bring warmth and comfort to more than 100 households. We hope that health and social care agencies, Ofgem and others will learn from the research so projects like these can bring huge benefits to many more people.”

The research project tested and measured not only the impacts of the support on the health and wellbeing of vulnerable residents, but also aimed to understand the wider potential for incorporating health-based eligibility criteria into measures-based schemes.

The results demonstrate clear and significant impacts. Before receiving help, more than eight out of 10 participants felt that their health was affected by being unable to keep warm at home, which reduced to fewer than one out of 10 after intervention. They also reported improvements in how easy their new systems were to use, how affordable they found their energy bills and how well they could keep their homes warm.

One participant remarked: “The scheme has just literally changed my life. The improvement in my health has changed my life.” Another said: “It’s been fantastic. It’s the best thing I ever got done, because if I hadn’t gotten it done, I’d be sitting here freezing now. I’d have no money in the bank and I would probably owe my energy supplier a fortune. It’s made my life a whole lot better.”

The study also demonstrates the wider potential of tackling health inequalities by combining funding in this way, and provides insights and recommendations on how future schemes could be shaped.

Mark Horsley said: “This research demonstrates the significant financial and health-related benefits that can be achieved by bringing vulnerable households onto the gas network and helping them to access both first time gas central heating measures and dedicated advice and support. It shows that the Fuel Poor Network Extension Scheme (FPNES) and associated activities are important lifelines to bring affordable warmth to thousands of households each year.

“NGN will continue to support and deliver vital assistance through the FPNES during our next regulatory period and beyond, and will work with the Government, Ofgem and the NEA to ensure that the learning from this vital research helps us and our partners make homes healthy and warm both now and into the future.”

The full report is available at https://www.nea.org.uk/research/connecting-homes-health/

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Gemma’s lockdown haircut is inspired by a very brave niece

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It’s nothing new to cut your own hair during lockdown, but Gemma Ryan has taken it to extremes, inspired by her very special niece.

The Northern Gas Networks training co-ordinator from Wakefield shaved her head, and streamed the event live on social media, to raise money for Children’s Cancer & Leukaemia Group and Candlighters – a Leeds-based charity supporting children with cancer and their families.

Gemma’s 12-year old niece, Millie, is currently battling Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) – a type of cancer that affects around 50 children in the UK each year. Millie has been in and out of hospital since 2017, and began a year-long course of chemotherapy in 2020.

Gemma works for Northern Gas Networks, the region’s gas distributor – and her colleagues have been very generous with their sponsorship contributions, helping to raise more than £2,000.

Gemma said: “The chemo has left Millie with a number of side effects, but she battles through it with more grace and determination than I ever could.

“In the early months it impacted on school and Millie’s energy to do the things she loves. Then a few weeks later the country went into lockdown and Millie started shielding from the outside world, including her extended family.

“In March, Millie was losing her hair and made the decision to cut her waist length hair to her shoulder. In solidarity with Millie I cut most of my hair off too. As Millie started to lose more hair I decided that I wanted to go the extra mile and raise some money by shaving my head completely.

“I was originally hoping to raise around £200, but have reached more than £2000, which is truly amazing.”

Gemma continues to be inspired by Millie, and her love of life.

She said: “Millie loves to bake, is a brilliant majorette and is genuinely one of the kindest people I know. She supports the younger members of her majorette squad in their training, and is great with her little cousins when we all get together. Although I haven’t been able to see Millie in person since March, we keep in touch through text and video calls.”

Donations remain open until July 12 through Gemma’s just giving page:  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=GemmaRyan5&pageUrl=1

 

 

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Hydrogen project wins prestigious international award

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A groundbreaking project to develop the use of hydrogen to heat homes and businesses has won a prestigious global award.

H21 won the 2020 Pipeline Industries Guild Award for best onshore pipeline project.

A collaborative gas network programme led by Northern Gas Networks, H21 has helped to galvanise the UK’s development and understanding of hydrogen as a green fuel of the future.

The project, which began as a desktop study in 2015 to examine the feasibility of converting the gas network of the city of Leeds to hydrogen, has gone on to become a major UK-wide programme, with national and international partners.

The H21 project is now about to enter an exciting phase of real-world hydrogen demonstration, at a bespoke testing facility in Spadeadam, Cumbria. A test site on a disused part of the existing gas network, at South Bank, Redcar, has also been identified – subject to planning approval.

These trials will provide crucial additional evidence to inform Government policy decisions about investment in the UK’s nascent hydrogen economy.

Alongside these trials, new consumer research from Leeds Beckett University carried out as part of H21, has being gauging public reaction to a move to widespread use of hydrogen for heating homes and businesses.

The Pipeline Industries Guild was formed in 1957 and is the only worldwide association to represent the needs of the pipeline industry, regardless of engineering discipline. Members include transporters of gas, water and chemicals. The Guild’s annual awards recognise projects which move the industry forward through use of technology, environmental protection, safety, or cost reduction.

Tim Harwood, H21 Programme Director at Northern Gas Networks said: “We are very proud to win this award, especially at a time when hydrogen is being recognised internationally as means of achieving green-minded economic recovery.

“H21 continues to provide crucial evidence on all aspects of hydrogen conversion, such as the economic and environmental benefits, the technical feasibility of converting existing gas networks to hydrogen, the safety and performance aspects of hydrogen, and public perceptions.

“We’d like to share this award with our many partner organisations who are working on H21 here in the UK and abroad.”

Sean Greenwood, who chaired the judging panel for the Guild’s onshore pipeline award said: “The panel judging the awards this year felt that the H21 project is one of the biggest that will hit the UK gas distribution system. It was a worthy winner of the Pipeline Concept award for an up and coming project that will have a major impact on the pipeline industry in the near future.”

ENDS

 

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Trapped pigeons, toilet traumas and keeping customers safe… all in a night’s work for the North of England’s only female emergency gas engineer

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As the North of England’s only female emergency response gas engineer, Sarah Wilkinson is carrying the flame for female empowerment on International Women in Engineering Day this Tuesday (June 23).

Sarah is an Operational Response Engineer Northern Gas Networks – the North of England’s gas distributor.

If a customer smells gas, or suspects Carbon Monoxide, Sarah is first on the scene. Using hi-tech equipment such as a Gascoseeker, combined with years of experience, Sarah is responsible for detecting and fixing gas leaks, to keep customers safe and sound.

Hailing from Pickering, Sarah covers the Scarborough patch for Northern Gas Networks.

The role remains male-dominated, reflective of the fact that just 11% of all engineering jobs in the UK are occupied by women. However, Sarah has had nothing but encouragement from her male counterparts since she took up the job five years ago.

“All the lads have been very supportive,” said Sarah. “There’s been none of that ‘she’s a girl, so she can’t do it,’ nonsense.

“There are a few blokey conversations back at the depot that I don’t join in with. For example, I’m not the biggest football fan. But by and large, I have a great working relationship with all the lads. We look out for one another.

“When I first started, I was quite nervous, as I think everyone is. You are given your training, but nothing can quite prepare you for that first call-out in the middle of the night, when it is just you, on your own, responsible for keeping the customer safe. You’re going into a potentially explosive or poisonous atmosphere, so it’s a big responsibility.

“I remember a colleague advising me that if I felt out of my depth at any point, to just tell the customer that I was going to get something from the van. That way, I could take a few deep breaths, recompose myself and go back in.

“These days, although I have a lot more experience, I still feel a nervous energy when I arrive at a job. But I think that’s a good thing as it keeps you sharp.”

Sarah, who is 43 and a former RAF aerospace systems operator, has made a career out of smashing female stereotypes – such as a fear of spiders.

“In our job, you are always working in little nooks and crannies, full of all sorts of insects. Luckily, I don’t have a problem with spiders. Unfortunately, one of my male colleagues, who started at the same time as me, is terrified of them. I always found it amusing that a burly bloke had such an aversion.

“Being a woman in this role can sometimes be an advantage. When you are dealing with an elderly, female customer for example, I think it can be easier for me to quickly build a rapport, because the customer feels more at ease.

“In some circumstances, however, I don’t mind admitting that the guys have the upper hand. You can often find yourself working all night in the middle of nowhere. Basic things such as finding somewhere to go to the loo become rather tricky. Easy enough if you are a bloke. Not so easy for me!”

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way Sarah and her colleagues approach jobs. If a customer has suspected COVID-19 symptoms, or is shielding, Sarah is required to wear full PPE, which is then bagged and disposed of following the job.

“I did worry about working during the pandemic at first, but I think most of us have got used to the routine now,” said Sarah. “We have to be available for our customers, 24 hours a day, so it’s a case of working as safely and sensibly as possible. Sometimes it can be difficult, because I might be the only human being some customers have had in their home for weeks. I’m asking them to stay in another room of the house while I work, but meanwhile, they are desperate for a face to face conversation!”

Being able to get along with people, is a crucial aspect of Sarah’s role.

“You’re often meeting people who are worried or distressed, and they are looking to you to keep them safe. You’ve got to quickly reassure the customer, so that you can get the job done,” she said. “You also have to make difficult decisions – such as disconnecting a customer’s gas supply in order to prevent a dangerous situation.

“You’ve also got to be prepared for just about anything. Only last week, I found myself trying to free a live pigeon that had got stuck in a customer’s chimney. Thankfully, it escaped safe and sound.”

Trapped pigeons, creepy crawlies and keeping customers safe and sound – all in a night’s work for Sarah.

 

 

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Northern Gas Networks to carry out gas upgrade in Harrogate

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Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the gas distributor for the North of England, will be carrying out essential gas work on Skipton Road in Harrogate from 12 July 2020.

The 14-week project will see engineers replace just under one kilometre of old metal gas mains with modern plastic pipes.

Work will start on Skipton Road near the junction of King Edward’s Drive and will head down Skipton Road, finishing near the junction of Regent Avenue. There will be temporary traffic lights on Skipton Road, which will move as the work progresses.

In September, there will be a road closure in place on Regent Grove for one week. Once this is lifted there will then be a road closure on Regent Terrace for one week and a final closure will be on Regent Avenue for one week. Residents affected by these closures will receive advance notification along with dates for the closures and a diversion will be put in place to maintain access. There will be further updates about the work which will begin in September on the NGN website nearer the time.

Richard White, Business Operations Lead for Northern Gas Networks, said: “This investment will ensure residents and businesses in Harrogate continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply for decades to come.

“We appreciate that no one likes roadworks, but we will be doing everything possible to complete this work as quickly as possible, while maintaining safe working practices.”

Northern Gas Networks is continuing to prioritise work in line with UK government guidance and has extra safety precautions in place to keep everyone safe and ensure that its workplaces are Covid secure.

As well as critical services, which include responding to gas emergencies, carrying out emergency repairs and critical maintenance activities, engineers are carrying out work to upgrade critical infrastructure, including planned work to modernise ageing metal gas mains, where the majority of the work can be carried out safely in the street.

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

More information about how Northern Gas Networks is working safely during the coronavirus pandemic can be found at the company’s website: www.northerngasnetworks.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 upgrade to gas distribution network on Newtown Road, Carlisle

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From 27 July, the North of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), will be upgrading the gas distribution network on Newtown Road, Carlisle.

The project is part of NGN’s ongoing investment in the gas infrastructure in the area and involves replacing approximately 40m of existing metal gas pipes with more durable plastic ones.

The ageing metal gas main has required several repairs in recent years and NGN has prioritised the pipe for replacement to minimise any inconvenience caused by future repairs and ensure the continued safe and reliable supply of gas for years to come.

The six-week project has been carefully planned in conjunction with Carlisle City Council to minimise the impact caused.

For the first three weeks of the scheme, engineers will be working on Newtown Road with a road closure in place from the McVities roundabout to Newtown Road, with a diversion in place. For the remainder of the project (weeks 4-6) engineers will move onto Wigton Road, where a further diversion will be required.

Northern Gas Networks is continuing to prioritise work in line with UK government guidance and has extra safety precautions in place to keep everyone safe and ensure that its workplaces are Covid secure.

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

Richie Manuel, Business Operational Leader for Northern Gas Networks in Cumbria said: “We have been working closely with Carlisle City Council to plan this essential work.

“We appreciate that nobody likes roadworks, but this work is crucial to ensure a safe and reliable supply of gas for homes and businesses in the future. Everything will be done to complete the work as quickly and safely 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.

More information how Northern Gas Networks is working safely during the coronavirus pandemic is at the company’s website: www.northerngasnetworks.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 upgrade to gas distribution network on West Walls (Lower  viaduct), Carlisle

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From 13 July, the North of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), will be upgrading the gas distribution network on West Walls (Lower viaduct), Carlisle.

The project is part of NGN’s ongoing investment in the gas infrastructure in the area and involves replacing approximately 400m of existing metal gas pipes with more durable plastic ones.

The ageing metal gas main has required several repairs in recent years and NGN has prioritised the pipe for replacement to minimise any inconvenience caused by future repairs and ensure the continued safe and reliable supply of gas for years to come.

The seven-week project has been carefully planned in conjunction with Carlisle City Council to minimise the impact caused.

During the project there will be temporary traffic lights for up 5 weeks and a road closure for 2 weeks from Castle Way down to the lower viaduct. Motorists are advised to follow the diversion route in place.

The majority of the work will be carried out in the street, observing strict Government guidelines for safe distance working wherever possible and following health and safety guidance.

Northern Gas Networks is continuing to prioritise work in line with UK government health guidance and has extra safety precautions in place to keep everyone safe and ensure that its workplaces are Covid secure.

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

Richie Manuel, Business Operational Leader for Northern Gas Networks in Cumbria said: “This investment is vital to ensure a reliable and safe supply of gas to homes and businesses, for decades to come. We have been working closely with Carlisle City Council to plan the project and  everything will be done to complete the work as quickly and safely as possible.

“We’d like to thank motorists and local businesses in advance for their patience while we carry out this work.”

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

For more information on how Northern Gas Networks is working safely during the coronavirus pandemic, visit the company’s website: www.northerngasnetworks.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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Pioneering hydrogen project takes first step in South Bank

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South Bank in Redcar and Cleveland could become the base for the next phase of a pioneering hydrogen energy project aimed at reducing carbon emissions, as the UK looks towards its Net Zero commitments.

An outline proposal by Northern Gas Networks (NGN) to lease an area of disused land, located between Ann Street and Harcourt Road, was approved at a council cabinet meeting on Tuesday (June 16).

Under the proposal, which is still subject to planning approval, the existing gas pipes on the site would be used to test a series of standard gas network procedures using hydrogen.

The site was chosen because the gas pipes, while all still intact, are disconnected from the rest of the network.

Hydrogen contains no carbon element, so when burnt only produces heat and water, making it a realistic future fuel for domestic heating and cooking. Last week, the German government announced €7 billion for hydrogen projects, as part of its green economic recovery programme.

The proposal for South Bank is part of the next phase of the H21 project, a major collaborative UK gas industry hydrogen programme led by NGN.

H21 launched in 2016, to demonstrate that existing UK gas networks can be converted to carry 100% hydrogen for use in homes and businesses.

What began as a desktop project in Leeds, has grown over the past four years to include multiple partner organisations and a variety of interrelated demonstrations and studies – all designed to build the evidence base for hydrogen, and inform UK Government decisions on future investment.

Mark Horsley, Chief Executive for Northern Gas Networks said: “Hydrogen can play a key role in the UK’s future energy mix as we move towards zero carbon emissions.

“The H21 programme is demonstrating that the UK’s existing gas network can carry hydrogen, for use by homes and businesses. Teesside’s vast industrial heritage makes it a natural home for this project and we’re delighted that Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have approved this first stage.

“We now need to work with the South Bank community and its leaders, and the proposals will be subject to full public consultation before they can progress.”

Consultation sessions planned with local residents were originally scheduled for March, but had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mark Horsley added: “It’s essential that this project has the backing of local people. In the coming months, we will be sharing more information with the community about the potential of hydrogen, and plans for the site.”

With Teesside already at the forefront of UK hydrogen production, Councillor Wayne Davies, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council said: “Redcar & Cleveland is at the heart of the drive towards a low carbon economy and the Council has set an ambitious target to be a carbon neutral borough by 2030.

“Northern Gas Networks’ proposal could attract national and international interest in the hydrogen economy and the challenge to decarbonise heat.  This very much aligns with the Council’s own carbon objectives.

“NGN has reached the next stage of the process which will bring more detailed consultation with local residents and councillors before the submission of their planning application.”

 

 

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

 

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Gas mains replacement at Burnley Road, Mytholmroyd

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The North of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), is investing £38K to upgrade the gas distribution network in the Burnley Road area of Mytholmroyd.

The work, which begins on June 29, will take place at Burnley Road’s junction with Brier Hey Lane. The project will take approximately 3 weeks to complete.

For the full duration of the project, two-way lights will be used on Burnley Road to control the flow of traffic. Motorists are advised to leave extra time for travel.

Northern Gas Networks is continuing to prioritise work in line with UK government health guidance and has extra safety precautions in place to keep everyone safe and ensure that its workplaces are Covid secure.

Chris Nevison Business Lead for Pennines, said: “We have worked closely with Calderdale council to plan this work and take into consideration the impact of the current EA works in the local area.

“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. “

As well as critical services, which include responding to gas emergencies, carrying out emergency repairs and critical maintenance activities, engineers from Northern Gas Networks are carrying out work to upgrade critical infrastructure, including planned work to modernise ageing metal gas mains, where the majority of the work can be carried out safely in the street.

Entry to customers’ properties is only being requested if it is absolutely necessary in order to ensure their safety, the continuity of a safe gas supply or at a customer’s request.

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

Further information about how Northern Gas Networks is working safely during the coronavirus pandemic can be found at www.northerngasnetworks.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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