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Scouts in Lepton have been learning about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning while camping thanks to support from the North of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN).

Children aged 11 to 14 years old at the Lepton Scout Group are planning camping trips as they work towards achieving their expedition challenge badge. To help keep them safe, NGN held a special workshop to raise awareness of the dangers of using propane bottled gas, BBQs and camp stoves inside tents as they can emit CO gas.

Often referred to as the silent killer, carbon monoxide has no smell, colour or taste, making it difficult to detect. Through games and quizzes, the scouts were educated on the warning signs of CO poisoning and were all given a CO detector to take home.

NGN has been working in Lepton since January investing around £70,000 to upgrade around 1.3km of ageing metal gas mains with new durable plastic pipes. The local engineering firm, PMCE that has been carrying out the work on behalf of NGN also donated a Vango Omega 250 tent to the scout group.

Natalie Beal, customer care officer at NGN who lead the workshop, said: “We have been working in Lepton for around six weeks near to where the scout group are based and we wanted to give something back to the community.

“Many people aren’t aware of the dangers of bringing appliances such as BBQs and stoves in to their tents but they are often used as a way of keeping warm. With the scouts preparing for their expedition badge it was a great opportunity for us to spread the word.

“The scouts raise all of their own funds for their educational trips, such as camping so we would also like to thank our colleagues at PMCE for their kind donation too.”

During the workshop, Natalie was joined by Matthew Cordingley, site manager at NGN’s mains replacement site in Lepton. Using a device called a ‘gascoseeker’, Matthew taught the scouts how to test their gas cooker for CO leakage.

“With the summer months approaching and people beginning to plan camping trips of their own, we’d advise people to have their equipment tested for CO leaks and remember to never bring them inside of their tents,” added Natalie.

For more information on the symptoms of CO poisoning or details on what to do if you suspect a gas leak in your home or business, see:


NGN delivers gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses across the North of England and provides the region’s rapid response service for customers who smell gas at home or work.

For more information go to www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk