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Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the North of England’s gas distributor, is calling on budding young artists, poets and designers to use their talents and target the silent killer, carbon monoxide.

NGN are looking for creative kids to design a poster, poem or film to raise awareness of the poisonous gas carbon monoxide (CO), often known as the ‘silent killer’ as it cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted, making it difficult to detect.

The annual competition is open to children aged 5 to 11-years-old and there are some great prizes up for grabs for the winning pupil and their school or organisation (such as Cubs or Brownies).

First launched in 2007 the competition was previously run by charity CO-Gas Safety in partnership with the gas distribution network (GDN) companies but this year the GDNs, including NGN, have taken over the running of the competition.

Regional winners will go through to the final that will be judged at a presentation at the Palace of Westminster. Entrants stand a chance of winning the following prizes:

  • Regional winner: £150 each and £300 for their school/organisation
  • National winner: £300 for themselves and £600 for their school/organisation

Entries can be emailed to: tbell@northerngas.co.uk (closing date Friday 11 May)

Tom Bell, Head of Social Strategy at Northern Gas Networks, said: “We take the safety of customers very seriously, so it’s a pleasure to be involved in spreading such a vitally important message about the danger of CO.

“This toxic gas can be deadly, so engaging children through art is a great way to raise awareness and hopefully educate their families too. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to have some fun, exercise their creative talents and have a chance of winning some great prizes while relaying an important safety message.”

For more information about the competition, or to see the terms and conditions, please visit: www.energynetworks.org/gas/she/co-safety-competition.html

CO is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels and can be emitted by faulty boilers or gas appliances. Symptoms of CO poisoning include dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath, with around 50 UK deaths recorded every year.

For further information about the dangers of carbon monoxide, visit: www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk/carbon-monoxide.

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.