Cadent is calling on schools in Northampton, Wellingborough and Kettering to help spread the carbon monoxide (CO) safety message after figures revealed the areas are a hot spot for dangerous gas appliances.
Faulty or badly maintained gas appliances can leak carbon monoxide, a colourless, odourless gas that kills 40 people a year and sees a further 4,000 visiting accident and emergency departments with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
During 2017-18, 674 gas cookers, boilers, fires and other gas appliances in Northampton were condemned as being at risk or immediately dangerous.
A total of 316 were similarly condemned in Wellingborough and Rushden, with a further 235 in Kettering.
The figures come from properties attended by Cadent engineers where they have had to condemn or isolate an appliance or installation as being at risk or immediately dangerous following attendance at a reported gas emergency.
Now, with the help of a bear named Safety Seymour, Cadent is aiming to tackle the scourge of CO.
It is urging schools to sign up to a free day of carbon monoxide safety educational activities, run in the classroom, aimed at Year 2 pupils and aligned to the National Curriculum.
The call to action comes during Gas Safety Week 2018 (September 17 to 23), the annual gas industry initiative to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly-maintained gas appliances, including the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Cadent stakeholder and customer specialist Amanda O’Shea said: “Research shows that families with children are among those most at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Safety Seymour teaches youngsters how to stay safe and they take that knowledge home to their mums, dads, wider families and carers.
“It’s all about safeguarding future generations by embedding CO safety knowledge at an early age.
“Carbon monoxide poisoning is easily preventable yet thousands of people every year suffer from CO symptoms or even die.”
Any school that would like to sign up for the Safety Seymour sessions can contact Amanda O’Shea by emailing Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children in the first 150 classes to sign up for a session will receive a free CO alarm.