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Gas company aim to save lives

Clive Book: With the information film characters, Frank and Annie
Clive Book: With the information film characters, Frank and Annie

URGING people across west Wales to watch and act upon them in a bid to save lives, two information films have been launched by Wales & West Utilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service which serves Wales and the south west of England, has produced the films which emphasise the importance of having a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm fitted in the home and let homeowners know what to do if they smell gas.

Unlike standard public awareness films, the two twenty second cartoon films feature couple Frank and Annie and take a light-hearted approach but give viewers a simple call to action designed to save lives.

Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas which can be emitted by faulty appliances powered by any fuel that burns, including gas, coal, oil, petrol and wood.

Around 50 people die in the UK every year from CO poisoning and Wales & West Utilities makes over 1,000 visits to properties where evidence of carbon monoxide is present. The symptoms from inhaling it include headache, dizziness, vomiting and shortness of breath. Sometimes people have ‘flu-like’ symptoms, but without the high temperature.

In the smell gas information film, viewers are reminded of the national ‘phone number (0800 111 999) to call if they have any suspicion of a gas leak.

Clive Book, Head of Emergency & Metering Services at Wales & West Utilities, commented: “We hope these short films will help drive the messages about the steps to take in a gas emergency and the importance of carbon monoxide alarms – taking on board the information contained within the forty seconds of the films could save lives.

“It’s important for people to realise that carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that doesn’t smell, has no taste and can’t be seen – but it kills 50 people in the UK every year and leaves a further 200 seriously ill.

“We’re urging people to fit an alarm in their homes but to also store the emergency smell gas number – 0800 111 999.” The films are available on the company’s website www.wwutilities.co.uk, at Facebook.com/WWUtilities, Twitter.com/WWUtilities and youtube.com/user/WWUtilities

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across Wales and the south west of England. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night.

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The company also has a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe replacement programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.