Targeted campaigns keeping youngsters safe

Posted on: 16/06/2021

Superhero Safety Seymour has been helping us keep children gas-safe since 2013.

We’ve been working with other gas networks to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide through the animated Safety Seymour campaign. Safety sessions originally delivered by our colleague Gas Safety Ambassadors in schools moved online during the pandemic, with the launch of the Safety Seymour website. We targeted parents with young children, offering an alternative to home-schooling, with safety-focused videos, activities, and stories – all with an element of fun.

Safety Seymour delivers part of our CO Strategy, focusing activities on those most at risk from the effects of CO. Supported by research conducted with the other gas networks, we identified that young people between 16-25- often leaving home for the first time, were more likely than others to not have an audible CO alarm and to not realise the importance of having their gas appliances serviced regularly.

So we conducted research to identify what resonates most with the 16-25 age group and launched an innovative safety campaign. We used a short film highlighting two computer gamers, one of whom succumbs to the effects of CO poisoning. The campaign featured a simple message - Stay safe from CO or it could be ‘Game Over’ – and a simple call to action, urging young people to learn how to stay safe, including identifying the symptoms of CO, getting an audible CO alarm, getting their gas appliances serviced annually, and knowing what to do in an emergency.

Young people aged 16-25 are often leaving their family home for the first time: going to university, setting up their own home or starting a family. Research shows they are less likely than other age groups to have an audible CO alarm, and few realise the importance of having their gas appliances regularly serviced.

We do everything we can to raise awareness of the deathly dangers of carbon monoxide – called the Silent Killer because you can’t see it or smell it. This campaign seeks to explain the risks and sets out the simple steps that young people – and everyone, can follow to stay safe.

We urge everyone to stay gas safe by getting an audible carbon monoxide alarm and be sure to get all gas appliances serviced annually including gas boilers, cookers and water heaters…. or it could be Game Over.

Clive Book, Head of Emergency Services at Wales & West Utilities

We launched it onYouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok – social channels we knew our target age group use. You can listen to our External Relations Manager Reece Emmitt talk about why we launched the campaign, and how it was targeted.

The campaign ran for a month, and almost 650,000 people aged 16-25 saw or heard the important key safety messages, while 13,000 clicked through to our dedicated campaign web page, to learn how to protect themselves and their loved ones from the dangers of carbon monoxide.

We’re now working with other gas networks in the UK to explore a nationwide rollout of this successful campaign.