A creative pupil from Cardiff has been crowned the winner of a national competition, after designing a striking poster warning of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Naomi Rahman, who is 11 years old created her poster to demonstrate the silent and deadly effects of carbon monoxide – an odourless, colourless gas which kills around 36 people each year and injures more than 250 people.
The national schools’ poster competition is run by independent registered charity, CO-Gas Safety, which works hard to prevent deaths and injury caused by CO poisoning and other gas dangers, while supporting victims and their families.
Naomi’s design beat off stiff competition to be named overall winner for Wales. She was presented with a prize of £300, and £500 for her school, at a special ceremony held at the House of Lords in London, where the charity revealed 19 years of its own data on the devastating effect of deadly carbon monoxide.
It revealed that there have been a total of 677 deaths and 4,766 near misses caused by unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning (CO).
Naomi who won with a design she created last summer while at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Primary School said: “I talked to my mum about ideas and we had a look on the internet and that inspired my design.’’
Teacher Paul Catris at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Primary School said, “We are very proud of Naomi and the way she researched the dangers to make her poster more effective. She tried really hard; combining her artistic talent into presenting the message in the most effective way possible.”
Stephanie Trotter, OBE, President of CO-Gas Safety said that choosing the winners had been a very hard decision as the standard of entries was so high. “Naomi’s design really stood out for its creativity,” she said.
“What we frequently hear from people who have been affected by CO poisoning is that they didn’t even know what CO was. Being a deadly gas which cannot be sensed by smell, taste, touch or hearing, and less than 2% can kill in just one to three minutes, it is vital that people are aware of the dangers and know the steps to take to reduce their risk of being poisoned.”
Advice for families on reducing the risk:
Have all appliances powered by carbon fuel that burns installed and regularly maintained according to manufacturer’s instructions by qualified people. With gas, this means Gas Safe Registered and make sure the person, who turns up to do the job is qualified for that appliance by consulting the Gas Safe Register http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk
Have chimneys and flues regularly swept and checked.
Ensure adequate ventilation and that vents are clear.
As an extra safeguard, buy a CO alarm that works to standard EN 50291.
Never take a barbecue or stove into a tent, canopy or any interior space such as a boat, caravan, conservatory, home or motor home, even if you think it has burned out or even cold to the touch because it could still be emitting dangerous fumes.
For more information about the schools’ poster competition of CO-Gas Safety visit www.co-gassafety.co.uk