Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2022

APPCOG and Policy Connect

Reaching 10 million people nationwide with CO safety information

Our project at a glance

  • Participating GDNs: Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales & West Utilities
  • Strategic priority area: Reducing carbon monoxide harm
  • Reach target: 10 million people across all campaign channels
  • Duration: November 2022
  • SGN investment: £5,414.21
  • Forecast SROI: £24.86

The response to the campaign has been absolutely phenomenal this year. The APPCOG has seen action from the youngest in society, with primary school children learning about CO in the classroom, to care home residents, all being given training in carbon monoxide and understanding alarms, providing the perfect opportunity to embed lifesaving knowledge, follow safe practices, and implement measures to prevent harm all year round.

Laura Fatah

Policy & Research Manager, Policy Connect

Why we’re working together

The cost-of-living crisis and increase in fuel bills mean many more people are struggling to pay their bills. Desperate to cut costs, low-income households are having to make tough choices when it comes to keeping warm at home. With Gas Safe Register research finding that one in five homes have at least one faulty gas appliance, we wanted to raise awareness that when it comes to gas safety, cutting corners costs lives.

In summer 2022, Policy Connect ran a highly-successful and low-cost digital media campaign called ‘CO Alarms Save Lives’ on behalf of all the gas networks, which was endorsed by the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG).

We far exceeded our target campaign reach of 10 million, with a total campaign reach of 89 million.

We know that not all customers who see or hear one of our campaign assets or adverts will be receptive to the information, so as gas networks we have agreed a 3% engagement rate be applied to the total campaign reach for all our CO awareness campaign activity. We continue to work with marketing and social value experts to review this engagement rate with a view to update pending further analysis across media and marketing channels.

For this campaign, we estimate our ‘engaged’ reach to be 2,679,691 people. Following this success, we’re now running a national marketing campaign twice a year with all four gas networks to collaboratively raise awareness of carbon monoxide, the national gas emergency service number and the PSR. 

Project objectives

  • Delivering a multi-media CO awareness campaign during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2022
  • Educating the public on the dangers, signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Increasing awareness of carbon monoxide safety among landlords, social housing tenants and other vulnerable groups
Media library image

How we worked together

Multi-channel awareness campaign

We built on our enduring Carbon Monoxide: Alarms Save Lives campaign, producing a new website landing page and supporting media assets with the key message that cutting corners costs lives. Our multi-channel campaign encompassed website updates and news stories, paid and organic social media posts, radio interviews and media coverage. While our messaging was crafted to educate the general public, we specifically tailored elements of our activity to engage and reach select key audiences, including landlords, people living in social housing and other vulnerable groups.

Reducing CO harm during the cost-of-living crisis

Against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis, our campaign specifically focused on highlighting the safety risks of cutting corners to save money, for example, by blocking up ventilation passages or using outdoor cooking equipment to heat the home.

The substantial reach of the 2022 campaign has once again proved the power of collaboration in raising awareness from the dangers of carbon monoxide. As Chair of the APPCOG Communications group I’m grateful as ever for the support of the UK Gas Distribution Networks’.

Rob Lyon

APPCOG Communications Group Chair