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For Immediate Release


Justin Mulcahy

Final Week to Submit Entries for BGE's Natural Gas Safety Contest

BALTIMORE (March 16, 2017) – Calling all entries! Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is reminding public and private elementary schools in BGE's natural gas service area that the fourth annual "Adventures of Captain MercaptanSM, BGE Natural Gas Safety Hero Challenge" entry phase concludes on March 19.  The purpose of the contest is to have elementary school-aged children in BGE's natural gas service area illustrate gas safety messages featuring Captain Mercaptan, BGE's fictional natural gas safety superhero.  The contest awards $10,000 to the top school for a school enrichment project.

Public and private elementary schools in BGE's service area are urged to download the online entry kit and read the comic book featuring Captain Mercaptan.  In the comic book, Captain Mercaptan teaches kids how to recognize a natural gas leak and what steps to take if they smell gas.  Captain Mercaptan's name is derived from "mercaptan," a safety additive that BGE and other utilities add to natural gas to give it a distinctive rotten egg odor that makes gas easier to detect.  The superhero and his safety sidekicks were designed by elementary school students.

Schools are also encouraged to use the entry kit available for download at  to review gas safety concepts with kindergarten through fifth grade students, and begin creating their contest entries.  Beginning March 27, entries will compete for votes during a two-week, online public voting period.  The winning schools will be announced in May.  Last year's winning entry was from Fallstaff Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore. To date, BGE has awarded over $100,000 to area schools during the first three years of the contest.

 Eligible schools will have an opportunity to win the following awards:​

  • BGE Captain's Choice Award - $5,000 overall top winner among the Hero Award winners, meaning this school receives a total of $10,000
  • BGE Hero Award - $5,000 for winners in kindergarten through fifth grade (one winner per grade)
  • Rock the Vote (for the drawing with the most online votes) – BGE backpacks full of school supplies and safety gear

Captain Mercaptan teaches children that they can be a hero too if they follow these simple safety tips:

  • Use your nose. Mercaptan is a safety scent that BGE adds to natural gas to give it a rotten egg odor.
  • Use your ears. Listen for the hissing sound of escaping gas.
  • Use your eyes. Look for dirt being blown into the air, dead plants or grass in otherwise green areas, fire coming from the ground or water bubbling and being blown into the air.
  • If you detect natural gas, leave immediately.
  • Don't attempt to detect the source of the leak.
  • Don't use matches or turn anything on (including a cell phone).
  • Find a safe place outside and call BGE or have an adult call 1.800.685.0123.

BGE traces its roots back to 1816 and the first gas utility in North America. Today the company provides safe, reliable natural gas service to more than 650,000 gas customers in central Maryland. Customers are reminded to immediately contact BGE at 1.800.685.0123 from a safe location if they have any questions or concerns about natural gas. For more information on the Captain Mercaptan contest, including future adventures, visit Gas safety tips are available at


BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. Headquartered in Baltimore, BGE delivers power to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company's approximately 3,200 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $5 billion of output in its service area, supporting more than 9,500 local jobs and producing $923 million in labor income. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube  and Flickr.




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