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For Immediate Release


Justin Mulcahy

Four Days Left to Vote in BGE’s Natural Gas Safety Contest

BALTIMORE (April 13, 2016) – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) wants to remind the public that the two-week, online voting period for your favorite comic book cover in this year’s "Adventures of Captain MercaptanSM, BGE Natural Gas Safety Hero Challenge" ends on April 17. Visit to vote up to three times a day for your favorite entry. The contest awards $10,000 to the top school for a school enrichment project. The winning schools will be announced in early May.

The goal of the contest was to have elementary school-aged children in BGE’s natural gas service territory illustrate a gas safety message featuring Captain Mercaptan, BGE’s fictional natural gas safety superhero. Public and private elementary schools in BGE’s service area were encouraged to use the teacher’s guide at to review gas safety concepts with kindergarten through fifth students to create their comic book cover entries.

In the comic book Captain Mercaptan teaches kids how to recognize a natural gas leak and what steps to take when you smell gas. Captain Mercaptan’s name is derived from “mercaptan,” a safety additive that BGE and other utilities put in natural gas to give it a distinctive rotten egg odor that makes gas easier to detect. The super hero and his safety sidekicks were designed by elementary school students through a BGE contest.

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

  • BGE Captain’s Award - $10,000 
  • BGE Hero Award - $5,000 for winners in kindergarten through fifth grade (one winner per grade)
  • BGE Spotlight Award (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 puts in natural gas to give it a rotten egg smell.
  • 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, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest natural gas and electric utility, delivering 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. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2014 revenues of approximately $27.4 billion. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

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