According to a new study, one in three pet owners have been alerted to danger by their four-legged companions.
Researchers who polled 2,000 pet owners found that their animals have warmed them of hazards including fires and carbon monoxide leaks.
One in 10 pet owners claimed that their much-loved cat or dog has directly saved their life or the life of someone they know.
The study was commissioned by npower to raise awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the symptoms to look out for. CO poisoning often affects pets first sparking vomiting, tiredness and erratic behaviour, giving their owners an early warning sign.
However, 40% of those polled admitted they wouldn’t be able to recognise the symptoms of CO poisoning.
Matthew Cole, spokesman for npower, said: “You can’t see, smell or taste a carbon monoxide leak, so it’s important to be aware of potentially fatal danger in the home. Common household appliances like boilers, gas fires, log burners and cookers can all cause accidental exposure. So, it’s important that people understand the symptoms of CO poisoning and if you notice any symptoms in combinations go outside immediately and seek help.”
Pet owners polled also revealed some of the ways that their animals have saved them – of their loved ones – from potentially fatal injuries. One parent called for an ambulance after their pet barked repeatedly to let them know that their one-year old baby was having a convulsion.
Another owner revealed their dog woke them during the night while they were having a potentially lethal hypoglycaemic attack. A grateful respondent said their dog became agitated following a CO leak – alerting their owner to the leak, saving the life of the owner and their family.
The research, which was carried out by OnePoll.com also found that one in 10 people are not aware that a leak can be fatal. Further to this, a third of people don’t own a CO detector in their home.
A fifth of those without one simply don’t think they need one, 27% said they haven’t gotten around to purchasing one and one in 10 think they are too expensive.
Matthew Cole added: “Log burners are really popular at the moment and they’re especially dangerous – one of the most dangerous things you can have in your house. But the easiest way to keep your family safe is to install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, which will alert you if it detects the presence of gas. You should also make sure your keep your household appliances regularly services and maintained.”