CO poisoning often affects pets first and if their owners spot the symptoms – which include vomiting, tiredness and erratic behaviour – their furry friend could alert them in time. One in 10 even claimed their much-loved cat or dog has directly saved their life or the life of someone they know. Further to this, four in 10 admit they wouldn’t be able to recognise the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carried out through OnePoll.com, the research also found one in 10 aren’t aware a leak can be fatal. A third of those polled don’t own a CO detector in their home. A fifth of those without one simply don’t think they need one, 27 per cent said they haven’t gotten round to purchasing one and one in 10 think they are too expensive.

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 this 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 combination go outside immediately and seek help.”

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

  • Headaches

  • Breathlessness

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Collapse

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Tiredness

  • Drowsiness

  • Vomiting

  • Pains in the chest

  • Stomach pains

  • Erratic behaviour

  • Visual problems

Examples of Animals Saving Their Owners

Those polled also revealed some of the ways their animals have saved them or their loved ones from potentially fatal injury.

One parent called for an ambulance after their pet barked repeatedly to let them know 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.

Matthew Cole, spokesman for npower said: “Log burners are really popular at the moment and they’re especially dangerous – one of the most dangerous things you 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 to keep your household appliances regularly serviced and maintained.”

For further information about carbon monoxide safety click here.