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UK pet owners spend nearly 2,000 pounds a year on their pets yet almost a third don't have a life-saving CO alarm

New research, from the CO Be Alarmed! campaign, has revealed that despite being a nation of animal lovers, almost a third of us could be putting our pets at risk from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

As we mark National Pet Month, new analysis shows that UK pet owners spend on average almost £2,000 a year to keep their pets happy and healthy, yet almost a third (29%) either don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm or don’t know if they have one, which can cost as little as £15.

Abbie Sampson, CO Be Alarmed! spokesperson, said:

“Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see it, smell it or taste it – and not just to us at risk, but to our pets too.

“If CO is present in the home, everyone is at risk, and pets and children can be the first to show signs of CO poisoning. As pets are often left in confined spaces for extended periods of time, they can be particularly vulnerable.”

The new survey found that pets are left at home alone on average three hours every day.

While nearly all pet owners (98%) believe that their pets are safe at home, nearly a third (28%) worry about the wellbeing of their pet at least once a day and over a third (36%) of UK pet owners have left a social outing early because they wanted to get home to their pet.  Despite this, nearly a third (29%) either don’t have, or know if they have, an inexpensive life-saving CO alarm.  And, of those who have an alarm, one in ten (8%) do not regularly test it.

Carbon monoxide can be omitted by everyday household objects, like poorly maintained or faulty boilers or gas cookers, so a CO alarm is essential to make sure everyone is protected in the home.

Around 30 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning and another 4,000 are treated in hospital, but the true number is likely to be higher with early symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, nausea and breathlessness, easily mistaken for flu or tiredness.

Abbie said: “Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal but there are some simple, inexpensive steps that can protect everyone in your home. Follow our simple ABC checklist – Do you have an Alarm fitted? Have you tested it and are the Batteries working? Have you had an up to date gas Check? – will help keep you and your pets safe from CO poisoning.”

To raise awareness of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning to pets in the home, the CO Be Alarmed! campaign is asking pet owners to post pictures of their pets with their #PawsUp to show they’re safe from CO.

For more information visit the CO Be Alarmed! instagram or Facebook pages.

Notes to editors:

  • CO Be Alarmed! is the national campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by carbon monoxide. Since 2008, the campaign has encouraged people to install carbon monoxide alarms in their homes. The Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign is run by Energy UK.
  • The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,000 cat or dog owners between 22.03.2019 – 26.03.2019. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles
  • Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, charcoal, coal and wood do not burn completely. The most common cause of this is when an appliance, such as a boiler or cooker, is installed incorrectly or poorly maintained. Carbon monoxide can also build up when flues, chimneys or vents are blocked
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