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Understanding Maine’s New Law Requiring Propane Detectors

How Do the Rules Affect Me?

propane detectors maineFollowing a deadly explosion a few years ago in Farmington, the Maine legislature passed a law in June 2021 that requires gas detectors in commercial businesses and some residential properties. The new law took effect on January 1.

Gas detectors are designed to alert you to possible propane or natural gas leaks, which can result in explosions. While they function in similar ways to protect you, they are different from smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

What to know about the propane detector law:

  1. Gas detectors with alarms need to be installed in multifamily houses, rental properties, sorority and fraternity houses, dorms, shelters and group homes, stores, houses of worship and other assembly spaces, hotels, motels, inns, and businesses.
  2. At least ONE (1) gas detector needs to be installed in any room or space where appliances using propane, natural gas or liquified petroleum gas is used. This applies to kitchens, laundry rooms, and anyplace with heating equipment. That can also include space heaters, propane fireplaces or stoves, water heaters, and furnaces.
  3. The gas detectors must feature an alarm, and can be battery operated, or plug in to an outlet or be hardwired.
  4. For now, the law does not apply to owner-occupied single-family homes, but you may need to install the detectors if you sell your property or rent it out. But it’s not a bad idea to install a gas detector anyway. And the units are not too expensive—about $50 each.

While propane and natural gas have an additive that smells like rotten eggs to help you detect leaking gas, if the problem is in your basement, you may not smell it right away. In winter, wind, snow, and ice can damage lines and block vents, and small propane leaks can be created or made worse by storms. If you use propane in your home, you and your family should brush up on propane safety and know what to do if you suspect a leak.

For 35 years, families and businesses across Southern Maine have trusted Pitstop Propane and Fuels to make sure your propane deliveries, propane tank and equipment installations and service are all done safely and properly. If you’d like more information about propane deliveries, including convenient automatic deliveries, contact us today.