Maine law requires propane gas detectors

January 31, 2022 By    

A new law in Maine that requires the installation of gas detectors for propane, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas is now in effect.

The requirement applies to owners of: multifamily occupancy buildings; fraternity houses, sorority houses and dormitories that are affiliated with educational facilities; children’s homes, emergency children’s shelters, children’s residential care facilities, shelters for homeless children and specialized children’s homes; and hotels, motels and inns. The law also applies to residential rentals at the time they are occupied after Jan. 1, 2022, when a new tenant moves into the rental.

The law is modeled on the laws applicable to those same buildings or facilities with regard to smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

The law went into effect Jan. 1, 2022. The law applies to businesses, mercantile and assembly occupancy beginning on Jan. 1, 2026.

The law was introduced due to a 2019 explosion in Farmington, Maine, that destroyed a nonprofit building, killing one and injuring seven others inside. A bollard being improperly installed near the building severed a gas line, causing a propane leak that resulted in the explosion.

The Propane Gas Association of New England (PGANE) monitored the hearings to ensure propane companies were not legally responsible for the installation or notification, but rather that the legal responsibility for this new law fell to the owner of the building, says Leslie Anderson, president and CEO of PGANE.

A PGANE newsletter informed members they do not have a legal responsibility to notify affected customers and that there is no legal responsibility under the Maine Fuel Board or in the National Fire Protection Association codes for Maine’s new requirement.

However, PGANE advises member companies that want to provide additional notification or installation services to notify consistently and follow manufacturer guidelines for the propane sensors and installation instructions.

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