Home explosions have been on the rise, causing significant damage and taking lives across the United States. This alarming trend has prompted experts and lawmakers to take action. In Illinois, State Senator Craig Wilcox introduced a bill in 2021 that aims to address the issue by requiring buildings to install natural gas detectors in rooms where potential leaks could occur.
The proposed legislation targets rooms that house appliances using propane, natural gas, and petroleum gas, as they are particularly susceptible to developing leaks. Wilcox compares the need for natural gas detectors to the annual reminder to replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, emphasizing the importance of proactive measures to prevent catastrophic incidents.
According to gas safety expert Julie Harris from DeNova Detect, a leading provider of gas safety products, investing in life-saving devices is crucial in combating natural gas explosions. Harris recommends placing detectors at ceiling level as natural gas tends to rise. She stresses the importance of raising awareness of natural gas safety and educating oneself, while also advocating for the proactive step of installing a natural gas alarm.
Recent house explosions in Woodstock and Rockford serve as a somber reminder of the urgency of addressing this issue. Senator Wilcox highlights the need for individuals and communities to have plans and resources in place to respond immediately in case of a catastrophe.
To identify a potential natural gas leak, it is essential to be aware of the smell of rotten eggs, which is an indicator of gas presence. The American Gas Association advises leaving the building immediately upon detecting this odor. It is crucial to avoid turning on or off lights and appliances, starting a car or using a flashlight, and lighting any matches. Once a safe distance away, it is crucial to call 9-1-1 or the local natural gas utility immediately.
Preventing home explosions is a public safety issue that demands attention. By implementing measures such as the installation of natural gas detectors, individuals and communities can take proactive steps to mitigate the risk of these devastating incidents.