ILLINOIS (WIFR) - The increasing number of home explosions across the U.S. is urging experts, and local legislators, to take preventative action.
Hundreds are impacted by house explosions each year, leaving dozens without a place to go and claiming the lives of many. In 2021, State Senator Craig Wilcox introduced a bill to bring the natural gas conversation into the spotlight. The proposed legislation requires buildings to place a natural gas detector in each room where a potential leak could occur. Rooms that hold appliances that use propane, natural gas and petroleum gas are especially susceptible to developing a leak.
“We do yearly reminders to replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors,” Wilcox says. “Going through your house and assessing where you have risks that would be kind of that catastrophic structure.”
DeNova Detect has been a world leader in gas safety products since 1964. Gas safety expert Julie Harris says the best way to combat natural gas explosions is to rely on and invest in life-saving devices. She also recommends placing detectors at ceiling level where natural gas rises first.
“We need to make sure that people are aware of natural gas safety and educate themselves,” Harris says. “But preventing it in the first place with a natural gas alarm and taking it as a proactive step.”
Woodstock is the latest community shocked by a devastating house explosion. Just last week, Rockford shared the same experience on 15th Avenue. With many more across the country, Harris says this has become a public and safety issue we can no longer ignore.
“The challenge is when catastrophe isn’t at the forefront, what are you doing in the off time to make sure you have a plan and resources in place immediately,” Wilcox says.
An indicator for a natural gas leak may be smelling rotten eggs. The American Gas Association recommends leaving the building immediately upon finding that smell. Do not turn on or off any lights or appliances, do not start a car or use a flashlight and do not light any matches. Once a safe distance away from the source of the smell, call 9-1-1 or your local natural gas utility right away.
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Source: WIFR News