A natural gas explosion in Mooresville killed one person and injured another earlier this year.
DeNova Detect, a manufacturer of natural gas alarms, donated 100 natural gas alarms to the Iredell County Fire Marshal’s office.
"We are focused on those that cannot afford to purchase them. Anytime there is a high-profile incident, we see this type of activity and I think this just highlights the need for additional safety and awareness." Iredell County Emergency Management Coordinator Kent Greene said. "Unlike CO or CO2, gas has an added odorant so some will say that gas alarms aren't necessary but, with the number of incidents over the past few years, it's obvious that there is a need. Although natural gas has been used safely for years, almost all new homes have at least one appliance operating on natural gas or propane (water heater, furnace, gas logs, dryers, ovens, etc.).
"I would encourage anyone that lives in a home with natural gas or propane to ensure their systems are functioning properly, have them inspected if there is a concern, and have them serviced regularly."
In 2022, Maine became the first state in the country to require natural gas alarms. Now, seven other states have legislation pending to require alarms including North Carolina. State senator Natalie Murdock of Chatham and Durham counties introduced the bill in March, before the explosion in Mooresville.
“This past summer the state of North Carolina was shocked and saddened when a natural gas explosion occurred without warning and destroyed NFL star Caleb Farley’s North Carolina home, killing his father and injuring a family friend,” Murdock said. “We need to do everything we can to reduce the risk of similar tragedies occurring again. That is why we must require natural gas alarms, just as we require carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.”
Murdock said she saw the data on the issue which motivated her earlier in the year, but the incident in Mooresville moved her to enact legislation and plans to work with her fellow Democrats and Republican colleagues to get it passed. She said she has looked to Maine and other states as a guide and hopes to see legislation passed in the coming year.
"We'll continue to push forward here in North Carolina so that we can hopefully save some lives," Murdock said.