Natural Gas Alarm Maker Hopes to Prevent More Tragedies Like Deadly Plum House Explosion
PLUM, Pa. (KDKA) -- Families who live near the site of the deadly house explosion in Plum continue to board up shattered windows and some tell KDKA-TV they're discovering new cracks in places like their porches.
KDKA Investigates learned these explosions are more common than we'd like to think. We've seen at least 22 reported home explosions in Pennsylvania over just the past three years, according to data compiled by DeNova Detect.
DeNova Detect plans to reach out to the Plum Fire Department about getting natural gas alarms into the hands of homeowners in the impacted community, plus it wants people to know it's offering a 30% discount online by using the code "PA."
Peoples Gas tells KDKA-TV it has no indication any other leaks or digging projects are a direct result of this past weekend's explosion, saying the crews are still out doing "routine work" and line inspections.
The Allegheny County fire marshal previously confirmed it's looking into a faulty water heater as the potential cause of the explosion.
KDKA-TV's Meghan Schiller talked with the DeNova Detect, the company that claims to have made the first natural gas alarm, hoping to prevent these tragedies.
"We see this far too often," said Julie Harris, safety communications and education director with New Cosmos USA. "There is a lack of education and just general awareness about the fact that not only do we have a solution, but people can go out and buy a natural gas alarm today online to protect themselves."
Harris believes Pennsylvanians need them now more than ever, saying natural gas detectors complete the "trifecta" for home safety.
"Right now, there is no national requirements to install natural gas alarms like smoke and CO. However, Maine is the first state to proactively pass legislation requiring gas alarms be installed in every room where a gas appliance exists," Harris said.
Maine passed that requirement into law Jan. 1 of last year.
KDKA Investigates learned the rate of natural gas explosions is only going up in our state.
New data compiled by DeNova Detect shows Pennsylvania has seen four gas explosions in 2021, 13 gas explosions in 2022 and five gas explosions so far in 2023. The data shows the explosions injured 36 people and killed 18 over the past three years as well.
DeNova Detect also just partnered with Con Edison in New York after several deadly natural gas explosions happened there.
"The first in US history, a massive deployment of these natural gas alarms," said Harris.
Source: CBS News Pittsburgh