Consolidated Edison Plans to Install Methane Detectors, Alarms in Homes

The energy company announced it will deploy the devices in dozens of homes to test the effectiveness of alerting households to natural gas leaks.

NEW YORK CITY – Consolidated Edison, one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the United States, plans to place methane detectors and alarms in dozens of homes in 2016 to test the detectors’ effectiveness in alerting residents to natural gas leaks.

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Marc Huestis, the utility’s senior vice president, Gas Operations, told members of the New York State Assembly Monday (Dec. 7) that methane detection technology has advanced to the point where it is ready for field testing.

“We believe natural gas detectors could help avoid tragedies and save lives by prompting action in response to an alarm versus someone relying on their nose and perhaps wondering if it’s gas they smell,” Huestis said. “But we emphasize that with or without an alarm, anyone who suspects they smell gas should act immediately.”

As SSI‘s technology writer and “Tech Talk” columnist Bob Dolph discussed in the May issue, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), also known as bottled gas, are common in many American homes. If this gas leaks or its ignition source fails and goes undetected, then the simple act of turning on a light switch can ignite it and cause an explosion. This type of gas leak can also happen in mobile homes and static caravan holiday parks.

Most states and municipalities have building codes; however, it is again important for all to understand detector applications and threat levels. Organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) provide exposure guidelines.

To read Dolph’s “Stopping the Silent Killers” feature article in its entirety, go here

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