New Maine Law Requires Gas Detectors in Most Occupancies

A new law in Maine went into effect on January 1, 2022 that mandates the installation of gas detectors in a broad range of occupancies, including multi-family residences and rental units. The law was enacted after a propane explosion on September 16, 2019 in Farmington claimed the life of Fire Captain Michael Bell. More on the explosion, including a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Captain Bell’s family and six injured firefighters.

The law, which is believed to be the first of its kind, is modeled after smoke and carbon monoxide detector requirements that have existed in most jurisdictions for decades. It requires the installation “of at least one approved fuel gas detector in every room containing an appliance fueled by propane, natural gas or any liquified petroleum gas” in business, mercantile, places of assembly, hotels, and multi-family residential occupancies.

A fuel gas detector is defined as “an assembly that incorporates a sensor control component and an alarm notification that detects elevations in propane, natural gas or any liquified petroleum gas.”

Here is a copy of the law as a Bill:

Here is a link to the Maine Statue.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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