We've all heard the importance of having working smoke detectors in our homes. In fact, there's a huge campaign taking place at the end of the month where the American Red Cross will team up with local firefighters and help you install them, if need be, that's how critical professionals believe these alarms to be as a life-saving device.

Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
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More recently, in the last couple of decades, the importance of Carbon Monoxide Alarms has come to light. And these days, it's not uncommon to find combination units that will detect the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide.

Kevin Visel - Thinkstock
Kevin Visel - Thinkstock
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But following some recent fires, that have been particularly devastating over the last few years, one Bangor Fighter is asking folks to consider yet another kind of life-saving alarm; an explosive gas detector.

Bangor Fire Department Public Information Officer "Jake" Johnson recently explained on social media what an explosive gas detector does, and how it can help everyone can benefit when property owners invest in them, especially if they're hooked up to a Natural Gas line, or have gas-run appliances.

Bet_Noire
Bet_Noire
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"Explosive gas detectors are a bit different from smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors . . . and are a bit of a rarity in most homes. Around here most folks who have a gas oven, water heater, clothes dryer, furnace or stand-by generator utilize propane. I mention this since placement of the various types of detectors is pretty important."

Johnson says he's seen these detectors sold locally the both of the big box stores for around $50. You can also order them online on sites like Amazon. But where you put these detectors, when you get them, is crucial.

Explosive Detector, Amazon
Explosive Detector, Amazon
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"Designed to sound an alarm when it detects a rising level of propane or natural gas, explosive gas detectors may be mounted high or low . . . depending on the need... For folks who use propane in their gas dryers or ovens, the best location for an explosive gas detector is down low as propane sinks to the lowest point -- whether it be the floor, basement, or crawl space. Natural gas on the other hand tends to be slightly lighter than air, so installing the explosive gas detector up higher if possible is a good idea if using natural gas."

Stove. Cook stove. Modern kitchen stove with blue flames burning.
MarianVejcik
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Johnson says there is a law in Maine that requires these alarms in some instances, but he'd like to see them become something of the norm, instead of a rarity.

"To be honest explosive gas detectors are rarely seen in most homes when compared to smoke and CO detectors. That said, Maine passed a law which requires explosive gas detectors in certain apartment buildings so our crews may spot a few in apartment buildings from time to time."

Johnson says these devices provide another level of safety, not only for residents but for first responders as well.

"An explosive gas detector gives an early warning in the presence of explosive gas. This obviously gives the homeowner warning to evacuate and for the responding firefighters, the alarm lets them know that the building is full of explosive gas which is reaching dangerous levels. "

Propane gas cylinder on white, isolated with clipping path
Maudib
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"At this point firefighters can proceed more cautiously in their response such as working to vent the building before entry for example, set up operations further away from the home, etc."

Selective focus is on the firefighter in the foreground.
JohnnyH5
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Bottom line, it's great that the technology and infrastructure have evolved to give us options to have our homes run on Natural Gas and our appliances work on propane, especially in Maine. It's also great that there are safety devices available, like explosive gas detectors, that can help us, and others safe while we take advantage of these new options. Maybe take a minute to look into them.

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