Con Edison is installing 376,000 smart technology natural gas detectors for customers across its New York City and Westchester County service areas.
The deployment is a safety move with the devices sounding an alarm and recorded warning for the homeowner when a possible natural gas leak is detected. It also alerts operators at Con Edison’s Gas Emergency Response Centre, who in turn notify the local fire department.
The distribution of the detectors follows a pilot in which Con Edison provided 9,000 detectors. Those detectors sounded 250 alarms since the first installations in October 2018.
The company places the detectors at the spot inside the building where the gas service line enters, which is usually in the basement near the gas meter.
“This is a life-saving technology,” said Marc Huestis, Con Edison’s senior vice president, Gas Operations. “These detectors urge anyone nearby to leave and prompt a swift response from our gas crews and the local fire department so that they can shut off the gas, find the leak and make it safe.”
The alarm will sound until Con Edison silences the unit. The voice recording advises occupants to evacuate and call 911 from outside the building.
Con Edison says it was the first utility in the US to deploy the technology, a product of New Cosmos, when it began the pilot.
The company aims to install the detectors on all its 376,000 gas service lines serving 1.1 million customers by 2025 in a $130 million programme. The current version of the detector lasts six years. Due to technology improvements, those installed starting in the middle of next year will last seven years and those installed starting in 2023 will have a 10-year lifespan.
The devices will not detect gas in other areas of a building and customers are recommended to place other gas detectors in areas where natural gas appliances are used.