A law approved in June 2021 by the Maine State Legislature requiring fuel gas detectors to be placed within a room where a propane, natural gas or liquified petroleum gas fueled appliance is located took effect Jan. 1.

Rockland Fire Chief Christopher Whytock issued a news release Wednesday, Dec. 29 about the new law.

Fuel gas detectors may be powered by any of the following methods: battery, plugged into an electrical outlet or hard-wired. Regardless of the power source, the units must be maintained and installed per the manufacturer’s instructions.

The building owner shall install, or cause to be installed, at least one approved fuel gas detector in every room containing an appliance fueled by propane, natural gas or any liquified petroleum gas in:

A. Each unit in any building of multifamily occupancy.

B. A fraternity house, sorority house or dormitory affiliated with an educational facility.

C. A children’s home, emergency children’s shelter, children’s residential care facility, shelter for homeless children or specialized children’s home.

D. A hotel, motel or inn.

E. A mixed use occupancy that contains a dwelling unit.

F. A business occupancy.

G. A mercantile occupancy.

H. An assembly occupancy.

I. Residential rental units.

In a unit listed above, under the terms of a rental agreement or under a month to month tenancy, at the time of each occupancy the landlord shall provide fuel gas detectors if they are not already present, and they must be in working condition. After notification of deficiencies, in writing, by the tenant, the landlord shall repair or replace the fuel gas detector. Tenants shall keep the fuel gas detectors in working condition, test them periodically to make sure they work and refrain from disabling them.

The law was enacted in response to a September 2019 explosion at an office building in Farmington.