A deadly Mississauga home explosion is still under investigation, but officials aren’t ruling out gas as the catalyst.
The explosion which took place at 4:20 p.m. Tuesday completely obliterated a house on Hickory Drive, near Dixie Road and Rathburn Road East, and levelled another.
According to police, the blast left nine people with minor injuries and about 25 homes with significant damage.
While the Mississauga Fire Department hasn’t confirmed whether or not a gas leak caused the explosion, we here a Birnie HOME SAFE wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of Carbon Monoxide, (CO) safety.
Did you know that there are plugin CO alarms that also test for propane and natural gas?
The, Kidde Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Propane Natural Gas Alarm With Battery, monitors the air in your home and sounds a loud alarm in the presence of all three gases.
Homeowners need to be especially cautious because these gases are invisible, odourless, tasteless and non-irritating – in other words, completely undetectable to your senses. That’s why a tri-gas CO alarm can save you and your loved ones.
John Flanagan Vice President of Birnie Electric and Birnie HOME SAFE explains that, “these alarms are designed to alert you if any of these three gases are present.”
According to Flanagan, the licensed electrical contractor has installed this grade of alarm in hundreds of homes.
“If we’re performing repairs or if we’re on a service call, we will test the CO alarm. Seven times out of ten the homeowners have non-functioning CO alarms or none at all. In that case we are morally obligated to install the tri-gas alarm as a safety precaution,” Flanagan says.
According to Kidde, the manufacturer of the device, “your CO alarms should be mounted near bedrooms and living areas. It is recommended that you install a CO and Gas alarm on each level of your home. If you install only one CO and Gas alarm in your home, it should be installed near bedrooms, not in the basement or furnace room.”
By law at least one CO alarm is mandatory in all homes in Ontario with fuel burning appliances (wood, gas, propane oil) or attached garages or carports.
Flanagan also cautions homeowners to be mindful of the expiration date because your CO and Gas alarm will expire, “your alarm needs to be replaced every seven to ten years and you should also replace the batteries every year just how you would for your smoke alarms.”
This may be the most important tip to remember: In the event a CO alarm or CO and Gas alarm sounds, get everyone out of the house, stay outside and call 911 immediately.
Exposure to CO deters your ability to think clearly and rationally.
When asked if a CO and Gas alarm could have warned the Mississauga residents who were affected by the home explosion on Tuesday, John couldn’t give a concrete answer.
“I am in no position to speculate on what prompted this horrific accident especially since the cause hasn’t been confirmed yet. What I can say is that if natural gas or propane gas prompted the explosion, the Kidde tri-gas alarm would have cautioned the homeowners – assuming one was plugged in,” Flanagan says.
In a press conference earlier this week Mississauga Fire Chief, Tim Beckett, also said that “it’s far too early right now to speculate what the cause is.”
If you’d like to find out more about CO and gas alarm installation and best practices drop us a line, we’re happy to help!