Con Edison’s Inspections & Smart Gas Detectors Are A Double Win For Public Safety
The smart-technology natural gas detectors Con Edison is installing in homes and businesses are making a dramatic impact in enhancing public safety, the numbers show.
The company has installed nearly 34,000 detectors, mostly in Westchester County. Those detectors found 68 serious leaks.
When the detector senses natural gas, it sounds an alarm and a voice warning that advises occupants to evacuate and call 911 from outside the building. It also alerts operators at Con Edison’s Gas Emergency Response Center, who notify the local fire department.
The rollout is now focused in Westchester and will move to the Bronx later this year. By 2025, the company will have completed all 376,000 installations in its gas service area, which also includes Manhattan and parts of Queens.
Each installation takes less than an hour and there is no charge.
Con Edison is the first utility in the United States to deploy the technology, a product of New Cosmos. The company places the detectors inside the building where the gas service line enters. That is usually in the basement.
Gas Inspections Add to Safety
When installing a detector, Con Edison also conducts a state-mandated safety inspection of gas piping and the gas meter. These inspections take only 15 minutes on average and Con Edison asks customers’ cooperation in the process.
“Our data show that our gas detectors and inspections are enabling us to find leaks and make them safe immediately,” said Kathy Boden, vice president, Gas Engineering, for Con Edison. “We urge customers to schedule gas inspections. And because safety is our priority, we also send our inspectors to knock on doors to check customers’ gas equipment. We see our customers as our partners in keeping everyone safe.”
Con Edison personnel carry identification. If someone appears at a customer’s door looking to enter, the customer should not hesitate to ask to see identification. If you are still unsure, call 1-800-75-CONED.
“Well-maintained natural gas equipment and the early detection of leaks are critical to everyone’s safety,” said Richard Wishnie, Westchester County’s commissioner of Emergency Services. “We urge natural gas customers throughout our county to schedule gas inspection appointments with Con Edison and accommodate the inspectors who come to their door. The detectors and inspections are free and will help keep residents and businesses safe.”
Gas customers in Westchester, Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens can schedule an inspection by calling 1-800-643-1289 weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., or sending an e-mail to email@example.com. If you call after hours, leave a message and a representative will call you the next business day.
Customers can self-schedule their appointments:
- Westchester customers can go to www.conEd.com/GasInspectionWestchester;
- Bronx customers can go to: www.conEd.com/GasInspectionBronx;
- Manhattan customers can go to: www.conEd.com/GasInspectionManhattan;
- Queens customers can go to: www.conEd.com/GasInspectionQueens.
For more information on the inspections, go to: https://www.coned.com/en/safety/safety/gas-safety/gas-service-line-inspections
There is no fee for the inspection, but a business customer can have a fee of up to $500 per meter added to its account if Con Edison cannot get access to do the inspection after multiple tries. A residential customer can owe a fee of $100. Inspectors will be in your neighborhood attempting to gain access so you can avoid these fees.
The inspection program, which began in 2017, requires inspections for properties with inside gas meters. If all the meters are outside, an inspection is not required.
The inspectors look for gas leaks and corrosion on the gas pipes. If the inspectors find a leak, they will take immediate action to keep you and your home safe. In rare cases repairs may be required on customer-owned piping, meaning the customer has to hire a licensed plumber. Once the plumber makes those repairs and the repairs are certified, Con Edison will return promptly to turn the gas back on.
Reporting a Gas Odor
Con Edison urges members of the public to act quickly when they think they suspect a leak of natural gas, which carries an odorant that smells like rotten eggs. Leave the area and take others with you. Once away from the building, call 911 or 1-800-75-CONED.
Do not assume that someone else will call or that the odor is not natural gas.
Con Edison responds quickly to reports of suspected gas leaks. The average response time is about 17 minutes. The company responds within 30 minutes 98 percent of the time.
Using a phone, turning lights, appliances or a flashlight on or off, lighting a match or starting a car can create a spark and cause the gas to ignite.
The smart natural gas detectors Con Edison is installing detect leaks near the service line, not in other areas of a building. Con Edison recommends that building owners and tenants place gas detectors in areas where natural gas appliances are used.
See other natural gas safety tips.
Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $63 billion in assets. The utility delivers electricity, natural gas and steam to 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y. For financial, operations and customer service information, visit conEd.com. For energy efficiency information, visit coned.com/energyefficiency. Also, visit us on Twitter and Facebook.
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