A state senator is renewing calls to pass a bill that would require gas detectors in residences following the gas-fueled explosion that damaged 20 buildings in Woodstock.
Senate Bill 1370 was introduced in February by Illinois State Senator Craig Wilcox (R-McHenry).
The bill would require at least one gas detector to be installed in any room containing an appliance supplied by propane, natural gas, or liquefied petroleum gas.
The detectors would be required in apartments, houses, shelters and hotels.
“While this legislation would not have stopped the gas leak that led to the explosion near downtown Woodstock earlier this week, gas detectors are an important preventative tool that saves lives,” Wilcox said earlier this month.
“The force of the blast in Woodstock destroyed two homes, damaged several others, and is proof of the lethal danger of gas leaks. It’s a miracle no one died as a result of the Woodstock gas explosion,” Wilcox added.
The senator said the Woodstock incident was not an isolated incident.
A gas explosion occurred at an apartment complex in Oak Park in July, injuring one and displacing a dozen residents.
“It’s well past time we had a real discussion about why we have laws on the books for smoke detectors and radon detection, but nothing in our statutes that protects people from potential gas leaks if they have gas-powered appliances,” Wilcox said.
“We need to have a real discussion about my SB 1370 so we can come to agreement on how we can minimize gas explosion catastrophes moving forward,” he said.
Those found to be in violation of the proposed law would face a $500 fine unless proof of gas detector installation was provided within 10 days of the original notification of non-compliance.
The explosion in Woodstock, which occurred on October 9, left 20 structures with varying degrees of damage in the area of Tryon Street and Lincoln Avenue.
A contract crew working in the area had struck a two-inch gas main inside a sewer line.
Fire crews were standing by at the scene for Nicor to fix a gas leak when the explosion occurred and a fire broke out.
A two-story house was completely destroyed by the explosion and a second adjacent house sustained significant damage from the fire in the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue, officials said.
Two firefighters were transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Vucha said. No fatalities were reported.