Maine’s Legal Requirements for Fuel Detectors

By October 4, 2023 January 31st, 2024 Real Estate

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Beginning in January 2022, many property owners are now required to install fuel gas detectors in their buildings, pursuant to Maine Revised Statutes title 25, section 2469. You can read the statute in its entirety here.

What is a fuel gas detector?

A fuel gas detector (“detector”) is a device that contains a sensor and an alarm which will sound a warning alarm when elevated levels of propane, natural gas or any liquified petroleum gas are detected. Detectors can be found at most major retailers and must be installed per manufacturer instructions. These detectors may be battery-operated, plug-in, or hardwired. In buildings where detectors are required, they must be placed in every room containing an appliance that combusts propane, natural gas or any liquified petroleum gas.

Who must comply?

This statute requires fuel gas detectors to be installed for certain buildings after January 1, 2022; additional categories of buildings will be required to have fuel gas detectors as of January 1, 2026:

Beginning January 1, 2022:

  • Each unit in any building of multifamily occupancy
  • A fraternity house, sorority house or dormitory that is affiliated with an educational facility
  • A children’s home, emergency children’s shelter, children’s residential care facility, shelter for homeless children or specialized children’s home
  • A hotel, motel or inn
  • A mixed-use occupancy that contains a dwelling unit

Beginning January 1, 2026:

  • A business occupancy
  • A mercantile occupancy
  • An assembly occupancy

Special requirements for residential units:

The landlord of a residential unit is required to install detectors at the time of each new occupancy if the detectors are not already present, and to ensure that the detectors are in working condition. After notification by the tenant of any deficiencies in the detector, the landlord must repair or replace the detector.

The tenant in a residential unit has a duty to keep the detectors in working condition by keeping the detectors connected to their power device, be it outlet or battery. Additionally, the tenant must test the detectors periodically and must not disable the detectors.

How does this affect closings and new residential leases?

Similar to the certification required by 25 M.R.S.A. § 2464 (smoke detectors) and 25 M.R.S.A. § 2468 (carbon monoxide detectors), 25 M.R.S.A. § 2469 requires a certification that fuel gas detectors will be installed within 30 days after the sale or exchange of the types of buildings listed above.

Additionally, residential landlords should be aware that installation of fuel gas detectors is required for new leases, and a certification of such installation should be added to lease packages for new tenants to sign.