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Gazprom Armenia’s Leak Detectors Faulty, Activist Claims

Gazprom Armenia claims that its employees twice a year carry out a routine check-up of gas leakage detectors installed in residential apartments; the company, however, does not specify the type of maintenance activities that are reportedly carried out. A video published on Facebook by prominent civic activist Vardges Gaspari shows the detector in his apartment failing to identify a leak, while the majority of the participants of a poll carried out by Epress.am insist that Gazprom employees never conduct check in their homes.

Following a February 20 explosion in a Yerevan home resulting from a gas leak, Gaspari filmed himself turning on his gas stove without lighting it and the failure of the detector to identify the leak. Representatives of Gazprom Armenia, however, refuse to respond, insisting that the detector functions properly.

In a conversation with Epress.am, Gaspari said he has sent a written appeal to the company with a request to clarify whether the sensors installed in the apartments are being regularly checked. According to the company’s response, their employees carry out check-ups twice a year; moreover, they said, the tenants even sign a corresponding document which states that the check-up has been carried out and the detector is in order.

Epress.am and Gaspari conducted a small survey among Yerevan residents to find out whether the company does in fact carry out the routine check-ups. The majority of the respondents said the detectors in their homes are never looked at. One of the respondents, meanwhile, said that the sensor detects a leak when the gas is turned off and when the air temperature in the apartment is below 10 degrees. According to him, he has noticed this on several occasions upon returning home after a long absence. The gas in the apartment, he said, is naturally off while he is away, while the sensor somehow manages to detect a gas leak.

On February 1, Gaspari sent another appeal to Gazprom Armenia with a request to describe the specific type of maintenance activities their employees supposedly carry out. The activist has yet to receive a response.