CenterPoint donation funds gas detector for Petal Fire

By HASKEL BURNS,

For the past several years, CenterPoint Energy – a Houston-based electric transmission and natural gas distributor that serves customers across 32 states, including Mississippi – has used its Community Partnership Grant program to award grants to local communities to fund safety-related equipment and projects.

Petal Fire Department recently reaped the benefits of that program, with a $1,000 grant from CenterPoint that will help fund a new gas detector for the department.

“It’s very important, because it’s a great diagnostic tool,” Fire Chief Joe Hendry said. “If someone has a carbon monoxide detector go off … with this, you can tell if there’s anything to worry about or not. It could have been just a false alarm.”

In addition to being able to detect carbon monoxide, the detector also can pick up signs of natural gas, hydrogen sulfide and other gases.

Although the $1,000 grant won’t completely cover the cost of the detector, Hendry said it will be a great help toward the purchase of a higher-end model.

“Some of the smaller units, you can get for $1,500 to $2,000,” he said. “We’re wanting to go with a bigger one, because we’ve had some trouble out of the smaller units.

“And we’ve got two now that are not operational that we’re not going to fix any more. So we’d like to go with the multi-range detector. It’s more expensive, but I think it’s much more reliable and we’ll get a lot more longevity out of it.”

CenterPoint Energy serves more than 5 million metered customers, primarily in Mississippi, Oklahoman, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Minnesota. The company employs almost 8,000 workers and has been in business for more than 150 years.

“Safety is one of CenterPoint Energy’s values,” said Jason Fabre CenterPoint’s district director in Byram. “Over the past 15 years, we have contributed more than $1.5 million to safety initiatives in our communities.

“Our Community Partnership Grant program not only helps us stay connected to the communities we serve, but also gives us an opportunity to impact lives by helping them stay safe.”