ROSELAND, NJ – Having a safe holiday season was a main focus of the Roseland Borough Council meeting Tuesday, where Councilman Richard Leonard said residents could save someone’s life with the “important, practical gift” of an explosive gas detector.

“The recent natural gas explosion that caused a massive fire in three homes in Paterson may have been prevented if they had this detector in place,” said Leonard, who added that Roseland is the first borough in New Jersey to insist as part of its zoning compliance inspections that a homeowner have an explosive natural gas detector.

Leonard, an advocate for having other New Jersey municipalities follow Roseland’s lead by putting this requirement into effect, said it only costs approximately $50 to install. He said this is “a very reasonable price to pay to save lives.”

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During public comment, resident Marty Greenwald applauded Leonard’s advocacy efforts.

“This is a great idea,” he said. “It would be wonderful if people got natural gas detectors in their homes.”  

On a second safety-related issue, Leonard said area residents should dress in bright clothes while clearing the front of their homes of leaves or snow—especially at dusk or in the evening. 

“We have many public works vehicles and plows clearing the streets, and they have a problem seeing people who are wearing gray or black clothes when it is darker outside,” he said. 

Councilman Peter Smith reminded residents that the last round of picking up loose leaves is happening soon.

“We are going to do this one more time,” he said. “After this last pick-up, the leaves must be bagged.”

The third safety tip came from Councilwoman Michele Tolli, who said that house numbers should be in a spot that is clearly visible to the fire and police departments in case of an emergency situation.

Mayor John Duthie joined council members in wishing everyone a happy and healthy Christmas and Chanukah.

Tolli said that, once again, the town’s biggest Christmas event will be “Santa Is Coming to Town” on Sunday, where he said Santa will ride through virtually every street in Roseland on a fire engine. Sponsored by the Roseland Volunteer Fire Department, Santa will begin his ride at 3:30 p.m. on Laurel Avenue.

“I hope many people come out to wave to Santa,” said Tolli. “It’s something to see if you’re out there.”

Councilman Thomas Tsiliones thanked those involved in this year’s tree-lighting ceremony, which he said gets better every year.

The next Roseland Borough Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 3.