CSST and Lightning

PRESS RELEASE
July 18, 2012

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE FIRE MARSHALS (NASFM) LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE YELLOW CSST SAFETY CAMPAIGN

NASFM Applauds US Senate for Passing a Resolution Encouraging Education Efforts to Improve Safety in Over 6 Million Homes

NASFM has launched a nationwide safety campaign to bring awareness to homeowners on the importance of proper bonding of yellow corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) due to potential damage risks associated with lightning.  Yellow CSST is flexible metal gas tubing which has been installed in over 6 million homes in the U.S. since the early 1990s and is used to supply natural gas or propane to furnaces, water heaters, and other gas appliances. 

The U.S. Senate yesterday unanimously passed a bipartisan Resolution (S.RES.483), introduced by Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), commending this campaign and “encourage[ing] further educational efforts…on the need to properly bond yellow CSST retroactively and moving forward in houses that contain the product.”  A companion resolution (H.RES.638) has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Robert Dold (R-IL-10) and Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX-15).

“We are looking forward to undertaking this critical public safety campaign and applaud the U.S. Senate and Senators Pryor and Ayotte for their leadership in introducing and passing this Resolution to raise awareness to help protect over six million homes,” said Bill Degnan, NASFM President.

Direct or indirect lightning strikes on or near a structure have been shown to cause an electrical surge to travel into the structure and have in some cases caused a perforation in the sidewall of the tubing as the energy arcs from one metallic system to another seeking ground. This arcing can ignite the pressurized gas leaking from the perforation, and in some cases, has caused a significant fire.

In the last few years, the manufacturer’s instructions and national building codes have changed with respect to requirements for bonding and grounding CSST in new installations.  As this is a safety improvement, NASFM is working to bring awareness to existing homeowners who may already have CSST installed, so they have the opportunity to have their structures inspected and upgraded to the new specifications. 

“We have the opportunity to enhance safety by raising awareness of a risk that can be minimized.  This is an important public safety initiative that NASFM fully supports in conjunction with key stakeholders,” said Jim Narva, NASFM Executive Director.

Homeowners and property owners who have yellow CSST installed in their homes are encouraged to determine if the system is properly bonded.  Licensed electrical contractors should be contacted to make the correct determination on proper bonding of the system. 

Consumers should visit for additional information.

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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Jim Narva or Bill Degnan, please call 202-737-1226 or email jnarva@narvaassociates.com. 

The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) membership comprises the most Senior Fire Official in each State. NASFM’s mission is to protect human life, property and the environment from fire and related hazards.CSST

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