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Fire marshal warns of gas pipe hazard
CONCORD — The State Fire Marshal is warning that stainless steel gas tubing, if installed improperly, presents a severe fire hazard from lightning strikes.
“There have been at least eight fires in New Hampshire since 2008 resulting in moderate to severe structural damage related to yellow-coated corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST),” Fire Marshal J. William Degnan said. “The danger arises when this tubing is not properly grounded, allowing it to become energized if lightning strikes near a building.”
Degnan said the tubing, used in homes and other buildings since the early 1990s, is used with natural gas and propane installations. The tubing can be identified by its yellow coating, but he noted it may be used in inaccessible places.
It can range from one-half to two inches in diameter. It is flexible, easy to install and may have been used in renovations, gas-piping system replacement or upgrades, or new appliance installations.
He urged building owners to have their gas systems inspected by a New Hampshire licensed fuel gas fitter who is specially trained to identify and correct any problems in fuel gas systems.
The CSST industry and the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) urge building owners to ensure that CSST gas-piping systems are bonded to the electrical grounding system of the building.
The bonding jumper or wire should be connected to the CSST piping system at the entry point of the natural gas or propane piping and run directly to the electrical grounding system.
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., co-sponsored a Senate Resolution encouraging awareness of CSST safety. That resolution was adopted by the Senate on June 6.
For more information, contact the local fire department, the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 223-4289 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the CSST website at www.csstsafety.com.
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