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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2012
Contact: State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan
NH State Fire Marshal's Office

Fire Marshal Warns of Gas Pipe Hazard

Concord, NH – Flexible stainless steel gas tubing, used in homes and other buildings since the early 1990s, presents a severe fire hazard from lightning strikes unless it is properly installed, according to State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan.

"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)," 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 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 in to two inches in diameter. It is flexible and 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 has been 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. Senator 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, 2012.

For more information building owners can contact their local fire department, the State Fire Marshal's Office at 223-4289 or fmo@dos.nh.gov, or visit the CSST website at www.csstsafety.com.

   
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