Last month, the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) and the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) joined forces to spread awareness about the dangers of lightning causing house fires. One of the most common ways lightning causes house fires is through corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST). According to CSSTSafety.com, Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing is a flexible stainless steel pipe used to get gas through your house to a gas log system in a fireplace or gas appliances. CSST came out in the 1990’s and has been used on several homes since then because it has fewer potential places to leak and it is also easier to use for the installer. As of 2012, 7 million homes in the United States had Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing installed.
What Does CSST Have to do With Me?
Good question. Unfortunately, the walls in CSST are thin and susceptible to lightning damage. The high charge can perforate the walls and cause leaks, which, combined with an electric charge, can cause quite a fire. If your home has Corrugates Stainless Steel Tubing installed, your house is at risk for a lightning surge to cause a house fire. Because of this, the LPI and NASFM have joined together to raise awareness and to increase product standards.
“Hazardous outcomes with CSST have already prompted a class action settlement, law suits, a NFPA review, and public awareness campaign,” according to LPI Executive Director Bud VanSickle.
What Can We Do?
The best way for a lightning protection installer to protect your house is to bond your lightning protection system to the Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing that is already installed in your house. While it doesn’t guarantee that the surge won’t make it into your home, it will greatly reduce the chances of the surge getting in.
You can also support the LPI and the NASFM in their efforts to raise the ANSI LC1 product standard to make CSST less susceptible to lightning.