Important Lightning Safety Warning
The City of Spencer would like to inform our citizens of a concern regarding Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) utilized as gas piping in residences and commercial buildings in Spencer. Many fires around Iowa have been linked to lightning strikes, either by direct or indirect strikes and failure of CSST tubing due to the strikes.
CSST tubing has been installed in millions upon millions of homes across the U.S. The reason for its popularity is simple economics- the CSST product is less expensive and requires far less time and skill to install. The problem- CSST tubing has a very thin wall and is very vulnerable to a fire if it is not installed correctly. When electrical energy from lightning is conducted through CSST tubing, electrical arcing can be created between the CSST and any grounded metallic object as the lightning energy seeks a ground source. The arcing can create a hole in the pipe with a blow torch effect with an endless gas fuel source more than sufficient to ignite nearly any type of structure. What should you do if you think CSST tubing was used in your home or business?
Find out if CSST tubing is present in your residence or business.
1. If your home or business was built after 1990 there’s a good chance CSST tubing was installed.
2. The tubing is usually easily identifiable by its flexibility property and its yellow exterior plastic coating.
If CSST tubing is present:
1. Call a licensed electrician to verify whether the CSST tubing is properly bonded to a ground utilized by the electrical service of that building.
2. Look at the manufacturer’s name on the yellow coating and do some research into proper installation methods for that product.
3. Call a licensed mechanical contractor to review installation methods utilized and have any deficiencies corrected.
4. Call the City Hall at 712-580-7200 and ask to speak with the Electrical & Plumbing inspector on installation methods and building codes.
For additional information regarding CSST, you may access the State Fire Marshall's website containing the bulletin.