Concerned with the fact that the CSST manufacturers have thus far either refused to conduct testing to determine the impact common household current has on their black-jacketed CSST, or continue to conceal testing they have performed, the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) recently commissioned its own testing, and the results are exactly what the CSST manufacturers feared.
Specifically, Omega Flex, Inc., Ward Mfg. and Pro-Flex, Inc. are all selling to the unsuspecting public what they claim to be lightning-resistant CSST. What we now know to be true, however, is that these same manufacturers have created a much bigger problem with the introduction into the U.S. marketplace of their semi-conductive, “Black” jacketed CSST gas lines — black jacketed CSST fails when exposed to common 120V electrical current.
“What we have seen in real-world fires involving black-jacketed CSST is that this so-called new lightning resistant CSST is more susceptible to failure when it comes into direct contact with the electrical system or some other metallic object that has become energized”, states product liability attorney Scott Carpenter, who has been prosecuting cases against these manufacturers for the past 13 years. “We applaud the NASFM’s efforts in conducting the fault-current testing and its willingness now to do the right thing when it comes to communicating to the public the real dangers that exist with using un-shielded CSST in homes and commercial structures”, says Carpenter.
“What we need now is for organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to take notice of these test results and use the results to ban and/or recall ALL CSST that does not meet the LC-1027 standard. Anything less will result in homeowners across the United States being exposed unnecessarily to the dangers created by black-jacketed CSST.”