State officials say homeowners should check to make sure their natural gas supply is protected against lightning strikes.
A newer type of gas piping, called corrugated stainless steel tubing, has been linked to leaks and fires in other parts of the U.S. after nearby lightning strikes. The tubing has been in use in Minnesota since about 1989.
"The best way to find out if you had it or not is go out and look at the gas meter on your home. There will be some piping that will exit the gas meter, it will travel along the side of your house and then go into your home. Most of the time the CSST is a yellow jacketed flexible tubing that would go into your house. Sometimes it's black," said Jon Wolfgram, chief engineer with the state's office of pipeline safety.
State officials say the piping needs to be properly grounded, and that the installer or a licensed electrician should check to make sure the piping is safe. If it appears your home has the piping, either call the person who installed it and ask to make sure that it has been installed according to applicable codes and the manufacturer's instructions, or contact a licensed electrician to have the system checked out.