A message for Fire Fighters and Insurers:
It is not the intent of this message to convince the reader that Smart Meters are the cause of fires.
It is the intent to provide information that hints at a correlation between Smart Meters and fires that appear to occur in their vicinity.
————- SUMMARY ——————–
I. A number of suspicious fires that appear to have started
in the vicinity of Smart Meters
II. Indications that Smart Meters might have caused these
III. Possibilities as to how they might have caused these
IV. Implications for Insurers
I. Suspicious Fires in the vicinity of smart meters:
1. 10/31/2011 — Green Acres, Florida (View Video): …a spokesperson for the [Florida Power] utility said they’d responded to 30 complaints related to meter fires.
2.8/25/2011 — “When 80 PG&E Smart Meters caught on fire and burned out after a power surge in East Palo Alto on Aug. 25, the incident raised questions for some residents and utility officials about the safety of the new digital devices. http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php?id=22378
3. 12/03/2011 Nanaimo Canada mother of two left without power for two days after Smart meter smoked and caused a power outage.http://youtu.be/9NO6wlx8UFc
4. 10/04/2011 Toronto Sun – “Pickering smart meter explodes. Worse, couple may have to pay for replacement.”
5. 3/1/2012 Australia:“Electrical Trades Union again calls for suspension of smart meter rollout ETU secretary Dean Mighell said about half a dozen more damaged meters had “exploded” since last week in Hadfield, Coburg and Pascoe Vale. About 1700 homes in the Pascoe Vale area had been affected by power surges, he said. Power supplier Jemena has replaced six smart meters around Pascoe Vale that failed during a power surge in early January. Spokesman Scott Parker said a further 55 would be replaced by next Wednesday as a precaution.”
II. Indications that Smart Meters may have caused the fires:
1. 3/1/2012 From Norman Lambe (LA Home and Business Insurance Examiner). “For myself, as an adjuster, I believe the Smart Meters are a real a threat to the safety of your home, business and property. I have personally worked two large homeowner fires in which the Smart Meters were determined as responsible. Also, they have been responsible for several small fires in which appliances and computers have been destroyed.”
2. 8/24/2011 Canadian News reports an 81 year old’s refrigerator failed minutes after a Smart Meter was installed.
3. 11/7/2011 – Australia: “Fire investigators probe link between smart meters and house fires. Chief Fire Officer Shane Wright said there had been three fires in the last four weeks at homes where smart meters had been recently installed.He denied the fires were caused by the actual smart meters.“It’s actually about fires involving switchboards where smart meters have just been installed,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell program” “
4. 1/21/2012 – Australia “Hamish Fitzsimmons, an ABC (Australia) reporter for Lateline, raised concerns about the meters after a fire at his Northcote home on the weekend.
Fitzsimmons says the fire, which started behind the smart meter, caused extensive damage to at least one room of the house. He says City Power, which installed the meter, has denied responsibility.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-31/premier-defends-27safe27-smart-meters/3802368 Reference to home wiring.
5. 8/25/2011 Palo Alto Power surge, raises questions about Smart Meters, “a good example of how sometimes the old way is the good way”.
6. 9/6/2011 California “Mindy Spatt, communications director for The Utility Reform Network (TURN), said the utility-consumer advocacy group received many complaints about surges damaging appliances when the Smart Meters were first installed. In the best-case scenario, the event in East Palo Alto is an additional cause for concern, she said.”
Comparing analog to the new meters, she added, “In the collective memory of TURN, we have not seen similar incidents with analog meters.”
7. 11/7/2011 Switchboard fires in Australia area
III. Possibilities as to how Smart Meters might have caused the fires:
A. Faulty installation:
1. 10/31/2011 — Green Acres, Florida (View Video): …a spokesperson for the [Florida Power] utility said “you could have wiring issues if you have dimming lights or power issues on one end of your home and not the other.” [The fires have been attributed to damaged wiring components, and not the Smart Meters themselves. In some cases, these may have resulted from faulty installations.]
2. 8/2010 – Arlington, Texas – Alarmed by reports of two house fires within two days back in August 2010, concerned resident, Cindy Carriger, obtained a copy of the resulting fire report from the Arlington Fire Department. From the report, she learned the fires were caused by Oncor technicians while replacing the analog electric meter with a “smart” meter. http://www.bantexassmartmeters.com/smart-meter-fire-report/.
3. 8/21/2009 CaliforniaThe following letter and photo were sent to the EMF Safety Network from a California fire department captain (Ross) who saved his home from a potential Smart Meter fire in 2009. PG&E has admitted that Smart Meters have interfered with GFI’s and AFCI’s, but they have not admitted to any connection with a Smart Meter fire. Smart Meter Arcing Hazard http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=4904
4. 6/3/2010 – New Zealand: Fire Prone Meter Boxes causing Concern
“Front line firefighters are concerned about the number of household power meter boxes that are bursting into flames.
There have been 67 callouts in Christchurch to electrical malfunctions so far this year, and new smart meters have been involved in three in the last five days. Graham Hobbs considers himself lucky. He was woken at 4:30am to find his smart meter on fire. ”I lifted this up it was still glowing and smoking, and slammed it shut to try and seal it off.” The following night Kelvin Dixon, who lives nearby, suffered a similar fate. ”I pulled into my drive way and found my meter box on fire great amounts of smoke.” Mr. Dixon is a registered electrician and says the contactor that sits beneath the smart meter caught fire and melted.”
B. Faulty meters:
One of the novel features in the new meters is the incorporation of an internal disconnect switch that the power company purports safely disconnects/reconnects power to the dwelling it supplies by remote control. This disconnect feature is a new and significant change to the old style analog meters. The safety of the new disconnect feature is in question.
C. Faulty technology and erring technologists (tripping AFCI’s, power surges, arcing, improper wiring, harmonic currents)
1. Remodeler finds SmartMeter interference with circuit breakers By Dennis Rockstroh of mercurynews.com Posted: 09/12/2010 “ …It took some prodding, but eventually one of the PG&E crew told me that they have been observing that AFCIs are sensitive to the meter’s radio transmissions. ”
2. Many Victorian (Australia) homes have a switchboard backed with chipboard where the electricity meter is mounted. Any electrical fault, such as arcing (due to loose or rushed installation of wiring) can easily ignite and spread through the smart meter’s material and onwards to the switchboard.
3. 14 Feb 2011 – Rob Irving had a smart meter installed without his knowledge whilst away from home. He returned from 4 weeks holiday only to find the safety switch was tripped out for a week due to a ‘hot wired’ smart meter installation. His fridge had stopped running, all the food had gone off and the water had leaked all over the floor, causing his house tobecome ‘a shambles’. http://webdevsys.com/smartElectricityMeters.htm
IV. Implications for Insurers
1. 8/24/2011 Canadian News reports The 81 year old whose refrigerator failed minutes after a Smart Meter was installed was told by Corix Utilities that the company denied responsibility. So who pays?
2. After a Smart Meter was installed in this Florida woman’s home she said the meter “caught fire and fried my beautiful new kitchen” – over $31,000 in damages to many of her home appliances. The Florida power company refuses to take the blame.” So who pays for it?
3. July 15, 2011, Houston, Texas Many complaints of damaged appliances and homes, utility companies refuse to accept responsibility. So who pays?
4. 3/1/2012 Australia: Electrical Trades Union again calls for suspension of smart meter rollout The state’s electrical union fears someone will have to die before safety concerns about controversial smart meters are addressed…The Electrical Trades Union has repeated demands to suspend the rollout until power companies commit to mounting all meters on flame-resistant boards.”
These reports of suspicious fires are just a sample of those available and, should these serve to pique the interest, there are countless more reports waiting to be viewed on the internet. Two primary sites are:
It may be of interest to note that:
1) it is not a requirement that Corix installers be licensed electricians. They are given 2 weeks training;
2) BC Hydro equipment does not have to be certified safe by CSA or UL, and, therefore, the smart meters have no independent safety certification.
———— Prepared by ———————–
This report has been prepared by Dennis and Sharon Noble, information gathered by Paul Rothe, all members of the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters. Contact: Sharon Noble, Director, 250-478-7892; email firstname.lastname@example.org.