Unusual number of fires, smart meters linked

(copied from EMRABC.CA)

Fires and Smart Meters

Ontario Fire Marshal says faulty base plates could be the cause, similar to Mission blaze

By SCOTT SIMPSON, Vancouver Sun


FULL STORY : http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Unusual+number+fires+smart+meters+linked/7040191/story.html#ixzz22m347gF2

“A lot of times, when you pull something apart, if it’s been there for 30 years it’s probably going to be rusted in or hard in. So they have to give it a little bit of a jerk or a twist. That jerk or twist may be what sets the whole thing in motion,” Strain said Friday. If there’s a problem, he added, it’s possible that a contractor without formal electrical training may miss it.


Two home fires probed where new smart meters were set up


CTV British Columbia

Published Monday, Aug. 6, 2012 4:04PM PDT

BC Hydro says it’s not yet clear what caused a fire at a Coquitlam home where a smart meter had been installed one month earlier.

The cause of the blaze that broke out early Sunday morning at the house on Darwin Avenue is under investigation.

BC Hydro says smart meters are safe and that inspections are carried out before the devices are set up.

“In the vast majority of cases we actually find problems when we actually pull the old meter off. It’s extremely rare that there is any kind of incident after a meter is installed,” BC Hydro spokesperson Cindy Verschoor said.

The Crown corporation also says it has repaired about 1,000 meter bases around the province.

In June, a fire also began at a home in Mission where a smart meter had recently been installed. BC Hydro says the BC Safety Authority is investigating that blaze.

BC Hydro doubts smart meter to blame for Coquitlam fire

COQUITLAM  /  CKNW (AM980) CKNW News Staff 8/5/2012


Could a newly installed BC Hydro smart meter be partially to blame for an early morning fire in Coquitlam?

Hydro crews don’t believe so, but they are investigating after a small fire broke out on the outside of a home on Darwin Avenue.

Spokesman Greg Alexis says it appears the cause was likely a faulty meter base.

“The meter base is the piece of the customer’s equipment that we plug the smart meter into. The smart meter is the end of our grid and the meter base is the piece of customer equipment.”

Alexis says damaged sockets are blamed for a series of recent electrical fires, but stresses the smart meter itself isn’t the problem.

Sparwood fire fighters respond to the Sparwood post office

Published: August 01, 2012 1:00 PM

Sparwood fire department responded this afternoon to a call from Sparwood Post Office, where workers were concerned about seeing smoke rising from a recently installed smart meter.’


Smart meter swap a flop in Alberni

A Corix technician inspects a damaged electrical meter base on Margaret Street on Tuesday afternoon after an attempted smart meter swap-out went wrong.

By Wawmeesh G. Hamilton – Alberni Valley News

Published: July 31, 2012 9:00 PM

A technician changing out a BC Hydro meter for a smart meter sparked a minor incident at a Port Alberni  business on July 31. The Port Alberni Fire Department responded to an incident at the 4600 block of Margaret Street at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Witnesses reported seeing a technician wearing blue overalls working on a meter beside a business when they heard a loud “Bzaap” sound and saw sparks coming from near the top of a power pole across the street, and smoke rising along one end of the power line.


fire_ownerpaysFull Story


Mission BC house fire, Brand New Smart Meter suspected cause


CTV Video Coverage http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120616/bc_mission_fire_120616

They had a new smart meter installed a day ago, so that’s the only thing that changed. So they are suspicious of that”


Mission house fire started around meter – Read Full Article

Port Hardy – Residents and retail shops that share the same electrical room are concerned after a smart meter had an internal fire or short in Port Hardy. The meter was about a year old and no longer was working correctly. Meter blew the compressor in the Store Cooler. Full Story

Nanaimo home has Fire after new Smart Meter is installed




Pickering Ontario smart meter explodes. Worse, couple may have to pay for replacement BY  ,TORONTO SUN  OCTO 4, 2011



fire_california_SEPT2011USA – Power surge raises questions about SmartMeters

East Palo Alto electricity surge burnt out digital meters

80 PG&E SmartMeters caught on fire and burned out after a power surge on Aug. 25



Usa  – Meter causes fire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xtcw4hgvgU8


USA : Houston Texas Smart Meter Fires

USA: Missisippi –  Cutting costs at expense of safety



USA : California – Man says Smart Meter caught fire and shut down his business


USA : East Palo Alto California – Power Surge Destroys Palo Alto Smart Meters | Heartlander Magazine

Power Surge Destroys ‘Significant’ Number of Smart Meters,” Bonnie Eslinger, Palo Alto Daily News, August 27, 2011: http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_18769012

Smart Meter Almost Burns Fire Captain’s House


Australia : Angry owners blame smart meters as costly gadgets blow

by Karen Collier Herald Sun – June 04, 2011: www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/homes-in-a-fix-after-getting-smart-meters/story-fn7x8me2-1226069016155

HOUSEHOLD appliances are breaking down just hours or days after smart meters are installed.

Australia : MFB probes smart-meter safety | Metropolitan Fire Brigade


Australia ; Fire investigators probe link between smart meters and house fires


Explosion in Naples during smart meter installation

by Andre Senior – WFTX-TV Fox 4 – December 15, 2011:


by Andre Senior     December 15, 2011

NAPLES,  Florida

An electrical explosion in Naples during the installation of a smart meter raises questions about the safety of the devices.

On Thursday morning, an FPL contractor was putting one of the devices in at the Naples Bay Resort when the incident happened.

“There was a severe arching and it ignited some combustible material in the room,” said Larry Bacci, a City of Naples fire marshal.

The contractor suffered second and third degree burns during the blast and nearly 30 people were forced to evacuate. Debris inside an electrical room where it happened caused a fire, but was quickly put out by the indoor sprinkler system.

City of Naples fire investigators are still looking into what caused the electrical explosion, and so is FPL. “The incident is still under investigation but we have established that it was definitely not caused by a smart meter.”

But there are others across the country who would disagree. Across the country, there have been protests by people claiming the devices cause explosions and videos popping up online supposedly show smart meters going up in flames. In addition, you’ll find many websites devoted to claims that smart meters are not safe.

FPL says smart meters are safe in every possible way. As for the fire at Naples Bay resort, a company spokesperson says that this is the first time they are aware of a fire breaking out during the process of installing a smart meter.

FPL worker burned, Naples Resort without power

by Eric Maze     December 15, 2011


NAPLES, Fla. – A subcontractor hired by Florida Power and Light suffered severe burns after a mishap at a Naples resort Thursday morning that left the hotel without power.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office says the worker was switching out an electrical meter inside the Naples Bay Resort on 5th Avenue South sometime before 9 a.m. when a small explosion ignited a small fire that left the worker with at 2nd and 3rd degree burns.  He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Exploding smart meters are endangering householders and workers: claim

by Karen Collier and Aleks Devic – Herald Sun – February 23, 2012


ENERGY Safe Victoria is investigating claims that exploding smart meters are endangering householders and workers.

The watchdog says companies should review testing procedures after power surges amid revelations of seven recent malfunctions in Pascoe Vale.

Another smart meter was damaged in Noble Park in November.

Details emerged today when a whistleblower claimed there were serious safety concerns about meters blowing up, sparking calls for a rollout suspension.

Distributor Jemena’s managing director Paul Adams denied the claims, saying meters had failed and ‘flashed’ due to a high voltage injection, but did not explode.

ESV director Paul Fearon said all types of meters were potentially vulnerable to damage during power surges.

Pascoe Vale grandmother Brenda, 91, was standing inside her front door watching a worker reconnecting power on Tuesday when suddenly she heard a loud “bang and boom”.

“I thought ‘Oh my goodness’, he had his head blown off.

“I could see he got a bit of a shock – I was just happy that I was on the other side of the door.”

Mr Adams said six meters failed in early January due to what was thought to be lightning strikes hitting overhead lines.

“There can be a loud noise when this happens and black marks emitted, but this is not an explosion,” Mr Adams said.

The company is investigating this week’s incident.

The ESV will examine whether smart meters are more susceptible to damage from power surges than other meters.

Mr Fearon said there was no concrete evidence to date, and noted that switchboard fires had decreased since the rollout.

Mr Adams insisted there was no risk of house fires or injury, and that meters were usually replaced before reconnecting power following high voltage injections.

But Electrical Trades Union state secretary Dean Mighell said safety doubts were being swept under the carpet.

It was harder for workers to tell if digital meters were faulty after surges compared with older mechanical models, he said.

Another Pascoe Vale resident, Leanne Moss, attached a sign to her meter box to say she did not want one installed.

“When we had those storms on Christmas Day everyone in the street that had the smart meters lost power while the others didn’t,” she said.

Jemena says no smart meter blasts in its patch

by Cathy Nilbett – Moreland Leader – February 22, 2012:

– http://moreland-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/jemena-says-no-smart-meter-blasts-in-its-patch/

Smart meter blasts covered up

by 3AW Radio – February 22, 2012:

– http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/breaking-news-blog/smart-meter-blasts-covered-up/20120222-1tmqr.html

The hotel did not sustain any serious damage but it was left without power.  About 30 people evacuated at the time of the incident.

No word yet on what caused the fire.

New Smart meter Explodes

Posted on the EMF Safety Network website:

Our new smart meter exploded yesterday causing half our circuits to stop working. The men from the

electric company asked if I had any work done recently and I told them the electric company had upgraded the meter. He rolled his eyes at me and said, “yeah, some people CALL it an upgrade” and preceded to tell me of other smart meters catching fire. He said we were extremely lucky our house did not go up in flames. Now, I’m going to be a hesitant activist in order to get the word out that these smart meters are DANGEROUS!

I don’t feel I have to put my family’s lives in danger in order to make my electric company’s job easier. There is NO opt-out program where I live and DTE told one woman who wanted to opt out that they would just shut her electricity off. Time to put the gloves on…


3 thoughts on “Unusual number of fires, smart meters linked”

  1. It is really odd that utility authorities are blaming faulty bases for the fires.

    How come faulty bases didn’t cause fires when electro-mechanical meters were changed?

    Electro-mechanical meters have no semiconductors or relays in the current path. They only have a bus bar of copper with a coil nearby — a “current transformer.”

    Smart meters have a remote disconnect facility. This uses a mechanical relay to turn off the electricity when commanded to by the radio link. This is a possible point of failure, and it could be in the form of arcing, which could cause nearby flammables to catch fire.

  2. I have a rental property and when the tenants had the lights cut on the meter sat the house on fire. It seems like the fire inspector is doing all he can to clear FP&L meter but it’s where the fire started.

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