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Smart meter fires: Penetrating questions and cold facts on hot meters

Posted by Bob on 8/15/2014 to "Smart" Meters
Original Source

Thought you knew the full story on the latest barrage of smart meter fires?  Think again…

This smart meter on the side of a home in Saskatoon was destroyed by fire in an incident reported earlier this week. (CBC.ca)


Forewarned: This is not the shortest blog post. BUT, it is the post where you are going to get it all put together for you.

It will cost you: 10 minutes of your time.
It will save you: Dozens of hours of research and reveal many things that you did not know.
It will give you: The penetrating questions that we ALL deserve answers to while touching on whether fires and billing increases are caused by something totally related and rarely, if ever discussed by anyone.
You will learn that in many cases a multitude of completely avoidable things have converged to create the end result of fires. No one thing is more or less to blame than the other. No one person is more or less to blame. It was and is a collective effort. The only people not at fault is the homeowners and ratepayers.
You are going to see connections and issues you have never seen before. It will all be laid out for you.  In my humble opinion EVERYONE needs to know what is presented here, regardless of where you are. Smart meters are a VERY REAL fire hazard for more reasons than you have been told.  Now, you are about to find out why…


The shift-the-blame game

While SaskPower, Portland Gas Electric (and soon, other utilities) play the blame-game and going after manufacturers for losses, one thing is clear: These meters never should have been installed in the first place.

Whether the culprit in any given fire is a failed meter or a failed installation etc, homes are being burned down due to smart meters being installed.

Now, the people in Saskatchewan and everywhere else need to hold liable the individuals responsible — at the utilities and in government.

Most of you know that recently Saskatchewan announced it was removing around 105 000 newly installed smart meters over safety concerns, specifically, fires…. 8 in total in less than 3 months.

Making headlines virtually at the same time, Portland Gas Electric is now removing 70 000 smart meters because of smart meter fires.


Some of you may know that Sensus (along with the homeowner of course) is being set to take the blame. Sensus is of course blaming the ‘meter socket’ and the utility, which will soon be the fault of the homeowner of course. So goes the blame game.

What few of you may know is that Sensus has been down this road before and after (Portland) the SaskPower mistake. If SaskPower and the Saskatchewan government had done even the slightest proper due diligence NONE of this would have happened. What most of us battling smart meters have been saying for some time, is STILL happening and will continue to happen.

What needs to happen to make it all change? Generally: liability, enforced by the people. Specifically: there may be a catalyst to come (in addition to this SaskPower and Portland fiasco), and in any case, the law of averages says a larger shift can’t be to far off. In BC alone, some smart meters have been on their home for about 3 years. It is claimed the meters will “LAST” (whatever that means) 5-10 years by most estimates. Think on that, some of you that will read this, seeing all these fires happening are less than 2 years from your meter not “LASTING”.

Fake plastic meters

Have you ever thought about what this ‘meter’ is? It is a computer really, not a whole lot different than a smart phone, smart appliance etc. Have you ever thought what might happen if you took a device like a smart phone and wrapped it in plastic, ran power through it and left it on the side of your house?

Doesn’t this seem like a pretty bad idea? Is a smart meter really all that different?  In Canada of all places, harsh winters, scorching summers, humidity, rain, hail… on this basis alone, common sense tells us analogues are better.


From the fire issues in Saskatchewan we have been given a VERY interesting quote that would benefit from some dissecting, or, reading between the lines:


Perhaps to the naked eye this does not look to much different than a ‘deflection of blame’ from one party to the other, which, of course it is exactly that. However, there is more to this than meets the eye at first glance. We’ll get into that… but it goes on to say:



They ALL say the same thing. It’s seems cutting and pasting old articles may be saving them on lawyer costs?
 

For those of you in Saskatchewan, you might want to go back and notice Sensus is right there, from Pennsylvannia in 2012 ALREADY being halted installs AND having meters replaced due to 29 fires, out of 186 000 meters. (Portland had 3 fires in 70 000 meters)

This is what the same company had to say at that time also:


Safety testing?

What  should concern you is this. Meters are passing “ANSI” standards and whatever other “STANDARDS” or “REGULATIONS” there are and… still burning up on the sides of houses.


The above is a bit of a shocker, that at the time these were being installed there was “NOT A SPECIFIC METER PROTOCOL by UL.”

Then, UL goes on to say this regarding the PECO fires:


I can HEAR everyone saying “How is it possible that this happened? Why would our utility AND government use this company?”




“It was causing some fires…”

There are more than just the above. Perhaps the officials at SaskPower and the provincial government do not, even after all this ‘smart grid’ promotion, have basic access to the internet — where anyone who wants to do 3 minutes of research on a company before spending $14 million on their product and nearly $50 million on a smart grid can find this info.


“Burned to a crisp…”

There are many penetrating questions that need to not only be asked, but answered.
  • IF these meters are passing ANSI testing, and still bursting into flames, what does this say about ANSI ‘standards’ ?
  • IF there was an ‘issue with the homeowners socket’ why did your installer STILL install the meter?
  • IF there was an ‘issue with the meter socket’ why after X many years, did that issue only ‘magically’ appear very soon after you installed the meter?
  • Did SaskPower deploy the same reckless technique of hiring people off craig’s list (or subcontractors doing it for them) throwing them in a 2 week course, then paying them to rush installs by giving them extra commissions for speed like BC Hydro and countless other utilities?
Or as basic as possible:
  • How on earth did SaskPower and the Government of Saskatchewan NOT KNOW about Sensus meter issues?
  • Or if they DID know about this, why did they pick those meters after all that had ALREADY happened?
Neither of which is excusable when people’s lives are being put in danger.

Who is managing the recall?



People in BC and many other regions will know we have been warning utilities to stop using installers like this and after all this time SaskPower STILL took this option and are STILL going to ‘re-use’ them!

Maybe you are thinking of this one:

BC Hydro says, “no one makes analogues anymore” or at the very least “we will only have them until supplies last.”  Why is it that SaskPower can pick up the phone and have 105 000 ANALOGUE METERS?


OR is SaskPower just using slick language to install digital meters which STILL put over voltages into the house wiring/meter base etc.  Will you be replacing those ‘new old new’ meters 5 years from now with a ‘safer’ smart meter?

Let’s look at something else here though, going back to a quote from earlier:


SaskPower, if those “HOT SOCKET CONDITIONS ” were present why did you install the smart meters in the first place?

Or, Saskpower, is this even true?

If not, where is your response? Either you (or your subcontractor) installed on the ‘faulty hot socket base’ which cause the fire OR it was the meter? OR… WAS IT BOTH?

This is what we warned about…


How many other people have ‘hot socket conditions’ did you install on? Why wouldn’t your ‘qualified’ installers have noticed, reported and fixed these conditions BEFORE installing on them?

Simply put, this is what can be going on behind your meter as we speak:



On the left, all looks fine and dandy, but on the right, and with the proper equipment, we can see this is NOT the case at all.

You can see in these examples what bad installations of bad meters can do. The examples show how we can see the heat with thermal imaging generated by bad connections. Here are some real world examples:



There is that catch 22 again, if the socket was an issue, why did you install?   We do thank the utility for AGAIN for pointing out that bases are in “DIRE NEED OF REPAIR” or  with “MAJOR FOUNDATION PROBLEMS” and they are STILL INSTALLING ON THEM!  (If it is even true that they were damaged.)

Note: 2 house fires in 2 days.

And also note: this is from 2010… and a totally separate region of the planet.

Arcing, corrosion


The saddest part about the whole thing is that smart meter fires are just waiting to happen because of this and when they do they are now heating plastic and computer chips that have much lower flash points than glass and metal ‘useless’ meters.


This only makes matters worse. And this is the situation, right now, for MILLIONS of people in BC, Saskatchewan, Portland and the rest of Globe.

As we can see still might be the case for many Peco Customers:


Could there be anything else that we should be worrying about?

Yes, as hard as it is to believe, there is.



Now, the military has done studies to show the harmful effects of EMF’s /RF on metal/electrical components. These studies showed exposure to the EXACT issues smart meters make… cause corrosion. This corrosion itself can easily set the stage for FIRES on an ongoing basis and is likely happening behind 1000′s of meters as we speak in BC alone. Corrosion can cause resistance and resistance cause heat… then fire.

SaskPower and BC Hydro (and governments) – did you do testing for this? Did you do any testing at all? One more thing…


“Over voltage in the distribution system”

Let’s do some penetrating questions again shall we?

What is the strength of these ‘over voltages’ in the distribution system?
  • If this can destroy a smart meter, what happens when it gets passed the smart meter… or does it get passed the smart meter?
  • If over voltages do this to electrical smart meters… what if I have a smart meter for my water and gas… are they in danger also?
  • Were these over voltages above or below ‘safety’ standards?
  • If above, isn’t this Saskpower’s fault?
  • If below, why did the meter catch fire?
  • If below the standard, again, what does this say about the standards themselves?
  • If over voltage is the issue, why is Saskpower and many other utilities not fixing that issue FIRST before wasting money on smart meters?
  • Was there over voltages before the smart meter was installed? If so, why hadn’t there been a fire up to this point with the previous meter? What is new or different? The meter perhaps?
  • What damage is this doing to my household appliances from over voltages?
  • What damage is this doing to the rest of the GRID that WE PAY FOR?
  • How many of these over voltages occur before a smart meter fails and catches fire on the sides of homes and businesses?
  • Was there any testing done on over voltages to determine the meter strength against this?
Most importantly:
  • What lead Sensus to the conclusion that it was Transients / Overvoltages?
  • Can we see the specific tests/data from their ‘extensive investigations’ that can confirm this?
  • Was that information gathered by the smart meter itself?
  • If so, does this confirm the meter itself can measure over voltages?
  • Did you test this while the POWER WAS OFF to the building in question since in order to do a proper investigation, surely you would have done it with the meter off? Or else, how is it REALLY that you have come to this conclusion?
Have there been other cases where transients / over voltages have destroyed meters and homes?


It certainly appears as if this was and IS STILL and an ongoing problem at SENSUS.

More from a previous lawsuit against SENSUS, by one of its employees no less:




“Sudden Surge of Electricity… Catastrophic Failure, Melting and Burning.”  Weird how that did not sound any alarms with Sask Power? Is this from over voltages? How much? Higher or lower bursts than found on an ‘average’ within ‘regulations’ utility?

One thing you might find interesting is this. The smart meter that is on (or they want it to be on) your home, EMITS the SAME voltage spikes they are talking about.

So, the same over voltages are being that damage and destroy (according to the maker) are GENERATED and MADE by the SMART METER itself.

Not only that (And this is the shocking part) ALL of the appliances in your home generate these same over voltages, or what is commonly called transients. All day long 100′ or 1000′s a day at different strengths.

You have to wonder are the transients any more or less frequent or powerful than the ones coming from the utility that are allegedly exploding meters into flames?

Do the over voltages my appliances generate destroy the smart meter also?

Is there a time bomb on the side of our house right now?

If this is an issue, which it really seems to be, then, we are ALL in big trouble. The insurance premium and liability potentials are through the roof. Not to mention profit potentials for electronics/appliance manufacturers with premature obsolescence. More costs you or your insurer are saddled with.

Insurance companies and agents… why should you care? Well, simple, you sleep in the same houses we do that these meters are being forced on. Same goes for all you firefighters reading this. While we are on it…


Why wouldn’t Sensus have done testing to ensure over voltages ‘present’ from the utility were in line with what the meter could handle? OR DID THEY DO THIS ALREADY AND NOT DISCLOSE THIS TO SASKPOWER?

Same goes for SaskPower BEFORE they installed the meters. Why not do testing on this?

Is this over voltage issue isolated to these 105,000 homes?

ANYWHERE there is electricity, you have transients / over voltages, and it is WELL KNOWN that these are VERY destructive to all manner of electronics, grids, appliances… everything. That is how they can, according to SENSUS, DESTROY METERS TO THE POINT OF FLAMES AND FIRE ON YOUR HOME.

WHY are utilities INSTALLING meters that add MORE of these harmful spikes to our household grid and the entire electrical grid?

Is there a connection between smart meter fires, billing increases, transients?

As in, can these bad connections OR over voltages (or both at the same time at the same meter) be causing billing increases?

If so, are utilities PROFITING off of bad connections and transients that are a safety risk?

Let’s take a tiny little look at something and we may get an idea of what may be happening.


Now, what do you see here? We see that the items that use the most power also, for the most part, send into your household grid, the most over voltages or, transients!  (This list does not include indoor cultivation equipment, elaborate high energy lighting/ballast systems.)

Could there be a relationship here?

Why is it that EVERYWHERE smart meters are installed, we see 2 things FIRES and BILLING INCREASES? Which are in the presence of a NEW item… just put on our grid, that puts these spikes into our home and the smart meter being the only difference of note? 

Would there be any reason for a utility to want to ‘capture’ and ‘measure’ and then, of course ‘bill’ for these spikes? Let’s see…


It is so interesting to see this. We can look at BC and many other regions and note that usage/consumption of electricity, for a number of reasons has for the most part flatlined. As is shown in this graph:


Could it be the price increases are tying their hands into increases because of the usage decreases? Noting on top of all this “we need to keep up with demand in BC” nonsense you hear from BC Hydro, BC Hydro itself is sending BILLIONS of dollars of electricity to the USA.

What if another revenue source needed to come into play in order to make up for the lack of revenue/forward guidance? Hmmmm….

In any case, bills are skyrocketing with no measurable difference or increase in usage… are we REALLY SURE something else isn’t just being measured than what was before?

Are we talking about the HOLY GRAIL of never ending profits that NO ONE is being told is happening?

Remember them always saying to city councils etc. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t bill for it”? What is ‘it’ or what could they not measure that would necessitate them to say that? What can they measure now that they were not before? Analogue meters are extremely accurate and durable… but what if they were just not able to measure certain things that smart meters now can for billing purposes?

Let’s get back to it though a bit…


From lie-ability to liability

Bill, here in BC is it not you and


who are raising rates nearly 30% over the next five years?

Can you explain to us mere mortals how an increase of any kind is ACTUALLY a SAVINGS for the end user?

When you voted so your pay goes up 18% this year was that an INCREASE or a DECREASE?

This, and the fires were the main reasons why we did not share the two-faced enthusiasm when your ‘media reps’ were rolling around BC deceiving the public on the ‘benefits’ of smart meters.


The utilities and meter makers will boast about their ‘low failure rate’ and we sit here and wonder… what is the definition of failure? What are fires called? PASS?

Here is my math on the matter. If a place had ZERO smart meter failures and you introduce 105 000 smart meters and of those smart meters 105 000 of them are deemed failures (by them being REJECTED/REMOVED/RECALLED) then, call me crazy but the failure rate is effectively 100%.

The customer purchased and returned 105 000 units of your product. FAIL. End user receives 1 unit, it fails = 100% failure.

Now we have to consider… is someone burning alive in their home called a ‘low failure’?

Are we just collateral damage in this $19 trillion dollar “smart” grid system?







(Because I could not resist–)


(Carrying on with the fires now–)







The above is just a small sample of the smart meter fire fiasco.  (See hundreds of reports here.)

As has been said… this will NOT go away and we have yet another real world example that just happened in Portland OR.

While SaskPower went ahead with the same meter making company they used for PECO, (as did Portland) BC Hydro took another (somewhat costly) direction.

BC Hydro went ahead and hired on (because there was no one else ‘qualified’ enough) the same guy who managed and spearheaded the PECO fiasco. That man is: GARY MURPHY.


So, the only “QUALIFIED” person out there, to oversee the smart meter program in BC, is a guy who just finished spearheading a program that was involved with fires in another country?

To top it all off:


This guy got paid $1.6 MILLION.

They are all smiling because they don’t care. They are richer now for it.

We want answers… NOT FIRES

And we deserve them. We deserved them long ago.  And we deserve them more than ever, now.
  • Are you billing us for over voltage that YOU are putting into our household grid?
  • Are meters putting over voltages into our grids and billing us for it’s function where it was not before?
  • Why isn’t the billions being wasted on these programs being spent on ACTUALLY making people safer from over voltages instead of useless metering programs?
  • Why are we not told anything about how much in strength or accumulative transients these meters can withstand?
  • What types of over voltages / transients are getting into our homes right now?
  • Will the companies you own shares in benefit from premature failure of appliances caused by over voltages so we have to buy more because of the damage of over voltages by utilities AND by Smart Meters themselves?
  • Can we see some testing done independently on these types of real life, real time, long term scenarios? If you have done such testing, can we see the results?
  • Was there any longer term testing done? What were the effects on wiring etc.?
  • Has there been a jurisdiction where there was ANY cost savings? Which One?
  • Do these transients / over voltages cause fires?
  • Why don’t you fix the transients coming in off the grid we pay big money to be in functioning order, or at the very least not burning our houses down as per your core mandates, before you buy new smart meters every 5-10 years?
  • Who, in SaskPower / BC Hydro and Government will be held ACCOUNTABLE for THEIR DECISIONS to recklessly and needlessly endanger men, women and children in their own homes in their respective jurisdictions?
  • Did SaskPower Install under load? Why?
  • Why are utilities installing on ‘hot sockets’ in the first place? (if indeed that is the cause of the fire)
  • How did a fire not happen at ANY point (sometimes decades) previous to the install if the hot socket was present?
  • How do the basic laws of electricity ONLY apply to the homeowner but never to the utility?
Don’t let them get away with not answering these questions. Don’t pretend this will go away. It won’t. All we have to do is look back again to the west coast and Portland recalling another 70,000 meters… Right Now.

On top of ALL that we have done together I am asking one thing of you.

To call or write your political representatives. You could even print and mail this article (emails they like to ignore).

There is no need to get malicious or anything like that. Simple, let them know you are still here, you are NOT going anywhere and you are watching and this is ALL on their hands now for standing by and watching it happen. Ask them what SPECIFIC actions there are taking to protect their constituents. You want answers, and you want them to ask the questions and get the answers.

IF they are the majority party, tell them you will not accept the “They have been approved and passed all safety regulations” line. Don’t fall this total lack of care and disrespect of your intelligence.

If they are opposition ask them, “WHAT SPECIFIC ACTION IS YOUR PARTY GOING TO TAKE TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE SAFE AND WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE THOSE SPECIFIC ACTIONS?”

Hold them liable as individuals for the crimes and damages involved with the smart meter program.  It is time for action as it is clear people’s lives are at stake. If that is not worth acting on, they should not be in office.

Redefine what is acceptable

Is what you have seen above ‘acceptable’?

What will you tell people when a Hospital or School catches fire? What about a Daycare or Seniors home?
Should this be “ACCEPTABLE” for our political representatives to do nothing about? And if they do nothing, who else but them should be held accountable after years of its customers, engineers, installers and more telling them about this? We are tired of the blame game.

Politicians, utilities and meter makers have no one to blame but themselves collectively.  According to what we've seen, it has been a group effort — by all of them — to get these meters on homes.


Notice His Current Role ?  BILL BOYD- Minister RESPONSIBLE for SASKPOWER

Bill you and your team had the ‘authority’ to take them off, which means it was you are your team who are liable for putting them on… perhaps you just realized this recently.  Better late than never I suppose.

The irony is that some brave politicians could both score some points with their constituents AND distance themselves from being a future scape goat, possibly escape being held liable after the fires keep getting worse, put money back in people’s pockets AND protect their loved ones… all at the same time.

Why aren't more of them choosing the right choice? Seems like a no brainer to me.

The way forward

Politicians and lawyers can write and interpret laws all day long, but they cannot write nor change the laws of electricity nor the law of averages which will continue to let this issue fester until resolved. Blame does not end fires, nor does talk, only action.

Sadly, as has been the case this whole fiasco, there will be another fire and another and another we the people and our ‘civil servants’ need to wake up before tragedy strikes again and we need to make sure those decision makers and paper signers are NOT let off the hook for this whole mess.

With all of the issues to do with smart meters — from cost, to surveillance, to fires, to vulnerability, to mounting reports of health harm — the levels of irresponsibility throughout this agenda can be summed up in one word: criminal.

And it’s time that we hold their feet to the fire. It is time for responsibility, accountability, and liability.

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