Safety Authority Rules Ontario Smart Meter Explosion and ‘Ball of Fire’ Not Caused by Smart Meter

Collingwood Smart Meter FireIn a press release on June 10th, Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) announced that it has ruled out the smart meter as the source of an explosion and fire that occurred on the exterior of a Collingwood house on Sunday, May 31, 2015.

Without much additional information, the ESA states:

“It is clear from the pattern of the fire and damage to equipment that the fire originated outside the electrical meter,” and that a “review continues to try to determine source” of the fire.

On the surface, this press release by the ESA seems almost inexplicable.  A vivid eyewitness account of a smart meter explosion and “ball of fire,” media reports, and reported statements of the fire responders all indicated a smart meter was the obvious source of an explosion and fire.  The fire responders reportedly said:

“It’s your hydro meter.  You have a smart meter.  If your house had been a wooden structure and not a brick structure, you wouldn’t be alive.”

Questions regarding the smart meter explosion were posed to the Ontario Energy Minister on June 4th and to the Ontario Premier on June 6th.  On June 10th, a local media outlet published an editorial opinion that “Next time we might not be so lucky.”

Was political pressure applied to the ESA to release a statement clearing the smart meter without a complete investigation?  This seems a definite possibility.

The course being followed in this fire investigation likely does involve some deception.  A clue is revealed in a news story from June 9th where it is reported that:

“Local utility officials say it may have been a malfunction with the meter base, and not the meter itself that caused a smart meter to go up in flames last weekend.”

Although the above news report is more revealing than the ESA press release stating that the source of the fire was “outside the electrical meter,” both statements could be true.

Smart Meter Remnants in CollingwoodThe probable deception by the ESA and any cooperating organizations would be in treating the connection between the smart meter and the meter base as “outside the electrical meter.”  It appears the authorities may be heading in the direction of blaming a condition call “hot socket” (or something similar) for the cause of the fire.  A hot socket is where there is a loss of tension in at least one of the meter socket jaws for the meter receptacle.  This loss of proper tension contributes to micro-arcing that can lead to eventual catastrophic failure of a smart meter with a subsequent explosion and/or fire.

Even if this were true, as reported at this website and as shown by industry testing, Analog Meters Withstand “Hot Sockets” Better Than Smart Meters.  In addition, it is likely that the cheap construction of the smart meter, loose/ misaligned stab connectors, and/or poor installation procedures followed by the electric utility workers contribute to smart meter fires that are later blamed on “hot sockets” or “customer wiring problems.”

Actually, one only needs to read documents written by Underwriters Laboratories to confirm this common sense conclusion and the vulnerability of smart meters whereby the UL wrote:

“The introduction of smart meters raises new concerns about functional safety, performance and product safety, data security, and interoperability, which are not fully addressed by the [current] standards. … This [new] standard was developed to address problems that have been reported from field installations of smart meters, including fires, meters ejecting from meter socket bases and exposed live parts.  When electronic components are overstressed, there is a potential for the components to explode.”

So we’ll continue to follow the “review” regarding the ‘Ball of Fire’ from Smart Meter Explosion in Collingwood, Ontario.  What has been frustrating is how in so many smart meter-related fires that the smart grid industry has been reasonably successful in avoiding accountability for fires and explosions that would have not occurred if customers still had their old reliable analog or “less advanced” electrical usage meters.

Source Material for this Article

Ontario Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) press release from June 10, 2015:
ESA-Collingwood-event-conclusion-release_FINAL_June10.2015

“Smart Meter Not Cause of Fire,” Bayshore Broadcasting at http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=75612

“Collus, Electrical Safety Authority probe Collingwood smart meter fire,” June 9, 2015, simcoe.com at http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/5668632-collus-electrical-safety-authority-probe-collingwood-smart-meter-fire/

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About SkyVision Solutions

Raising public awareness and finding solutions for smart grid issues related to invasions of privacy, data security, cyber threats, health and societal impacts, as well as hazards related to radiofrequency (RF) radiation emissions from all wireless devices, including smart meters.
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