2016-08-20 Fire in Ontario caused by power surge — a documented problem with smeters

1)    Fire in Ontario that is believed to be caused by a surge in the meter ($$meter) after a lightning strike.  I asked some electrical experts if this would have happened had the meter been an analog and this is what I was told:

Tavistock Fire

It wasn’t the surge that was the problem because surges happen all the time (a normal/expected use) and a properly designed/tested/certified/maintained system won’t catch fire when that happens.  The problem is some combination of the meter and the owner’s infrastructure wasn’t up to resisting the surge and a house fire resulted.  My guess is the combustible meter caught fire as a result of heat created by the surge and the meter base/enclosure combination wasn’t up to the task of containing the fire (remember it wasn’t designed, tested, and CSA certified for combustible meters) so it spread to the house.  Would things have been different with an analog meter?  For sure the (imo) most likely scenario wouldn’t have played out because analog meters can’t/don’t catch fire . . . but that’s not to say if there’d been an analog meter there wouldn’t have been a fire because the surge energy could have shorted to ground and generated enough heat to cause a fire anywhere in the household grid system if the various bits and pieces comprising same weren’t to code or properly maintained.”


A whistleblower many years ago, before BC Hydro began installing these on our homes, warned that smeters are fire hazards and could fail dangerously when a surge occurs. He was fired from his job.

From a 2012 article:


“In the complaint Baker relates in detail what makes the meters dangerous, and the allegations are damning—and alarming. A few highlights:

[Meters] may fail dangerously when subjected to a sudden surge of electricity …. Meters found to contain ‘flux’ or loose solder residue …. Calibration equipment not properly designed …. Electric resistor component defective …. Internal temperatures up to 200° Fahrenheit …. Hot socket alarm …. Drastic overheating to the point of catastrophic failure, melting, and burning….”

2)    A large number of people in London, Ontario are behind on their electricity bills as rates keep increasing.


3)    In Australia, a large group fighting the development of the $$mart grid is also submitting comments regarding the inadequacies of the exposure guidelines. ARPANSA’s guideline is the counterpart of Health Canada’s Safety Code 6. I believe the two were the same until the recent review and push by many of us resulted in reductions in SC 6 levels.

An excellent letter written:


“ARPANSA’s standard for radiofrequency exposure does not provide a high level of protection when compared with some of the other guidelines and standards in place elsewhere in the world. Forty percent of the world’s population live in jurisdictions with significantly lower limits. Radiofrequency exposure limits in place in these jurisdictions are ten to hundreds (and even thousands) of times more rigorous than ARPANSA’s standard, which is based on the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection’s 1998 guidelines (Jamieson 2014)…

Increased wireless interconnectivity increases the vulnerability of energy supply

SSMA considers that security and emergency management standards need to take particular account of the increased vulnerability to supply that deployment of wireless technology entails as a result of either environmental or deliberate electromagnetic pulse interference. Although long-distance electricity transmission is also at risk, wireless advanced metering networks, which rely on a host of computer-controlled infrastructure, add another layer of vulnerability to solar electromagnetic pulse (EMP) events, man-made high altitude nuclear (HEMP) and non-nuclear EMP events.”

4)    More on the couple in Maryland who had power cut because they refuse to pay extortion. They are refusing based on principle –

Pepco ratepayers Assya and Mario Pascalev

The Pascalevs say that evidence about health risks from smart meters is inconclusive — but that what isn’t broken shouldn’t be fixed, especially when change compromises personal choice. ­After all, this couple met in Bulgaria in the 1980s, where, as university students, they fought against the then-Communist nation’s compulsory military service.

“We’re probably more sensitive to limitations on individual liberties,” Assya Pascalev said.”


5)    The utility in Oklahoma wanted to force people to take dangerous $$meters but the Public Utility Commission refused to allow. People can keep their analogs but the utility is pushing for extortion fees of $71 initially and $26 monthly. The Commission will have to decide if this is allowed.

Remember how BC Hydro says that 1) analogs won’t work with the grid and 2) analogs are not available?




Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

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