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MFB: Concerns over Smart Meters sparking house fires

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 12:00 am By admin

In a letter leaked to 3AW's Neil Mitchell, MFB fire commander Shane Wright confirmed that there were concerns the installation of smart meters may be linked to electrical fires. All fires involving smart meters will be recorded. Fire fighters have also been ordered to not allow electricity company representatives from removing a smart meter if it is involved in the fire. This prevents any attempt to 'cover up' evidence that the smart meter was involved.

It is not necessarily the smart meter itself that causes the fire, but instead, it is due to the installation process. When a smart meter is fitted, wiring and other parts of a switchboard is disturbed. If the contractor does not take due care, the disturbance of wires can lead to a hazardous situation. Contractors push workers to install the new meters as quickly as possible in order to keep up profits. The 'rush jobs' may not put safety first.

However, in one case where Energy Safe Victoria investigated a smart meter fire, it was discovered a manufacturing fault inside the smart meter caused a fire which spread to the switchboard.

But as yet, there is no firm link between switchboard fires and smart meters. In the preceeding few months, there have been three switchboard fire incidents, all of which had a smart meter installed. Investigations are ongoing.

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