Smart meter fires and electrical problems

California-based investigative writer, Nina Beety, recently released a 50-page overview on electrical hazards associated with digital utility meters.  Her extensively referenced document points out the many ways that smart meters can malfunction – sometimes with catastrophic consequences.  Meters have exploded and have caused fires and they have likely contributed to the severity of other fires.  Some of the fires have resulted in the deaths of people and their pets.

The inanity of placing a device which is packed with circuit boards outdoors, and exposed to the elements, is highlighted.  The electronics can overheat.  The meters are light and don’t dissipate heat as well as electromechanical meters.  Moisture can be the trigger which causes smart meter fires.

Small electronic parts can’t handle high intensity voltage surges.  Remotely turning on and turning off power can cause meters to combust.  The switch-mode power supply creates high frequency transients.

High frequency wireless radiation from mesh-networked smart meters causes molecules to change polarity 1.8 billion times per second.  The polarity change may be even higher for 3G smart meters.  This causes vibration at a molecular level to building materials, metal and in the body.  Near-field exposure can also cause metal fatigue and rapid non-oxidative corrosion due to electron-stripping.

To top this off, the location of the meter itself presents challenges because fires often start outside the house, at the meter box, and can’t be detected by smoke alarms.  Nevada fire chief Tom Garrison is reported as saying of a smart meter blaze “It can burn a long time and enter the attic or the walls.  The occupants inside may not even be aware the house is on fire.”  And even if fire crews have arrived on the scene, another obstacle presents itself: authorised personnel may be needed to disconnect the electricity at the pole if the meter fire makes it impossible to access the fuse box switch.

Studies have also shown that trees near radiofrequency-emitters can show significant stress.  Trees produce terpenes when they are stressed or injured.  These volatile oils create a more flammable environment.  The infrastructure required for smart meters (towers and, in the case of mesh networks, access points), along with the meters themselves, may be helping to create a perfect storm in our hot, dry summers.

Water and gas smart meters also aren’t safe from the threat of fires and explosions. The lithium batteries which power them are very flammable to water, as well as overheating, which can cause them to explode.

As Nina Beety concludes, “The most preventable fire hazard in every community may be smart/digital utility meters”.

Access “Overview: Fire and Electrical Hazards from ‘Smart’, Wireless, PLC, and Digital Utility Meters” here.


Previous posts that SSMA has done on smart meter fire issues include:

Where there’s smoke …there’s a ‘smart’ meter

Kansas City smart meter fires

Can smart meters cause house fires?

More smart meter fires

Energy supplier denies blame for house fire – The Age

Boy saves family from house fire – Neoskosmos

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Petition | Recognise microwave & electrical illness as a functional impairment in Australia

Radiation Refuge Foundation Ltd, a charitable organisation which acts as a support organisation for people affected by electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), started this petition to the Australian Human Rights Commission and Department of Health.

The petition calls for:
• A national inquiry into human rights issues surrounding the rapid increase in the population’s exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
• The inquiry to be used as a basis for informing policy.
• The Department of Health to assume responsibility to develop and promote policies which assist people with these illnesses and disabilities to participate in the workforce.
• Medical personnel to be trained to treat these illnesses, but still recognising that the underlying cause remains the environment.
• The transition to wireless to be reduced as much as possible and wired communications encouraged. Copper landlines be saved.
• A low EMF zone to be created for people affected by EHS.

To read the petition in full and sign, go here.                   


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Electromagnetic radiation overload!

To add to the electromagnetic radiation continuously pulsed by smart meters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, thousands of 5G mobile phone bases are being installed outside Australian homes without residents’ approval.

Policymakers worldwide are taking action due to the growing awareness of the health impact of 4G/5G densification.  Yet in Australia, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) insists that 5G is safe!

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) chief executive Teresa Corbin has been reported as saying that residents should have the right to reject the equipment.  She said “There’s going to be a lot of these base stations and if one’s installed within a few feet of someone’s window, it shouldn’t just happen automatically”.


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New research shows that over a quarter of Australians are concerned about the health risks of 5G technology

Roy Morgan, Australia’s largest independent research company, interviewed a cross-section of 626 Australians aged 18+ in late June 2019.  Respondents were asked “Have you heard of 5G technology for mobile phone and internet services?” and those that were aware were then told “4G is the current technology used for mobile phone and mobile internet services5G technology is the next upgrade” and asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of attitude statements.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says the survey shows that “while over 9-in-10 Australians are aware of 5G technology only around a quarter of Australians aware of 5G (28.7%) are ready to switch mobile phone or internet providers to get 5G today”.

She also pointed out that issues raised by Australians include potential health concerns, with 26.1% agreeing with the statement that “I’m concerned about the health risks of 5G technology”.  Another 20.6% of respondents are concerned about data security and agreed with the statement that “I worry that changing to 5G will increase the risk to my data security”.

To view Roy Morgan’s full press release, go to:
Australians need convincing on the benefits of 5G technology

To download the report as a PDF, go here.

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Chicago smart water meter installations STOPPED after city finds spikes of brain-damaging lead in homes

Chicago’s aggressive push to metered water came to a grinding halt on 28th June 2019 after testing found spikes of brain-damaging lead in more than 1 in 5 homes sampled, following the installation of a digital water meter.  The Department of Water Management’s website states that, “To protect our residents, and especially children, we are going to stop installing water meters until we identify a solution”.

Meters with automatic meter reading (AMR) technology – in other words, smart meters – had been installed.

Its FAQ webpage on water quality reveals that the indication is “the installation of water meters is the issue, not the replacement of water mains”.  The webpage also made it clear that the new meters don’t have lead in them.

So what could possibly have gone wrong?  Is it possible that pulsed radiofrequencies in proximity to legacy lead pipes, or brass fixtures containing lead, are not ideal bedmates? There is anecdotal evidence that high frequency fields produced by antennas can affect corrosion rates.  Or is another cause behind the worrying levels of increased lead in Chicago homes’ water following the installation of a meter?

SSMA asks how does this bode for the rollout of smart water meters across Australia?  Might the technology and deployment methods being used here also cause increased lead in drinking water?  In addition to the community and the environment being exposed to more electro-smog as a result of hourly transmissions between smart water meters and network gateways, and due to emissions from back-haul transmissions between network gateways and towers, are we also to be exposed to higher levels of lead in our water?

Some water utilities in Australia have already rolled out digital water meters with others, lemming-like, commencing rollouts or, like Melbourne’s City West Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water, continuing to undertake trials.

SSMA recommends that, as a matter of urgency, you contact your water authority and make your views known about smart water meters.

South East Water, like a number of other water utilities, claims that “Customers have told us they support upgrading our network to digital meters to help both the water utilities and customers manage our water more sustainably”.

SSMA asks if these customers would be equally supportive of digital meters if they were aware of the possibility of increased lead in their drinking water, in addition to the ramifications resulting from another layer of electro-pollution?


Previous posts that SSMA has done on the rollout of smart water meters include:
Victoria’s Minister for Water evades questions about smart water meters
Look out Victorian water customers – your utility may be rolling out smart meters!
Water authorities rolling out wireless smart meters!
Smart water meter “trials” have commenced!

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Pollinators at risk: The Honey Bee says Stop 5G

The harmful effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on nature have been scientifically recognised.  Due to electromagnetic smog, honeybees are often unable to find their way back to their hives, the resulting massive loss of workers then leads to colony collapse, which is why electromagnetic radiation has been suggested as one potential cause of colony collapse disorder.

5G could increase the threat of EMF destroying the environment.

Click on the image below to access this informative flyer and learn more about the impact of wireless technology on insects, birds and animals.  Text in blue is hyperlinked to resources for more information.

Many thanks to EMF Safety Network and its agency for providing SSMA with the Australian version of this flyer.

For a higher resolution version of the above flyer, download The Honey Bee says Stop 5G A4 print version.

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French Court orders the removal of smart meters for health reasons

A French court has ordered the removal of the controversial Linky electricity smart meters from 13 homes, for medical reasons.

The tribunal de grande instance (TGI or the civil court) of Tours considered the case of 121 “anti-Linky” complainants, and threw out 108 of the claims. The remaining 13 were accepted, with the court conceding a possible link between their medical complaints and their Linky smart meters.

One included a seven-year-old child living in Tours, who was – the court said – in “a state of chronic fatigue” and having “difficulty sleeping”, as proven in a medical note, “which could be linked to the Linky meter”.

The court demanded that in the case of these 13 individuals, the Linky [smart] meter be removed, and the households be delivered electricity without the device.

Lawyer for the complainants, Arnaud Durand, said that he would push for compensation for “the people who will not be able to live at home”.

In June 2017, medical safety agency L’Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire (Anses) concluded that the meters could be linked to some “health doubts” – including the possible consequences of exposure to electromagnetic fields.

These have not yet been resolved, according to Me Durand.

He is now hoping to bring more cases against the installation of the Linky meter throughout France.

The country has already seen 22 cases brought to court, including in Rennes, Toulouse, and Bordeaux. Most claims were thrown out, except for a few complainants who cited “electro-sensitivity” to the meters.

More than 700 communes have come out against the Linky so far.

In February this year, a court ruled that a village had the right to say no to them, and residents of the town of Blagnac (Occitanie) were given legal permission to refuse for Enedis to collect any information from their Linky, or for an engineer to enter their property.

Abridged from The Connexion: French news and views


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