Arcing Meter Hazards

The following letter and photo were sent to the EMF Safety Network from a California fire department captain (Ross) who saved his home from a potential Smart Meter fire in 2009.  PG&E has admitted that Smart Meters have interfered with GFI’s and AFCI’s, but they have not admitted to any connection with a Smart Meter fire.

Friday August 21st 2009 approx 7pm PST

I was at home doing yard work in the late afternoon when my wife came outside and told me that “half the power was off again”. This had been happening on and off for about two weeks and it kept happening when I was at work. This was the first time I got a look at what was happening. It was a hot day and the AC was on. The power went off when my wife turned on the stove.

I then went into my garage and check my fuses. As I opened the door from the house to my garage I could smell burnt electrical smoke. I then rushed over to the fuse box but immediately determined that it was not the source.

I then went out side to where my meter was and I could instantly smell the burnt electrical smoke. As I was looking at the meter I inadvertently placed my hand on the meter itself and almost burned my hand. The meter was so hot you could not touch it. I then went back into my garage and felt the wall area where the meter comes in contact with my home. The wall was also very warm. Being the firefighter I am, I began to remove the sheetrock from the wall to check if I had a wall fire. There was no wall fire but the metal box into which all the homes wiring from the meter is stored was also too hot to touch with a bare hand.

At this point I called my father-in-law who is an electrician to come over and have a look. When he showed up, I told him what was going on and when he touched the meter a look of amazement came over his face and he stated ” This isn’t supposed to be this hot, we need to kill the power”.

At that point we shut the power off to my house and called the PG&E emergency line due to the fact it was a Friday evening.

PG&E sent out a service truck. When they arrived the gentleman walked up we explained what was going on and he asked “When was your Smartmeter installed” I told him ” About two weeks ago”. That when a light went off in my head.

When he went to pull the meter, it was still to hot to touch and the PG&E service worker had to put gloves on, even though the power had been off for approx one hour.

As son as he pulled the meter we could see what had happened. The receiving clips for the meter were burnt.  He then asked ” Did your power go off when the AC kicked on?” I said ” No my power went off when my wife turned on the stove to cook dinner”

He then said ” That makes sense, the burnt area is where your 220v goes into your house, you’re lucky it didn’t start a fire”

I then asked ” How did this happen?’

He then proceeded to tell me that they were having nothing but problems with the contractor who was installing the meters and that it was costing PG&E more money to follow the contractors through each neighborhood and fix the problems they were causing and that the reason they did this is that PG&E didn’t want to pay its own workers wages and wanted a cheaper price.

As you could imagine I was shocked at this admission.

He then went on, telling me that the burnt area was more than likely due to the contractors not being able to fit the new Smartmeter into place, so the widened the receiving clip and shoved it into place. By them widening the clips, the caused an area of no contact which then caused arcing every time we used and appliance with 220v.

What he said next then floored me.

He said ” Well you need a whole new box and there is no way we can repair it tonight. Technically you own the box and we would tell you to hire an electrician to fix it. PG&E own thee lines underground and everything up to the meter. Because this is behind the meter, technically its all on you”

At that point I almost blew my lid but then he said ” I am writing this up as a bad install by the contractor. I am tired of following those guys around and fixing their problems because it’s not right. I’m going to make them pay for it and hire an outside electrician to do it.” I was relieved at that point.

He then kept telling us more and more about all the problems and how this company only gave these people installing the meters two days of training and were hiring people who were not electricians. He also told us about injuries to contact employees were receiving due to lack of training.

At that point he said ” here is what I’m going to do for you. We are not going to be able to rebuild this until Monday, but I will bypass the 220v so you can use your basics, you just wont be able to do laundry or have no AC.”

He then alluded to the fact he wasn’t supposed to bypass the220v but he did it for us anyways.

Come Monday, the third party electrician showed up at my home to repair my box. He asked what happened and I told him, he then says ” This isn’t the first box I have had to fix because of those guys” meaning the contractors.

The pic you see [is] of the burnt area where the 220v went into the house.  Also you see the strips of metal in the other clips, this is where the PG & E service worker bypassed the 220v so I could at least have 110v for the weekend.

Stop Smart Meters! director arrested- protesting PG&E

Stop Smart Meters! director Josh Hart was arrested today for blocking the entrance to a PG&E payment center in Capitola. He writes, ” A showdown is looming between PG&E- who says they plan to disregard local government laws and force smart meters onto people’s homes, and local elected officials who are intent upon upholding the law and protecting the public.”

Full Story:  Stop Smart Meters!

SF Woman Arrested for Sitting on Smart Meter Truck

Amy O’Hair, a San Francisco resident who has been testing radiation from Smart Meters was arrested this morning for refusing to move off a Welllington Smart Meter installation truck.  The officer handcuffed her and took her to the county jail.  The SF Examiner reported this story “Woman arrested for allegedly blocking SmartMeter installation” See Stop Smart Meters for more on the story.

Empowering choices

According to PG&E over 16,000 people have signed up to opt out of Smart Meters. Thousands more have posted signs, built cages or locked up their analog meters.  Then there are thousands of people stuck with a Smart Meter who want it removed, and neither the utilities nor the utility regulators will help them.  In some situations customers have had to make extreme, but empowering choices because they have been abandoned by the system.

After two months of heart attack symptoms and trips to the hospital, a utility customer took matters into his own hands.  He bought an analog meter from a supply store, hired an electrician and replaced the Smart Meter with the analog.  After all, neither PG&E nor the CPUC was listening, and this was a matter of life or death.

Another woman could no longer live in her home after a Smart Meter was installed.  She experienced headaches, sleep and neurological problems.  Unlike others, in similar situations who were forced to moved, she also purchased an analog, hired an electrician, and replaced the Smart Meter with the analog. She writes, ” I bought the “AC Killowatt-Hour Meter” from Real Goods (707) 472-2407.  My electrician was hesitant, so I used a former Wellington employee who once installed Smart Meters.  Then I locked up my new analog meter as shown on the picture.  The chain goes around the meter, and around the pipe above and below the meter.”

Update October 9, 2011.

Earlier I wrote “Tampering with a utility meter is a crime , but isn’t it also criminal that serious Smart Meter health complaints are continuing to be ignored and people are suffering from these meters which are not only a health threat, but for some a daily nightmare.”

My mistake. Tampering is a crime, but we needed to define tampering.  The EMF Safety Network has retained a lawyer and learned more about tampering laws. Please see Tampering defined.

In addition Christoper Myers, PG&E representative has asked us to include safety information about swapping meters, including that PG&E personnel are trained, and follow specific safety procedures when removing meters. They wear hard hats, goggles and fire retardant clothing. If you have any questions about the safety of meter removal PG&E asks you to contact them directly at 1-800-743-5000.

PG&E threatens customer-install it or else!

Charles Pine, an Oakland resident did not want Smart Meters installed on the duplex he owns.  He was home when a PG&E worker showed up, without previous notice, to install them and Charles refused.  Although the PG&E worker did not install the meters that day, he threatened Charles, stating, “…Either we install it, or you find another energy company”.  [Ya right, PG&E is a monopoly in our area]   Many people have contacted the EMF Safety Network to complain about how PG&E has treated them when they call  about not wanting Smart Meters, but Charles Pine had a recorder in his pocket and he caught the workers statements on tape.  Check out the story and listen to the recording on Stop Smart Meters.

Texas Investigation Reveals Smart Meter Fire Risk

In Houston Texas, “Local 2 investigates Smart Meter fires” reports they looked into homeowners complaints of Smart Meter fires and found some people are left with no electricity and major damage to their homes, including burnt out appliances after a Smart Meter has been installed by the utility.

“Charles Phillips saw smoke coming from the transformer in his backyard one morning last November. When he went out to inspect the damage, he said he saw a CenterPoint Energy contractor at his meter box with a fire extinguisher. He told me it had caught on fire, Phillips said.”

“Inside Phillip’s home, two TVs were fried, his air conditioner and garage door opener stopped working, and all of the wires and cables hooked up to his electronics were melted from the jolt his electronics took when a fire sparked after the installer removed his old meter. Phillips was left with a total of about $2,500 in damages.”

According to the article, Centerpoint, the utility for Houston Texas, has admitted the connection, stating there has been less than 100 problems. “CenterPoint’s LeBlanc said the problem is mostly in older homes where wiring is not up to code or something has caused a strain on the wires running into the meter box.”

In other areas, news reports indicate some utilities are beginning to recognize the problem.  According to this article, A CEO of Oncor, another Texas utility,  says, “the company has a new procedure for installation of smart meters after two house fires in Arlington last week.  Robert Shapard says old wiring in two homes could not support the new smart meters.”

In the State of Maine a news report states a utility supervisor admits finding Smart Meter fire hazards, “…the technicians are actually discovering more possible fire hazards than the company anticipated, and informing customers of dangers they otherwise would not have known existed. He said, so far, they have discovered 70 to 80 electrical issues in the Portland area.”

Powercor, a utility company in Australia, recognizes the safety risk from Smart Meters, stating, “A defect notice is issued when a wiring safety issue is identified.”  In Victoria, Australia, installers identified possibly life-threatening electrical hazards in 3500 Victorian homes.

In  July 2010 Cindy Sage, Sage Associates and James J. Biergiel, EMF Electrical Consultant wrote an article describing the risks of “Wireless Smart Meters and Potential for Electrical Fires.”

The EMF Safety Network has been collecting stories and news reports onthis issue.  Two unreported stories involved house fires and suspicions of possible links to the newly installed Smart Meters.  One fire started in a surge protector, which destroyed the older home.  The other was reported to start in a swamp cooler and the owner died in the fire.  Both had recently installed Smart Meters.  In the second fire, a loud humming was heard in the home,  an explosion sound and a computer fried, and later the fire erupted.

More info: Smart Meter Fires and explosions.

Medical Implants and Wireless Hazards


Widespread wireless installations including Smart Meters are creating safety risks for 20-25 million people, who have medical implants such as pacemakers, infusion pumps, metal rods and hearing aids.  In some cases these interference risks are life threatening. Dr. Gary Olhoeft, professor of Geophysics in Colorado, has a medical implant, a deep brain stimulator for Parkinson’s disease.  Olhoeft shares his research and knowledge about wireless interference with implants.

In part two Dr. Ohloeft describes a situation where as he passed through a retail store security system his stimulator was turned off.  He shares, “I had to turn myself back on. I have about four seconds to do that before I start shaking so bad I can’t do it.”

Special thanks to EMR Policy for these important videos.  EMR Policy writes, “Translating the complex science and drawing upon personal experience of such interference with his own implant, Olhoeft’s information poses important policy questions on protecting the disabled from interference. ”

WHO’s Statement is a Game Changer

By Joshua Hart, Director StopSmartMeters.Org
June 2nd 2011

Make no mistake.   The decision by the World Health Organization on Tuesday to classify non-ionizing radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” is an absolute game changer for our movement. This seemingly cautious statement by the world’s pre-eminent health organization should ring loud alarm bells around the world.  Despite backroom industry influence and widespread conservatism, the slow-to-react beast was finally forced to act- as the walls of wireless damage closed in.

Wireless technology is something most of us have taken for granted for quite a while now.  Someone said the other day, “I don’t even remember when they introduced cell phones.  All of a sudden everyone was just using them.”  Therein lies the crux.  We just took the phone we were handed.  We didn’t ask questions.  We trusted that any authority that would allow this product to be sold would not do so without reasonable assurances of safety.  It is now clear that that misplaced trust has been betrayed, and people are dying because of it.

The truth is that our government allowed (even promoted) a technology whose effects on biological living systems we really knew very little about. There’s capitalism for you.  Life really isn’t that important.  It’s all about the money.  You are expendable. So- apparently- is the planet.

The WHO’s decision, and the large number of studies that led to it are suddenly opening up a whole new set of questions about how we use wireless- questions that people wouldn’t have dared to whisper- even last week.

Continue here:

http://stopsmartmeters.org/2011/06/02/whos-statement-is-a-game-changer/