Quebec : Smart meters that take fire?

First published November 6, 2013 at 4:53


Photo credit: Courtesy     Meters which caught fire

Ewan Sauves | QMI Agency

Residents of a duplex in the borough of St. Leonard in Montreal had a scare last Saturday when four counters Hydro-Québec would have caught fire, requiring rapid intervention of firefighters.

Tenants of 6157 Lavoisier Boulevard were evacuated from the site immediately. Since the incident, they live in a hotel room, paid for in part by the Army Hi.

According to the owner of the building in question, Tony Di Minno, Hydro-Québec would have settled in mid-October four new smart meters.


(Credit: Courtesy)

Before the fire takes, power outages in the area were found on at least two occasions, he said.

“When I arrived home on Saturday, I told my wife that smelled burned. We knocked on my door and tenant told me that the fire is taken, ‘he recalls. I came out, I wanted to put baking soda on the fire, but when I opened the door counters, everything started to jump. I called 911. ”

Tony Di Minno Hydro-Québec blame in this matter and demand an explanation.

“People who come to the facilities are usually students, that are not master electricians, he commented. My house is 35 years old, my boxes were in good condition and it is Hydro-Québec has decided to play it. ”

Hydro-Québec has conducted investigation and concluded that the counters are not the cause of the fire. Patrice Lavoie spokesman says as it is “practically impossible” that a meter ignite.

“A counter, whether ancient or new generation, can not explode. It may not be the fault of the counter, he said. Our engineers have concluded that a contact between two son in the customer’s electrical system is causing a short circuit, which caused the fire. ”

Mr. Lavoie adds that all new meters installed are functional. Several physical and electrical tests are performed before installation.

“It is beyond the earth, we send them electric shocks, they are subjected to temperature variations, etc. They are highly tested and comply with the standards, “says the spokesperson for Hydro-Québec.




Smart Meters cause stir in St. Leonard Quebec (CTV NEWS)






Published Wednesday, November 6, 2013 8:21PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 6, 2013 8:22PM EST

A St-Leonard man, his family and tenants have been living in a hotel after a fire damaged their four-plex.

Tony Di Minno believes that the recent installation of smart meters nearby is to blame for his displacement. But, Hydro-Quebec — the company responsible for installing the meters — says otherwise.

“Maybe it was a bad connection somewhere, when [the meters] were installed,” Di Minno suggested, pointing out that following the meters’ installation, his  freezer began acting up and his electricty started weirdly fluctuating.

CTV Montreal: Problematic meters in St. Leo

Soon after, on Oct. 26, smoke was spotted at the back of Di Minno’s house by one of his tenants. Firemen were called to the scene to put out the flames.

Di Minno hasn’t had electricity since that day. He’s been staying with his family and tenants at a nearby Quality Inn, courtesy of the Red Cross.

Following Di Minno’s allegations that the smart-meters were the cause of the blaze, Hydro-Quebec sent an investigator to examine the electrical box where the flames started.

The company concluded that a short-circuit between two wire’s in Di Minno’s electrical box was the culprit that caused the blaze.

“It’s been demonstrated that it’s a contact between two wires in the socket which belonged to the client,” said Hydro-Quebec’s Patrice Lavoie.

And despite Di Minno’s persistent allegations, Lavoie is adamant that the meters could not have been the reason behind the fire.

“The smart meter by itself cannot cause the fire — that’s for sure,” he said.

Di Minno suggested that the company might not have hired properly skilled workers to perform the installation.

Hydro-Quebec said it has installed over 800,000 smart meters across the province, and that employee competency is certainly not the issue.

“Our employees are really well-trained to do this kind of installation,” Lavoie said.