West Coast Death Sparks Debate Over Worcester Smart Grid System
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
After nine fires – one of which led to the death of a 61-year-old woman – in less than two years, the Fire Chiefs of both Sparks and Reno, Nevada are calling for an investigation of smart meters installed in their respective towns.
"We're taking this problem very seriously and we have from the very beginning," Sparks Fire Chief Tom Garrison said Friday. "We tried diligently to determine the scope of the potential problem. We've done many things to conclusively explain why these fires were starting. So far, we don't have a definitive reason."
While still investigating whether or not smart meters were the definitive cause in each of the fires, smart meters at each home had visible fire damage.
A Growing Issue
While there has yet to be a reported safety concern in Massachusetts with smart meters as of yet, Portland, Oregon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Saskatchewan, Canada have all experienced problems with smart meters potentially starting fires, leading to the removal of 356,000 smart meters among the three cities.
Part of the concern with a smart meter fire is that the fire starts on the outside of the building, meaning that the fire won’t be detected by the inside fire alarms until it has grown large enough to enter the house.
No Threat For Massachusetts
While there is certainly a large concern in Nevada right now that smart meters may be causing fires and putting residents in danger, National Grid says that Massachusetts residents need not worry.
According to the National Grid, Worcester area smart grids are made by a different company than the ones that have been experiencing problems on the West Coast. Of the 14,800 meters installed in the Worcester area, there have been no reported safety issues.
“There is no reason for our customers to be worried," said Jake Navarro, a spokesperson for the National Grid. "Our smart grid system has been certified and complies with all governmental standards. We haven't seen a single fire-related issue with our smart meter; these smart meters are certainly safe."
- Residents Protesting Smart Grid Pilot in Worcester
- NEW: National Grid to Bring “Smart Grid” to Worcester
- Worcester Smart Grid Roll Out Causing Controversy
- Will Worcester Smart Grid Succeed or Fail?
- Will Smart Meters Be Stopped in Worcester?
- MUSIC: GNaRDS and Secret Lover at the Firehouse
- Girl Scouts to Host ‘Girls on Fire’ Interactive Empowerment Event
- Worcester Fire Fighters Dying at an Alarming Rate, Not From Fires
- Leonardo Angiulo: Dissecting the Proposed MA Firearm Legislation
- Worcester Fireworks Display Set For July 3rd
- Pure Prairie League + Firefall Play ‘Wormstock’ at Mechanic’s Hall
- Worcester Braces for Fireworks Injuries
- Tolman Picks up Endorsement from Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts
- Sturbridge, Northbridge Receive $872,100 in Fire Grants from FEMA
- Fire & Ice Day at Old Sturbridge Village July 19
- Revs Drop Fifth Straight, Fall 1-0 To Fire
- Does Lack of Building Inspections Put Firefighters’ Lives at Risk?
- In Case You Missed It—Worcester Fire Fighters Dying at an Alarming Rate
- Former Worcester Reporter Fired - To File Grievance Against WJAR
- Almost 75 Percent of Worcester Fire Dept. Calls Not Fire Related
- Up Close With Worcester Rockers Dumpster Fire
- Worcester Coming Under Fire for Downtown Delays
- Don’t Miss: Beer Tasting + Bonfire at Fruitlands Museum
- NEW: Worcester Fire Dept Presents “Be Safe in Your Home”
- Clark LEEP Students Intern at Providence’s WaterFire
- NEW: Worcester’s Fire Alarm & Telegraph Renovation To Break Ground
- Worcester’s Foxfires Bring Hardcore Punk to Central Mass
- LEGAL MATTERS: Can Your Tattoo Get You Fired?
- NEW: MA State Committee to Host Series of Hearings on Firearms
- NEW: Smart Meters on Worcester Zoning Board Agenda Tonight
- Anti-Smart Meter Petition Filed with AG as Conflict Heats Up
- Anti-Smart Meter Group Opposed to Worcester School Tech Upgrades
- NEW: National Grid Donates $155K to United Way for Heating Assistance
- LIVE MAP: National Grid Power Outages
- NEW: National Grid Issues Tips for Safe Holiday Lighting
- NEW: Public Hearing on Worcester Smart Meters Set for August 21
- NEW: Coakley Hits National Grid with Record $16 Million in Fines
- City Confronts National Grid on Worcester’s Black Outs
- Massive Rate Hikes Coming for National Grid Customers
- STORM UPDATE: National Grid Urging Customers to Stay Safe
- NEW: National Grid ‘Ready’ for Nor’easter, Tells Central MA to Prepare
- National Grid, Fire Officials Urge For Safety in Snow Removal
- National Grid Donates $25K to EcoTarium for City Science Exhibit
- Central Mass Girl Scouts Get $10K From National Grid for Science
- NEW: National Grid Warns of Latest Payment Scam
- NEW: National Grid Warns of Extended Power Outages
- UPDATE: National Grid on Central MA Power Outages
- Worcester Is Front Line In Battle Over Utilities ‘Smart Meters’
- NEW: Group Holding Worcester Meeting to Protest Smart Meters
- Will Worcester Residents Be Forced To Adopt Smart Meters?
- Smart Meter Infrastructure Delayed Again, Opposition Still Remains
- National Survey Contradicts Worcester’s Report About Smart Meters
- Anti-Smart Meter Group Enraged over “Monsanto-like” Telecom Bill
- Anti-Smart Meter Group Blasts New Transmitter for Health Concerns
- Worcester Smart Grid System Adds Home Energy Management Technology
- National Grid Smart Grid Program Launches Technology Phase
- NEW: National Grid Asks for Continuance in Smart Grid Permitting
- Consumer Advocates Demand Audit of Worcester Smart Grid Program