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Fire Safety & Smart Meters

By Phill Feltham

New study shows metering devices are electrically safe

BY LEN GARIS, Fire Chief of the City of Surrey

A new study by a Canadian university may help mitigate any lingering concerns about the fire safety of smart meters. “Revisiting the Safety of Smart Meter Installations in British Columbia”, released in September 2013 by the University of the Fraser Valley, investigates whether or not smart meters have been associated with an increase in residential fires in British Columbia (B.C.).

Smart metering systems continue to be installed around the world and are rapidly becoming the standard equipment for utilities throughout North America. In the past few years, utility providers in every province have begun installing smart meters.

Ontario and British Columbia have the most advanced programs, with more than 4.5 million smart meters in Ontario homes and small businesses, and an estimated 1.8 million smart meters in B.C. homes. Elsewhere in the world, about 46 million smart meters had been installed in the United States by July 2013 (about 40 percent of homes), and it is predicted 250 million smart meters will be in use worldwide by 2015.

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