By Andy Alcock, KSHB-TV | See original article
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Nearly every home and business in the metro have one.
Kansas City Power & Light is at the tail end of a two and a half year project to install more than 700,000 smart meters across the metro.
It’s a small part of the billions of dollars utilities have invested in smart meters across the U.S.
But there are serious concerns Waverly Galbreath experienced firsthand. The burn marks are visible on his KCMO home.
A burned-out circuit board is the only remaining part of the smart meter at Galbreath’s home where the July fire started.
Galbreath wasn’t at home when it started.
“I got a call from my neighbor and he said my house was on fire. But when I arrived, I found out the meter had exploded,” he said.
A KCP&L spokeswoman said the utility is investigating the fire, but she said this type of issue in the metro is very rare.
KCP&L Vice President Chuck Caisley said in a statement to the 41 Action News Investigators, “Out of the more than 700,000 meters KCP&L has installed, we are only aware of a handful of meter malfunctions.”
There are multiple smart meter makers and different models.
The company KCP&L uses has had past issues in other places.
Despite few problems in the metro, hundreds of thousands of smart meters have been recalled in the last several years across North America.
And hundreds of fires have broken out in California, Texas, Florida, Nevada, Illinois and across Canada.
“It really is a very dangerous issue and should be treated as a real unprecedented emergency in your area,” said Canadian electrician Professor Curtis Bennett.
Bennett is in an ongoing Canadian legal battle over smart meters.
Bennett sent the 41 Action News Investigators thermal images showing a dangerous smart meter connection running too hot and a normal one.
“Now you’ve got this plastic piece of junk on their property and that’s actually what’s burning inside that meter base with the wires,” he said.
But Caisley said KCP&L has had a total of six problems out of more than 700,000 meters.
He said the utility has returned a couple meters which have overheated to its supplier.
California insurance adjuster Norman Lambe currently has seven open smart meter fire claims on his desk.
Of the dozens of smart meter fires he’s investigated, he said overheating is the major issue.
“They are sparking, they are manufacturing too much heat,” he said. “In any given situation when you have too much heat and you have material to burn, meaning unfortunately wiring in the individual’s home or business, you’re going to have a fire.”
America’s utilities are spending billions of dollars to install smart meters.
The old ones with the dials, called analog meters, only recorded electricity usage, requiring a meter reader to get the information.
Smart meters transmit your usage information to the power company.
Lambe said those transmissions can cause overheating.
This is explained in a video about smart meter fires.
“These fires are going to continue to happen because again, the basic laws of electricity are being violated,” the video says.
But KCP&L’s statement said, “At this point, we have found nothing that leads us to believe there is a problem or safety issue with the new meters.”
Galbreath has a different take.
He was without power for over a month after his home’s smart meter fire. He said he’s lucky the wood-shingled home didn’t go up in flames.
When asked if other metro residents should be concerned about smart meters he said, “I think so, I really do.”
KCP&L said the type of smart meters they’re using have not been recalled.
The utility’s statement also said the vast majority of house fires are caused by factors other than meters like outdated and overloaded wiring.
Bennett told the 41 Action News Investigators smart meter connections to old bases and faulty wiring are a serious part of the fire problem.
A spokesman for the Board of Public Utilities, BPU, said that utility has installed 70,000 smart meters in Wyandotte County.
BPU spokesman David Mehlhaff said there have been no reports of smart meter fires there.
To check on your own meter, Lambe said the best way is to feel your meter at the end of the day when it’s cool outside.
He said if it’s hot to the touch, call your utility company.
SMART METER FIRES: Fatalities & Liability
• Hundreds of smart meters simultaneously explode (Stockton, CA – April 2015)
• Smart meter fire kills 74-year old man in Dallas, Texas (February 2015)
• Man dies in “smart” meter fire (Vacaville, CA – July 2013)
• Fatal fire, smart meter suspected:“Be very aware, very vigilant” says Fire Chief (Reno, NV – Sept 2014)
• Couple escapes house fire, dogs killed: smart meter blamed (Detroit, MI – October 2014)
• ALL 1.2M Elster “smart” meters to be replaced in Arizona (November 2015)
• SaskPower to replace 105,000 faulty “smart” meters (Saskatchewan, CAN – July 2014)
• SaskPower CEO resigns following investigation into smart meter “catastrophe” (October 2014)
• PGE to replace 70,000 faulty “smart” meters (Portland, OR – July 2014)
• Lakeland Electric to replace over 10,000 faulty “smart” meters (Lakeland, FL – August 2014)
• Are tens of thousands of defective “smart” meters being stealthily replaced in Arizona? (Sept 2014)
• PECO replaces 186,000 faulty “smart” meters (Philadelphia, PA – October 2012)
• Another 100 smart meters simultaneously explode (Capitola, CA – May 2015)
• News & articles on fires – Take Back Your Power
• Archive of hundreds of documented “smart” meter fires – EMF Safety Network
Smart Meter Fires: Burning meters, burning questions, shocking answers (video):
I am really interested
Could you please explain in simple language the actual causes of the fires
Lots of smart meters being installed in New Zealand. No talk of fires?
Is a particular brand of meter at fault
It wouldn’t matter what meter you use or even if you thought you could build a better one, the utility and meter company don’t understand the installation is the problem. It is also illegal creating more liability.
1. Utility can not trespass to work on the meter base, they do not have the authority or jurisdiction. They can read it but can not swap the meter. The meter is electrically attached to electrical connections on the meter base and the connections can be decades old, very fragile and then you have people not qualified replacing the meter under varying electrical load. Go to page 9 to 13 at this letter to the City of Kelowna. http://thermoguy.com/wp-content/uploads/Response-to-FortisBCs-Daily-Courier-Article-Advances-Meters-are-Safe-and-Smart.pdf
2. When the utility swaps out the meter 2 times, they are physically pulling or pushing on fragile connections and the utility isn’t cleaning or tightening the connections that may be decades old. That means their own meter or equipment will fail with the arcs, surges and fires as a result of the installation.
You can learn more on the video posted in the article up above, it will explain in detail, yet simply
what you need to know.
Yep, I would NEVER have one of These Smart Metres installed in My House because of the Danger of them Setting Fire to the house and quite Possibly Killing everyone inside, For more information about these Dangerous Metres, Just go to Google and enter, “SMART METRES.” and Read up what they are capable of doing to your Property if and WHEN They Catch FIRE, Ok, 🙁
Unfortunately they don’t seem to feel they need your permission to come on your property and install them.
News 41 does not include the issue of health safety with emitting wireless RF radiation every 2 seconds. That may not seem like a problem to some, but there are people that become quite ill from having to live near smartmeters; their own plus neighbors’. The most common health complaint is not being able to sleep. Sleep deprivation is a serious health hazard. Make no mistake, this constant radiation exposure is disruptive to cellular biology.
I would like us to get in contact and talk more about smart meters and how we can get them removed from our homes. I belong to a Kansas group currently working on this issue and we are trying to spread the word to get more people involved. We feel that we can reverse all of this with more people involved and concerned.
Please feel free to contact me anytime.
Thank you for your comments on this issue!!!
Erin Lea, our family lives in Wichita and I just saw your post. My son and wife have had constant low grade headaches that don’t go away since our smart meter was installed September of 2016. I would be interested in the Kansas group that is working towards an opt out plan. Can you reply with a link or some information on the Kansas group? Thank you so much, Doug
Mean to type “every 25 seconds”
Great piece. Would love to see a follow up on the dangers of the EMF radiation happening to our bodies as well. There is a plethora of documented science showing the harm these smart meters do to us on a biological level.
We had a very old meter and wondered if perhaps we needed another installed making sure our electric bill was correct. It seemed much to high for what we used. They installed this meter. A big truck backed in our driveway with all kinds of computer stuff inside and I asked why a digital meter being installed? A woman worker along with a man said “this is what all homes are going to now”. So I thought nothing of it. I wasn’t informed about this “Smart meter” until my sister told me about them after it was installed. I wish we had been educated on this and not allowed it. I called our electric company and he told me it will cost me “$250.00 to have it removed and $50.00 extra a month to come read it. So we still have it outside our kitchen window!!!! When I did call he mentioned I had a “water fountain” ,2 freezers, and etc. I was shocked he knew what we had in our private home.
When I told my electric company that I didn’t want the digital meter or the smart meter, they told me that I had no choice. If I didn’t take their new meter they would have to turn off my electricity and I wouldn’t be able to get any power until they installed their meter. How do we combat that?