Monday, May 25, 2015


How Safe are Smart Meters?

Voice reader says batteries unstable, cause fires

By Kathy Read, Agassiz


t turns out that Smart Meters are more dangerous than any of us knew. No matter what BC Hydro or Fortis claim, these things are extremely dangerous. We have been led to believe that the meters have a Lithium ion battery installed in them. Well, it turns out the batteries in these meters are Lithium

Metal batteries (Li-SOCl2).

I sent a letter to Chris Reimer at BC Hydro asking him to tell me what kind of battery is in the Itron smart meters that they have installed. This is the response I received from Michael in the Smart Meter Department. Was Mr Reimer to busy to reply himself? 

“The type of battery BC Hydro Smart Meters use is not Lithium Metal or Lithium Ion. Since 2011 BC Hydro has used Centron OpenWay meters manufactured by Itron to serve its residential customers. Just like pace makers, clocks and cameras, these meters contain lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are used in critical devices because they have a long life span.”
I also made an inquiry to Itron and this was their response.
“Our Openway Smart meters have a TADIRAN type TL-4902 battery which is a Lithium Battery that powers the clock circuit during a power outage. This is a recyclable battery that is soldered to the module and is expected to last the life of the meter.”
The Tadiran type TL - 4920 is a Lithium, Lithium Thionyl Chloride (ER/TL/LS) battery. It is a Lithium metal battery. So if Hydro wants to dispute the danger of these batteries and say they don't use them we now have it right from the proverbial horse’s mouth (Itron) that Hydro is lying to us all.
These batteries are a lot more unstable than the Lithium Ion battery. FMC Lithium has published a guide to Lithium. This guide includes how to handle, use and store this dangerous metal.

In the section Properties of Lithium metal "Lithium metal is flammable and air and water sensitive". So just imagine if the cheap plastic housing on the smart meter on your home gets a crack in it. Air can get in through cracks and so can water. These conditions will more than likely affect the Lithium metal battery and if not caught in time your house could suffer fire damage.

Plus if a smart meter is on the south side of your home it will get all day sun shining on it. In summer when the temperature reaches 26 - 30C the south side of the house heats up to much higher temperatures and that is enough for these smart meters to catch fire.

Special fire fighting procedures are required when lithium metal is involved in a fire due to its high reactivity.

• Facilities with lithium metal on site should notify local authorities to plan appropriate emergency response.
• Permissible extinguishers (for lithium only) include graphite, copper powder, and Lith-X (Ansul).
• Water, sand, and carbon dioxide should NOT be   used.
• Wear full protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus approved for fire fighting to protect against the hazards of heat, products of combustion and oxygen deficiency.
• Lithium metal can reignite after fire is initially extinguished. Never leave extinguished fire unattended."
This information is from the FMC Lithium safety guide.

On Dec 14 changes were made in Ottawa on Lithium Metal batteries.

 " The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced a suite of amendments to Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR). The updates include a ban on transporting lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights in Canada, as well as new labelling and Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) requirements for certain dangerous goods.”

There have been smart meters replaced because they had condensation in them and that is enough to start a fire. No matter what lies BC Hydro tells us, there have been fires in this province that were caused by smart meters. It is also true that BC Hydro have removed the burnt meters illegally from fire sites before the Fire Dept can properly investigate.


During a TV interview at the sight of a fire in the Okanagan a BC Hydro spokesperson told a fire captain that the meter would be sent to Hydro’s  lab to be checked out. BC Hydro now says there is no such lab and they are just sent back to the manufacturer as they are under warranty.

The Saskatchewan government called a halt to their smart meter program after 8 fires were caused by these meters. They are in the process of removing all smart meters that had been installed and are reverting back to analogue meters.

BC Hydro says that there have been no fires in BC that have been caused by these meters but that is not the truth. Our Fire Service does not have a code for a smart meter fire and only report as an electrical fire. Only a handful of fires have been reported as there was not much damage done in others. To read the full extent of fires in BC caused with smart meter involvement go to

The information is all there. We need to fight BC Hydro and Fortis to get these dangerous meters off of our homes and businesses ASAP.



© Copyright (c) 2009-2015 The Valley Voice