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Memo to Commissioners Re. Fires 10-6-12 (PUBLIC)

Memo to Commissioners Re. Fires 10-6-12 (PUBLIC)

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Published by msmaorg
Memo to Maryland Commissioners regarding smart meter fire in Maryland, filed October 10, 2012
Memo to Maryland Commissioners regarding smart meter fire in Maryland, filed October 10, 2012

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Published by: msmaorg on Oct 17, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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BEFORE THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONOF THE STATE OF MARYLANDIn the Matter of Baltimore Gas andElectric Company for Authorization* Case No. 9208Deploy a Smart Grid Initiative andto Establish A Surcharge Mechanism*for the Recovery Of Cost.***********
Petitioner hereby submits this Memorandum to Commissioners as a supplementto comments filed on or about October 1, 2012, and incorporated herein by reference,and request that the Commissioners review it, as it contains relevant information andevidence of the dangers of digital meters. This information was just received by yourPetitioner on or about October 4, 2012.1. I served a request for documents relating to fires connected to electricmetersunder the Freedom of Information Act upon the Office of the State Fire Marshal(“OSFM”) dated September 5, 2012.2.On October 4, 2012 I received a response from OSFM producing oneresponsive fire incident report dated April 17, 2012 and submitted to OSFM by theAnne Arundel County Fire Department.
See Ex. A.
Note that the Deputy State FireMarshal indicated that he only produced one report because the OSFM does notconduct fire investigations in Anne Arundel County (the scope of my FOIA request) butthat it had received the one attached report. In the meantime, I have issued FOIArequests to fire departments in various jurisdictions and will provide the responses tothe Commissioners as they are received.3.I direct the Commissioners’ attention to Section D on page 2, where itindicates that the ignition was "arcing", the first item ignited was the exterior wallcovering and that factors contributing to the ignition included electrical failure,malfunction and equipment involved was 'wiring from meter box'. This language isconsistent with reports from other states regarding smart meter fires.
MAILLOG NO. 143088
4.Note that in Section F, page 2, indicates that equipment involved “214 –wiring from meter box to circuit breaker.” This code is consistent with the codes setforth by National Fire Protection Association.
5. Based on research and consulting with an electrical engineer, the onlyreasonable explanation for the descriptions of the fire contained in the report at Ex. Ais that the meter base jaws arced and then setthe main feed wiring insulation on fireleading into the circuit breaker box.6.According to the NFPA’s Home Electrical Analysis at FN 1, note that notall are ‘arcing’ but some overloaded circuits can overheat and ignite nearbycombustibles without arcing -- such as the plastic components and covers of digitalmeters.7.The question with the incident at Ex. A is whether BGE in fact received anoverheat/over temperature alarm as it alleges will be the case.8.As stated in previous filings by this Petitioner, this Commission cannotsolely rely on the utilities’ testimony that their meters are not causing fires or only afew are overheating. If a customer experiences either of these situations, the customermay not relate such situation to the meter or the meter box and not contact the utility.In addition, neither the OSFM nor the individual fire departments have been alerted oradvised that this situation exists, however, they should be notified so they know whatthey are dealing with when they perform their investigations and in order to providean opinion as to the safety of the installations altogether.WHEREFORE, this Commission cannot allow further installations to occur untilafter it has determined whether or not all utility customers in Maryland are safe andprotected from the potential harm that the digital meters have created.
MAILLOG NO. 143088
Respectfully submitted,
Traci M. Radicecc: Revised Service list
MAILLOG NO. 143088

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