by Catherine J. Frompovich
Over the course of a year that my electric power company in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been installing AMI Smart Meters on homes in my area, I have been able to keep one off my house by placing a “No Permission Granted to Install Smart Meter” sign on the meter along with a padlock on the meter latch. Early in February of 2015, I received what I perceived as a threatening letter to my health, safety, and well-being, that if I don’t give PECO permission to install a Smart Meter, my electric power will be turned off, and not because I’ve not paid my bill! No utility bill wherever my late husband or I have lived ever was missed or even made as a late payment! So, I’ve decided to tell my story of what’s been going on in the USA about Smart Meters.
Smart meters basically are licensed radio stations that transmit electrical usage, occupancy times, and other information out of homes on which they are installed, thereby, providing wiretapping without proper and legal search warrants.
As a result of that illegal activity, Smart Meters are illegal and cannot be forced upon anyone since they basically are breaking federal laws, even though they supposedly function within the purview of law, especially in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where there is no “opt out” provisions in the law. Furthermore, some U.S. Constitutional issues are involved.
Moreover, a Smart Meter basically is nothing more than “a search without a warrant every day,” hundreds of times during the day—24/7, due to the constant collection of information being transmitted out of the house. It’s nothing short of electrical, house-wiretapping! Wiretapping is illegal in all 50 states!
18 U.S. Code § 2511 – Interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications prohibited (Source – Cornell Law)
Also, Smart Meters are a part of the United Nations Agenda 21?
“Smart Meters” are a tool or mechanism for Sustainable Development, which was first introduced to the world in the pages a 1987 report (Our Common Future) produced by the United Nations World Commission on Environmental and Development, authored by Gro Harlem Brundtland, VP of the World Socialist Party. Sustainable Development was offered as official UN policy in 1992, in a document called UN Sustainable Development Agenda 21, issued at the UN’s Earth Summit, today referred to simply as Agenda 21. UN policy does not supersede U.S. sovereignty, or is it being implemented by state laws?
What supposedly gives Agenda 21 ‘authority’?
More than 178 nations adopted Agenda 21 as official policy during a signing ceremony at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Then U.S. president George H.W. Bush signed the “1992 Convention on Biological Diversity” document for the USA, which the U.S. Congress/government has refused to embrace, and the ongoing refusal by the American Senate to ratify the convention after President William J. Clinton signed the treaty in 1993. (Source)
So, how can any U.S. locality or state enact legislation that complies with, acquiesces to, or circumvents U.S. federal sovereignty and law? Any such laws, therefore, are considered null and void, and illegal, I contend and, therefore, are in contradiction to U.S. federal law and Constitution.
Smart Meters Malfunctions and Fires
Furthermore, regarding Smart Meter fires in Pennsylvania, there have been numerous.
According to PECO’s [electric company] spokesperson, Cathy Engel Menendez, ‘an extensive analysis of the meter data collected so far will be completed before the replacement work begins,’ was in response to PECO’s suspending installation of smart meters due to fires and overheating.
As a result of that assessment, PECO decided to install Landis-Gyr Smart Meters, a Toshiba company, which also have been responsible for fires. See this photo of the Thunder Hollow Apartments SM fire, with corresponding documentation. Landis+Gyr SMs do catch fire, but that’s not what PECO admits to in your March 9th letter to me.
Another Fire: Landis + Gyr Smart Meter Causes Apt. Blaze (posted July 7, 2014)
Thunder Hollow Apts. 2/6/14 Fire video online
ox 5 Investigates: Smart meters spark controversy
Was the Upper Makefield, Penna. Meter fire a Landis +Gyr?
“I was walking to the seventh tee, when the pro came up and said, ‘Jump in the car. We just got a call. Your house is on fire,” Michael Capetto said.
“He lives in Upper Makefield, near Philadelphia, where the utility PECO this past summer reported at least 15 smart meters caught fire or got so hot, the meters melted. Similar fires have been reported in other states too.” Source: EMF Safety Network / Smart Meter Fires and Explosions
I have to ask, “Were those 15 SMs Landis+Gyr Smart Meters too?”
Furthermore, I cannot find the Underwriters Laboratories approval per se for Landis+Gyr Smart Meters on UL’s site. Can PECO please supply that exact UL number (i.e., UL Mark layout, serial or issue numbers — http://ul.com/offerings/manufacturers/) not just that “Underwriter’s Laboratories has tested the AMI meters based upon the UL-2735 standard.” Note that PECO has not supplied any information regarding Underwriter’s Laboratories UL number!
Apparently, fire hazards and safety issues still exist regarding PECO’s AMI meters versus analog meters, which were made entirely of mechanical parts with glass front covers and little insulation that does not allow for easy ignition.
Whereas, the new AMI digital Smart Meters are made of numerous electronics inside, which are flammable components, plus the meter ‘face’ is all plastic rather than glass like the analog. Once overheated or ignited, the plastic face contributes to rapid conflagration. I refer you to the 39-page report “Utility of ‘Smart Meters’” produced by the Office of the Fire Marshall, Fire Investigation Services, Midhurst, Ontario, Canada, dated June 15, 2012 whereon page 27 he discusses various issues that apparently were of concern to that official regarding Smart Meter fires in their/his jurisdiction.
From my research, all Smart Meters are constructed the same regardless of manufacture: Sensus, Landis+Gyr, GE, Itron. Their design and installation [retrofitting] into an existing meter socket is what causes the great potential for damage to a customer’s appliances, and worse, causing fire or explosion.
RF radiation emissions from Smart Meters can interfere with the function of Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter type sockets and the ARC-Fault Circuit Interrupter creating other fire hazards and potentials, which Underwriter’s Laboratory or any other organization has not certified for safety issues, as I understand. THAT also is a KEY fire safety issue that doesn’t seem to be addressed. Why? may I ask.
I’d like to know this regarding PECO’s Landis+Gyr Smart Meters:
- Is the thermal sensor adequate and approved for detecting heat elevation that results from poor contact between the SM and the meter box jaws? What components are provided in SMs for shut off when the thermal sensor detects heat elevation? Or, is it too late then, and even the shutting off of power will not prevent fire, which probably will have been ignited already?
- How well are PECO installers trained regarding replacement problems at the meter box jaws, which are tricky and subject to mechanical damage just from removing the old analog and replacing the new SM? Do PECO installers know the correct meter insertion sequence(s)? Please explain it, as I think I know how it should work.
- Is “hot switching” used to replace meters and does that result in damage to appliances that happen to be operating at the time the meter is replaced/installed? Are PECO installers telling homeowners to shut off appliances during the new install? If not; why not? Again, may I refer you to the Canadian Fire Marshall’s report pages 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, and 38. Those pages discuss that meter bases and meters react differently in fires.
- A “hot switch” can damage the receptacle jaws in the meter box with almost 100% certainly! What guarantee does PECO give of no “hot switch” occurring during installation? Furthermore, will PECO be financially responsible/liable for damage to any of my appliances: refrigerator, hot water heater, electric heat pump, etc.? How many PECO employees have been injured by or during a “hot switch”?
- Flickering lights frequently occur in Smart Metered homes. What causes that? From my understanding, apparently, more current demand results—higher electric bills or ‘phantom electricity’?—causing more arcing, more resistance, less power and voltage delivered to a light bulb? As a result of that happening and due to excessive heat and arcing, the insulation of the main feed line to the house can/will ignite. What is built in to SMs to prevent that from occurring?
- Does PECO plan to replace the currently-installed Smart Meters with another updated SM in five years? as I have heard. Those replacements only will rec-compound the above-mentioned fire risks.
Before I leave the fire hazard/safety issues of Smart Meters, I would like to bring to PECO’s attention a three-page report from Thermografix Consulting Corporation “Smart Meter Installations & Fires.”
On the first page, paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 are more than alarming, i.e.
The fact sheet left out the Smart Meter Routers, collectors, antennas that communicate with the meters. Those electromagnetic wavelengths are high speed frequencies hitting the building from top to bottom and going through the walls of the residence.
The ramifications are high speed vibration of electrical systems, structural components, fire separations and electromagnetically inducing Pacemakers as well as electrical systems. That puts the building in violation of Part 4 of BC Building Code. High speed vibrations billions of times per second equates to molecular earthquakes.
BC Medical Services puts in Pacemakers and manufacturer’s specifications tell the patient to stay out of an electromagnetic field. BC Hydro is taking the electromagnetic fields to the patient’s home.
That is a major concern for most people: The negative health aspects of Smart Meters!
On the second page, paragraphs 1 and 5:
Electrical failure of equipment can cause explosions, fire, injury, loss of life and insured loss including production losses for industry.
For BC Hydro or any utility to blame homeowners or wiring for fires after meter installation is ridiculous when their installers aren’t qualified to even understand the scope of work required.
Furthermore, the electrical wiring worked fine with analog meters. Shouldn’t power companies be mandated to install proper electrical wiring to accommodate SMs and not leave homeowners with faulty electric wiring that the utility company created by installing SMs thereby putting homeowners in jeopardy for fire, explosion, and other SM hazards?
On the third page, paragraph 1:
Electrical Meter Bases have wired connections as well as stabs. Qualified electrical professionals would check ALL connections when the meter is pulled. (safely and working with the home owner) Before installing the new meter any electrical problems would be identified and repaired, even replacing the meter base if required. There are no compromises electrically or there will be failure with consequences including fires.
My question is: How does PECO’s SM installation fit in with the above?
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