Ontario introduced smart meters, along with a “time-of-use” electricity price structure, to help consumers manage electricity costs. Over 4.5 million smart meters have been installed in residences and small businesses across Ontario since the start of the program in 2007.
The Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) has been made aware of safety concerns relating to the installation of smart meters at residential and industrial occupancies in Ontario.
Since May 2011, there have been seven reported incidents of smouldering fires and/or explosions involving either the electrical smart meter or the meter base to which it is mounted. Anecdotal information indicates that these incidents resulted from a meter base problem, an installation problem or a failed meter. At this time, no injuries have been attributed to any of these incidents. In all but one case, the fire department was notified of the incident. The OFM is currently investigating four of the incidents.