Local fire department is fighting a fire that burst at a Glencairn home while SaskPower workers were installing a smart meter on Wednesday afternoon. According to the deputy chief with Regina Fire and Protective Services, Gerard Kay, “from what we know right now, Grid One (Solutions) was on scene exchanging the meter, upgrading to the smart meter, and accidentally grounded the electrical circuit which resulted in the ignition and subsequent fire.”
Grid One Solutions is among the contractors working with SaskPower on an elaborate smart meter installation process. Sources confirm that many SaskPower workers are working with Grid One Solutions’ as the company only uses their equipment and management expertise. A spokesperson for SaskPower, Tyler Hopson, stated that “our understanding is that all protocols were being followed by our SaskPower employee on site at the time of the fire.” Hopson highlighted that this is just the third meter-related fire in Regina in the past 10 years.
Hopson affirmed that the smart meters and installation are very safe, despite two 2012 fires in British Columbia being linked to BC Hydro smart meters. It was explained that fire crews rushed to a Coquitlam home after report that problems with the meter caused minor damage. The Mission woman’s home was burnt down a day after meter installation. SaskPower’s project to install 500,000 smart meters has started since 2013 and the $190 million process is expected to end before March 2015. Hopson reiterated that among the almost 90,000 installations so far, this is the first incident of its kind.
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