Killer smart meters torch Aussie homes!
Three of them, actually
Victoria’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade has announced an investigation whether smart meters are responsible for three fires that started in switchboards.
In a move that’s bound to spark a fear-mongers’ feeding frenzy (for reasons I will get to in a minute), the MFB said that while there’s no evidence of a connection between the fires and the smart meters installed in them, the brigade has a duty “to investigate any trend or cause of any incidents it attends”.
The brigade also emphasized that there are, in fact, around 26 switchboard fires in Victoria each year.
However, even a statistically-insignificant association is bound to get tongues wagging in Australia, because Victoria’s 850,000 smart meters feature ingredients guaranteed to send the echo chamber aflame: they were installed under a government-sponsored program, the government that sponsored the program was Labor-led, and there are house fires to provide handy TV images.
To El Reg, this sounds too much like a re-run of the federal government’s home insulation program to escape a bit of media hype. Sky News, for example, couldn’t resist ticking all the boxes in this piece.
The federal government’s “pink batts” program was abandoned amid confected outrage in which the insulation was blamed for an increase in house fires. The myth-building was so strong that both media and the public still believe there were more fires in homes that were insulated under the scheme – even when it became clear that this wasn’t the case.
For a good analysis of CSIRO data about home fires and the insulation scheme, Crikey blogger Pollytics tried to unravel the fear-and-loathing earlier this year.
And what’s happening in Victoria? A few fires – without any particular context – start in switchboards that have had smart meters installed.
I can hear the knives being sharpened already … ®
Texas, civilization and radio technology.
At least they've started hearing 'bout the new thing called stereo now.
Oh dear, someone must be fined for this unauthorised release of previously fixed carbon. Has anyone calculated the increase in climate change (up / down doesn't matter as long as it's dramatic and we can show a baby animal struggling in a river)?
We must install some windmills immediately to counteract this, and increase petrol tax by 10%.
Oh yeah, shame about the dead people.
(We need an environmental icon pronto! Preferably sarcastic)
"the MFB said that while there’s no evidence of a connection between the fires and the smart meters installed in them, the brigade has a duty “to investigate any trend or cause of any incidents it attends”.
Why are they installing smart meters in fires anyway.
Wouldn't it be better to put the fires out before installing any smart meters
Anyway I thought Aussies chucked shrimps on their barbies