Putting out the fire: the smart grid facts

The leaves have begun to fall and the spooky decorations have been hung. With the threat of a dry fall or winter, people are searching for ways to ensure homes are safe with digital meters.  Wondering if the digital meter that was installed to help take control over your energy consumption can actually cause fires? The simple answer is no, digital meters cannot.

Fire Safety Graphic Image

However much like any new technology or product, there are always a couple of minor glitches. For example, remember when Apple recently released the new iPhone 6 and there were reports that the iPhone 6 Plus was bendable when placed in a person’s pocket? The iPhone 6 Plus, much like digital meters, had some minor product glitches that did not affect the reliability of the technological innovation. In fact, out of the 43 million digital meters installed in households nationwide, a small percentage of the advanced meters deployed have been linked to safety issues according to the U.S. Department of Energy

To ensure that digital meters are operating efficiently without the risk of fires, it is important to understand some of the electrical warning signs prior to digital meter installation. An immediate warning sign that there may be electrical issues is unusually dim lighting or frequent loss of power in the home. These are considered to be warning signs to contact your utility provider and electrician immediately. Utilities encourage customers to reach out to them in cases such as these, however they also recommend that customers reach out to trusted, licensed electricians to guarantee there is not an issue with the home’s electrical wiring or installation.

Learn about fire safe practices and electrical fire safety with tips provided by FEMA:

  1. Check electrical cords. If the electrical cords are frayed or damaged, replace them. Don’t try to fix the issue, visit your local hardware store and speak to the professionals about the items needed to replace.
  2. Don’t overburden your wall outlets with extension cords and wall plugs. Directing too much energy to one outlet can place a strain on the outlet causing house fires. Remember that extension cords are for temporary use, not long-term needs.
  3. Never use extension cords for appliances. Plug the appliances directly into the wall.

Following the tips listed above will drastically reduce the chances of electrical fires within the home.

Over the years…
For thousands of years, fire was the only way to cook food and stay warm throughout the night. At the time, fire was innovative, helpful and new. Today, many people use controlled fires to create some deliciously famous stovetop recipes. From fires to the current electrical grid, the innovations over the years have become smarter and more efficient. The innovation of a smarter grid provides the logical next step to ensure energy is used efficiently for generations to come. The Next Innovation is now!

By Taylor Fraser | October 20, 2014

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