Linky meters suspected to be cause of two house fires in France

The fires are not thought to be connected but are the latest controversy to hit the smart devices

A view of a Linky smart meter
The bright meters have been the subject of controversy for years, but Enedis has repeatedly denied that they present any risk
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Two house fires in France are suspected to have been caused by Linky meters - or faulty wiring towards them - installed in the home, reigniting controversy about the devices.

Both fires took place within the space of 24 hours. One was in Vaucluse (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), and the other in Gers (Occitanie).

The incidents are not considered to be connected, except for the fact that both are suspected to have started due to the homes’ Linky electricity smart meters (or faulty wiring connected to them).

One fire took place at the home of singer Patrick Hernandez, in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Vaucluse, on January 13. He shared in a Facebook post that "the fire brigade, the police and Enedis came to my rescue last night”.

He said: “My Linky meter went up in flames and the incredible smoke in a small room scared the hell out of me.”

Mr Hernandez was not injured, but was left without electricity after the incident.

Just 24 hours later, another fire was reported at a house in the town of Pujaudran, in Gers. Local firefighters were called to a couple’s property on the evening of January 14. There was not much damage but the property’s owner, aged 36, was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

Local newspaper La Dépêche du Midi reported that the fire was suspected to have started due to a “defect in the meter or ‘error’ in the mechanics or electric cables, but nothing has [so far] indicated which element set off the fire”.

New Linky controversy?

The fires - which have not yet been 100% confirmed as being caused by the Linky meter itself - have been the subject of criticism from opponents, who claim it presents a risk to health and safety in homes.

Some people have even reportedly taken to covering their meter with aluminium foil, in a bid to ‘protect themselves’ from ‘wave emissions’ coming from the device.

Yet, energy distributor and managing company Enedis has always rejected these criticisms. It has stated that any risk would be due to the faulty installation of the meter, and not the device itself. It has also been forced to respond to the ‘foil’ reports, stating that covering the meter is “pointless and dangerous”.

One homeowner recently won a fight in court to have his device removed, claiming that it caused him health problems as a result of electrosensitivity.

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