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[Home] [2012 News]

Tech-News & Views

August, 2012

VANCOUVER’S LATEST JOB POSTING COULD BE A REAL STINKER!

Vancouver, B. C. - In a new job posting rife with spelling and grammatical errors very reminiscent of the essays I used to hear read aloud in my Grade 3 English class (not mine, mine were perfect), the City of Vancouver is looking for a Manager - Trades Inspections conversant in matters both Electrical and Gas.  Now, I’m given to understand that you can expect the gas part will flow quite naturally the first time you have a highbrow lunch with Dave McLellan, Deputy City Manager.  (Survival Hint:  Potential candidates should also steer clear of Hizzoner’s Happy Planet ™ Veggie Juice - now conveniently on tap from the bar in Mayor Moonbeam’s fancy new office.) 

What are they smoking at City Hall?  Electrical and Gas Inspections are two separate and distinct disciplines that require two separate and distinct individuals with the necessary knowledge, experience, and qualifications.  An Electrical Engineer, for instance, is NOT going to compromise APEGBC’s Code of Ethics and Conduct by ruling on issues beyond his discipline (in this case gas/plumbing).  Will Johnston’s City Electrician title is about as phoney as a three dollar bill because the first time he ever signs off on ANY electrical work in that capacity, he knows he’s going to be facing the same dilemma (he happens to be a Structural Engineer). 

Vancouver should accept no substitutes for the genuine articles!  If anything, this ad (and situation) highlights the fact that these two departments are without any real leadership (someone that can shoulder responsibility and make some real decisions when it comes to interpreting Codes and Bylaws).  If another non-engineer appointment is made for this position, we will wind up with three people attempting to do the work of one (and collectively they still wouldn’t meet the requirement of fitness and merit stipulated in the Charter for the City Electrician).  So much for the “budgetary restructuring” that was going to save the taxpayer money!   

The bigger question is:  Are Vancouver’s citizens really as safe as when Arkady Tsisserev was City Electrician?  I don’t believe they are, and there are many in the industry that share that view with me.

 

SMART METER UNDER INVESTIGATION AFTER AN ELECTRICAL FIRE AT A COQUITLAM RESIDENCE!

Coquitlam, B. C. - A fire which broke out in a home on Sunday, August 5th apparently started in an electrical meter base and is now the focus of an investigation launched by the Coquitlam Fire Department.  One of BC Hydro’s new controversial Smart Meters had been installed here back on July 3rd.  The damage to the home was limited to the area around the meter base on the residence’s exterior and, lucky for the homeowner, hadn’t spread to the surrounding structure.  BC Hydro’s Gary Murphy says the matter is currently under review but speculated that the fire was unrelated to the meter (or its installation).

Just in case you’ve never seen a meter fire, here’s a pretty terrifying video of one I found on YouTube:

 

 

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UPDATE! 08/09/12 - An un-named source told this writer that one of the pins on the new Smart Meter may have suffered a stress fracture when it didn’t align properly with the socket on the older style base during installation.  It is suspected that this may have resulted in the eventual failure of the pin which shorted line power to the meter base and sparked the fire.  BC Hydro continues to investigate.

Important Note:  As a homeowner YOU are responsible for the meter base and everything after it.  BC Hydro owns the meter and everything ahead of it (with some exceptions).  Their technicians must be able to access the meter for servicing and recording readings.  A number of individuals that are against the installation of Smart Meters are advocating restricting the servicing utility’s technicians access by employing home made solutions designed to prevent the old meter’s removal.  There is a gentleman on Vancouver Island that has even designed a metal cage to lock the meter in place (which you can purchase for $30.00 plus shipping).  THIS IS POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS AND SHOULD NOT BE CONDONED.  In fact, some of the fixes I’ve seen even pose a clear electrocution risk. While Corix Utilities technicians try to avoid direct confrontation with customers upset with the transition, they are legally entitled to enter your premises and swap the meters.

If your meter is running hot (it’s actually HOT to the touch) or you’re experiencing other issues (like lights dimming or flickering), please call BC Hydro immediately to report it.  Their twenty-four hour number is 1-888-POWER-ON.  You will NOT be charged for this.  You may have to call a licensed electrician to further investigate the cause further however if it relates to a household wiring issue (at your expense).

 

PALADIN SECURITY (VANCOUVER) JOINS AN AUGUST COMPANY!

Vancouver, B. C. - Our latest recipient of a Burning Brick Award is Paladin Security.  Read all about it!

 

CITY OF VANCOUVER LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE!

Vancouver, B. C. - The City of Vancouver has launched a revamped website that’s proving to be a real pain to navigate.  Word has it that the new site cost three million dollars ($3,000,000).  At the present time, it’s littered with broken or renamed links.  We first became aware of it when we tried to navigate to several Bulletins from our own site.  At the present time, it looks like all you really have to do is insert the word former. (the dot’s important!) before vancouver in any link you want to access on their previous site (example:  http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/LICANDINSP/bulletins/2003/2003-009.pdf).

The big question a lot of people are asking (including some members of the Vancouver Parks Board) is:  “Why?”

 

FIRE ON 88TH FLOOR OF WORLD TRADE CENTRE!

New York, New York - Fire-fighters were called to 1 World Trade Centre Wednesday, August 8th when welding equipment on the 88th floor caught fire.  Damage was limited to the equipment and did not pose an immediate danger to the twelve or so workers on the floor who were evacuated as a precaution.  Over one hundred fire-fighters responded to the early morning blaze which was brought under control just before 0900 EDT. 

The tower is expected to be completed sometime in 2014.  It’s finished height will be 1776 feet.

 

ONE DEAD IN EDMONTON SENIORS RESIDENCE FIRE!

Edmonton, Alberta -  The Canora Gardens Seniors Residence located in Edmonton’s West End was the scene of a horrific fire on Tuesday July 31st that has left one person dead, and several requiring hospitalization.  Rescue efforts were hampered by the fact that many of the seniors were handicapped by medical conditions and physical impairments to their mobility.  Edmonton fire fighters were called upon to perform many individual rescues from various locations within the residence, and District Fire Chief Randy Shaura confirmed their successful evacuation.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is in its preliminary stages.  Individuals with concerns for  loved ones who may have resided at the Canora Gardens Residence can contact the Greater Edmonton Foundation at 1-780-482-6561.

UPDATE! 08/09/12- The Edmonton Sun reports that a cardboard box which was accidentally placed on a hot stove top was the cause of the fire.

Important Note:  It is highly recommended that your building’s Fire Safety Plan be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.  It is also a good idea to PRACTICE regular fire drills.  Daily and monthly testing must be performed in accordance with Provincial Fire Codes.  For more information, on what you must do in this respect, please visit our Library!

 

NORTH AMERICAN SPRINKLER ASSOCIATIONS TO MAKE HISTORY!

Patterson, New York - Russ Fleming, the new president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association announced an historic partnership between NFSA, the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association (CASA), and the Mexican Fire Sprinkler Association to host the very first “North American Fire Sprinkler Expo”.  It is anticipated to take place in April 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  More details will be released soon!

 

UPDATED MIRCOM TECHNICAL BULLETIN!

August, 2012 - Mircom has released new installation instructions for the FA-1000.  You can read all about it in this latest Bulletin!

 

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