SaskPower expands inspections as 6th meter fire reported

By Sarah Mills/CJME News Staff
August 2, 2017 - 8:20am

SaskPower is now reporting a sixth meter box fire as a result of the extremely dry conditions.

It happened in Regina's Walsh Acres neighbourhood Monday night.

SaskPower said shifting ground is pulling the wires out from the meters attached to homes, which can lead to a blaze.

Homes built in the 1960s and 70s with copper wiring are the most affected, typically in the Glencairn, Uplands and Normanview neighbourhoods.

“We are targeting the ones we are inspecting as higher risk and we are doing those first,” SaskPower’s Johnathon Tremblay explained. “We’ve targeted the right areas seemingly because we’re seeing about 40 per cent that need immediate repairs or temporary fixes for future permanent repairs.”

SaskPower crews have inspected 2,000 homes to date, 800 of which required service.

At the most expensive end, each individual repair is costing the Crown $2,000.

This has been the second driest July on record, described as a one-in-130-year event.

SaskPower is encouraging all customers in Regina to look for any ground movement around foundations or to see if the meter box is tilting away from the home.

“We have been getting about a dozen calls a day and in a lot of those cases we’re able to ask for a picture, identify if it is an urgent risk and send a crew right away or schedule something in the next two to three days if it is less urgent,” Tremblay said.

Those with overhead power lines are not impacted.

SaskPower continues to inspect homes in high-risk areas. Inspections will also begin in Moose Jaw and Kindersley, areas with similar clay like Regina’s that are also experiencing dry conditions.

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