It's generally impossible to get a "fireball" explosion from returning power to the line on an individual home. The voltage spike that takes out equipment is high voltage and not much amperage. And as I say the meters are a plug in design that precludes something like crossing a wire. Hence, the investigation because the answer is not obvious. It may, however, be obvious to the installer who now wants to play dumb. Regardless, I see no culpability on the homeowner's side. It's interesting the DTE jumps to that conclusion instantly.
I went for months after moving with DTE billing me for the old location where service was supposed to have been transferred. They said I needed a letter from my new landlord. DUH. I paid cash for this property. I am not renting. I finally had to file a complaint with the PSC and the matter was resolved immediately. DTE is totally unresponsive to the public.
I must say my change to the digital meter went flawlessly. My actual usage has gone down slightly. I keep a record of the KWH usage too. They got it right in my case.
Of course the installing service tech is playing dumb. Wouldnt you? And wouldnt his boss want him to? they dont want culpability. Gotta wonder what their training is...I personally have an unlimited power plant license so have more knowledge than the avg. consumer.
Yes, inside everything should be powered down...not saying that was the cause of this particular fire...but when the new meter goes in it DOES create a surge into the appliances left on. There are peeps in my neighborhood who lost some equipment but didnt know it was due to the new meter surging elec. cuz they didnt get the notice as they use their rear exits not the front. So they never contacted the utility, elderly peeps who are not so savvy. Reading about these meters nationally one finds out even more info...there have been fires in other states too. Some from the new meter AFTER it was installed.
AND if one has equipment that synchs with the internet for iphone use for ex:....this 2 way radio wave for reading can also access them. Like the camera in the new flat screen TV, or that new thermostat, or the refrigerator with the new control the EPA is
asking for so it can be shut down on peak power periods. Orwellian yes but not out of the question.