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ActewAGL offering meter padlocks

By 6 January 2012 30

ActewAGL are spreading the word that they’re selling electricity meter locks to stop those pesky kids blowing your electronics up by wiggling the mains switch:

An ActewAGL padlock can be fitted to many electricity meter boxes to secure the meter box while still allowing ActewAGL to gain access for maintenance and meter-reading purposes.

ActewAGL Acting General Manager Networks Lyn Iacumin said, “Your meter box controls the flow of electricity into your home and houses important electrical equipment, such as the meter, main switch, fuses and possibly your circuit breakers.

“In the past we have received reports of meter boxes being tampered with and homes having the power switched off by pranksters. That’s why we offer meter padlocks that allow the resident and ActewAGL access while keeping others out of the meter box.

“An ActewAGL padlock can provide added security and peace of mind, especially during this time of year when many Canberrans head off on holiday.”

The locks go for $55 (less for pensioners) and you can get them from ActewAGL shopfronts.

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30 Responses to ActewAGL offering meter padlocks
#1
NoImRight1:32 pm, 06 Jan 12

Those darn pranksters. It is 1930 right?

#2
Instant Mash1:36 pm, 06 Jan 12

Personally, I’ve never had such a problem. But $55 for a padlock!?

#3
johnboy1:38 pm, 06 Jan 12

NoImRight said :

Those darn pranksters. It is 1930 right?

A few years ago my apartment block had recurring problems with kids flicking our power on and off for thrills.

Stopped once we caught one and gave him a choice between calling the police or their parents. (Good parents)

#4
AG Canberra1:38 pm, 06 Jan 12

Is a prankster worse than a hooligan? What about a deadbeat? Or a little bugger? Do they all muck around with meter boxes?

#5
NoImRight1:40 pm, 06 Jan 12

johnboy said :

NoImRight said :

Those darn pranksters. It is 1930 right?

A few years ago my apartment block had recurring problems with kids flicking our power on and off for thrills.

Stopped once we caught one and gave him a choice between calling the police or their parents. (Good parents)

Not disputing the possibility that this happens, just enjoying someone dusting off “pranksters” and taking it for a walk.

#6
poetix1:47 pm, 06 Jan 12

The price isn’t 1930s.

#7
niftydog1:51 pm, 06 Jan 12

55 BUCKS!!!?

#8
colourful sydney rac1:52 pm, 06 Jan 12

AG Canberra said :

Is a prankster worse than a hooligan? What about a deadbeat? Or a little bugger? Do they all muck around with meter boxes?

I thought it was rapscallions who participated in this sort of behaviour.

#9
NoImRight1:55 pm, 06 Jan 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

AG Canberra said :

Is a prankster worse than a hooligan? What about a deadbeat? Or a little bugger? Do they all muck around with meter boxes?

I thought it was rapscallions who participated in this sort of behaviour.

No they get up to shenanigans. Often seen with scamps.

#10
matt312211:59 pm, 06 Jan 12

Instant Mash said :

Personally, I’ve never had such a problem. But $55 for a padlock!?

Yeah, I always recommend to the customer to call ActewAGL switch and get a padlock when I was doing Solar meter installs. It is definitely worth it for peace of mind.

The locks are worth the 55 bucks, they are solid quality Australian made. And no-one will screw with your meter box. (this is the opinion of Matt31221 and not ActewAGL).

#11
niftydog2:07 pm, 06 Jan 12

matt31221 said :

The locks are worth the 55 bucks, they are solid quality Australian made.

Are they fully stainless steel?

#12
Henry822:27 pm, 06 Jan 12

TIL people are playing with meter boxes. That is pretty stupid imo, particularly with older houses/wiring

#13
G-Fresh2:29 pm, 06 Jan 12

Been available for eons.

No news here.

#14
Dilandach2:35 pm, 06 Jan 12

NoImRight said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

AG Canberra said :

Is a prankster worse than a hooligan? What about a deadbeat? Or a little bugger? Do they all muck around with meter boxes?

I thought it was rapscallions who participated in this sort of behaviour.

No they get up to shenanigans. Often seen with scamps.

Sure you’re not confusing them with rascals?

#15
Chop712:42 pm, 06 Jan 12

$55 wow. I ope they sell 1000s of them

#16
shirty_bear3:40 pm, 06 Jan 12

Had never really considered locking up the meter box beforehand, but it makes at least a little sense.
55 beer tickets is steep, though … which got me wondering … suppose I chuck on a dollar-shop cheapie padlock … it’ll keep out casual miscreants, but what happens at meter-reading time? Does the meter-reader carry around a set of bolt-cutters? Or does ACTEW get all finger-waggly? Heaven forfend they go all the way to foot-stampy?

#17
Me no fry3:52 pm, 06 Jan 12

Prankster – synonymous with arsehole, right? In this instance, anyway.

Since the Simpsons are getting a good run today, let me wax lyrical for a bit, adjust the onions on my belt, make like Grampa Simpson and tell a yarn.

This story reminds me of the time I was house sharing in the early ’90′s. I was paying my portion of the rent to the woman (girl, really) I was sharing with, in the belief she was paying the rent to the landlord (private rental). Well, she was paying the rent, right up to the time she stopped, as she was short of money and pocketing the rent to pay her own bills.

The first I knew about it was when the landlady and her large, aggressive son arrived at the house one day when my housemate was away, to check up on the rent. They got my attention by opening the fuse box and rapidly toggling the main switch on/off. Do you have any idea how lame “but I’ve been paying my rent” sounds, even when it happens to be the truth?

Still, learnt many lessons from that experience. And it gave me the impetus to stop dicking around house-sharing and buy my own place.

#18
dungfungus4:21 pm, 06 Jan 12

I have a couple of questions.
Presumably the householder gets a key the same as the meter reader and this being the case is the meter reader’s key: (a) duplicate, (b) a master to fit all locks on his run or (c) a common key.
If the answer is (c) then this means a householders key will fit any other lock supplied to other lockowners so there is really no security. If the answer is (a) then he is going to need an extra large key ring (could be OH & S issue).
These issues I raise may sound petty but remember this is the same outfit that lost over $50 million of our money playing around with non-core activities so God knows what strife they can get into with selling $55.00 (less for pensioners) padlocks which “pranksters” will have great delight in filling with super glue.

#19
daddy5:06 pm, 06 Jan 12

I picked up one of these years ago. Very heavy duty. I was told the meter reader has a master key so they are not all keyed alike. The prompt for this was friends who had gone away on holidays had their mains turned off for them. They returned home to defrosted fridge and freezer full of rotting food. They wound up throwing the freezer away as they could not get the smell out of it. Between the cost of the freezer and the food they lost, they were out of pocket for a lot more that $55

#20
matt312216:04 pm, 06 Jan 12

dungfungus said :

I have a couple of questions.
Presumably the householder gets a key the same as the meter reader and this being the case is the meter reader’s key: (a) duplicate, (b) a master to fit all locks on his run or (c) a common key.
If the answer is (c) then this means a householders key will fit any other lock supplied to other lockowners so there is really no security. If the answer is (a) then he is going to need an extra large key ring (could be OH & S issue).
These issues I raise may sound petty but remember this is the same outfit that lost over $50 million of our money playing around with non-core activities so God knows what strife they can get into with selling $55.00 (less for pensioners) padlocks which “pranksters” will have great delight in filling with super glue.

The meter reader has a master key, and all the padlocks are keyed slightly differently so that the customers key only fits their own from my understanding. That may be why the price is a bit higher as each lock needs to be made different but still fit the master key. They are top security heavy duty corrosion proof padlocks. I think most kids have better things to do these days then gluing things, maybe sniffing the glue though. (This is the opinion of Matt31221 and not ActewAGL).

#21
hoody6:26 pm, 06 Jan 12

I left a free padlock on my neighbours meter box after I turned off his power to stop the techno at 4am. I did ask him several times to no success. Of course I removed it later in the day. Pretty sure the thug didn’t need the power on for his oxygen, or other sensitive medical electrical devices.

#22
allyroger6:47 pm, 06 Jan 12

shirty_bear said :

Had never really considered locking up the meter box beforehand, but it makes at least a little sense.
55 beer tickets is steep, though … which got me wondering … suppose I chuck on a dollar-shop cheapie padlock … it’ll keep out casual miscreants, but what happens at meter-reading time? Does the meter-reader carry around a set of bolt-cutters? Or does ACTEW get all finger-waggly? Heaven forfend they go all the way to foot-stampy?

They don’t open it, don’t tell you and “estimate” your bill. Finally they do tell you 1 year later that they can’t get in and when the real meter is read, send you a bill for 3 times what they have been “estimating”. At least thats what they did to me.

#23
screaming banshee10:11 pm, 06 Jan 12

Seems pointless having a solid quality Australian made lock when 5 seconds with a pair of tinsnips will remove the bits the lock is attached to.

#24
Postalgeek10:48 pm, 06 Jan 12

No doubt some nefarious scallywags will buy some bolt cutters.

#25
matt312211:42 am, 07 Jan 12

screaming banshee said :

Seems pointless having a solid quality Australian made lock when 5 seconds with a pair of tinsnips will remove the bits the lock is attached to.

Well if they do that then you can put a more heavy duty shackle on your board with the lock. But honestly, if a crim is going to carry around Tinsnips to do that – they probably have some handy skills and would end up being productive and working in a trade somewhere and making the big bucks.

#26
poetix9:08 am, 07 Jan 12

Postalgeek said :

No doubt some nefarious scallywags will buy some bolt cutters.

It is to be hoped that these admirable precautions will at least impede the illicit intentions of mischievous imps and artful dodgers.

#27
Henry829:30 am, 07 Jan 12

Postalgeek said :

No doubt some nefarious scallywags will buy some bolt cutters.

You’re assuming they’re organised and have money to buy bolt cutters. Also, you can’t easily hide the cutters, and bulky when running away.

#28
dungfungus9:53 am, 07 Jan 12

Henry82 said :

Postalgeek said :

No doubt some nefarious scallywags will buy some bolt cutters.

You’re assuming they’re organised and have money to buy bolt cutters. Also, you can’t easily hide the cutters, and bulky when running away.

If the quality of the lock is commensurate with the price of $55 it will have hardened steel so it will take a very large bolt cutter (about $500) to do the job.

#29
GardeningGirl1:10 pm, 07 Jan 12

ACTEW padlocks for been available for a long time but it doesn’t hurt to let people know. When we lived next to a laneway we didn’t know until we rang ACTEW and asked if there was anything that could be done about the rapscallions passing by.

#30
196712:55 pm, 09 Jan 12

shirty_bear said :

Had never really considered locking up the meter box beforehand, but it makes at least a little sense.
55 beer tickets is steep, though … which got me wondering … suppose I chuck on a dollar-shop cheapie padlock … it’ll keep out casual miscreants, but what happens at meter-reading time? Does the meter-reader carry around a set of bolt-cutters? Or does ACTEW get all finger-waggly? Heaven forfend they go all the way to foot-stampy?

Probably best not to put your own lock on as in the event of an emergency, (fire, flood, whatever), the emergency services people, who I assume have a master key as well, may want to isolate the power while trying to save you life.

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