Hydro-Québec is urgently replacing some defective meters that have been known to burst or be ejected from the wall.

The utility says the meters, known as the Sentinel Itron 345 V, were manufactured between 2005 and 2009 and most of them were installed in small businesses.

Spokesperson Marc-Antoine Pouliot said 22 of them either burst into pieces or flew off the wall over the span of about a decade.

The piece that is supposed to protect the meter from power surges can cause it to short circuit, Pouliot said.

No fires or injuries were reported as a result of the defective meters, but Hydro-Québec is asking people to be extra vigilant around them just in case.

"So that's why we ask the people who are working very close to the meters, it's not something we see often, but if it's the case we ask them to wear some glasses to make sure that we are applying the zero-risk principle," he said, stressing that the defective meters aren't connected to the utility's new smart meters.

Hydro-Québec is booking appointments with small business owners to replace the defective metres as soon as possible. They will all be replaced with the new smart meters.