- Fires are not the first thing we think about during a solar panel installation.
- However, reports suggest that solar panels carry a considerable fire risk that you should be ready for.
- Poor installation, faulty wiring, and little to no maintenance can hurt your solar panels leading to a fire.
- You can limit the fire risk by investing in quality parts and hiring professionals for the installation.
- Also, be careful with electric cables and avoid DIY installation.
- Any fire eruptions in the panels are a hazard you need to deal with immediately. Set a proper emergency response mechanism to deal with the unexpected.
- Solar fire coverage in your home insurance package provides financial solace in case you are faced with a fire hazard.
As you bask in the sun’s warmth this summer, you may wonder about harnessing that power to reduce your energy bills. Solar panels help to significantly reduce your bills and your reliance on the electric company, but there are some things you need to consider before installing them. For instance, did you know that solar panels can start fires?
Read on for more information on solar panel safety and how to avoid any disasters!
Do Solar Panels Cause Fire?
There are around two million solar panel installations in the US, and with that number rising, solar panel fires are unfortunately becoming more common. Although solar panel fires are rare – 1 per 10,000 installations according to industry reports – you still need to take precautionary measures. While solar panels themselves are not necessarily flammable, the wiring and other components associated with them can be. There are several reasons why solar panel fires might start:
- Poorly installed or faulty wiring
- Damaged solar panels
- Debris build-up on solar panels
How to Prevent Solar Panel Fires
Regular solar panel maintenance and inspection is the best way to prevent fires. You should clean and inspect your solar panels at least once a year and more often if you reside in areas with significant dust or pollen. If you notice any damage to your solar panels, have them repaired immediately. Another way to prevent solar panel fires is to ensure your home’s electrical system is up to code. This includes having proper wiring and adequate circuit breakers. If you’re unsure whether your home’s electrical system is up to code, contact a professional electrician for an assessment. Solar panel fires are serious, but a proper maintenance routine can help prevent them.
Here are a few other methods you can follow:
Choose Experienced & Qualified Solar PV Installers
An experienced solar system installer should have a good reputation in the area. In addition to their experience and reputation, you should also ask them about your area’s solar panel installation code requirements.
A professional will be able to answer all your questions and concerns, ensure the correct installation of your solar panel system, and follow all legal requirements.
Install Quality Solar Panel Parts
The low prices of sub-standard solar panels may be tempting, but they may also be fire hazards. Install quality solar panels and components to ensure your system is safe and code-compliant. Purchase parts from reliable manufacturers willing to back their products with a warranty.
Inspect Your Solar Panels Monthly
Regular solar panel maintenance is essential for ensuring safety. Inspect your solar panels monthly, and look for any signs of damage, loose wiring, or other irregularities. If you see anything out of the ordinary, contact a professional solar company or electrician to investigate and make repairs as needed.
Be Careful with Electric Cables
Solar panel installations often involve running electrical cables through the home. Be careful when doing this, as improper installation increase the risk of fire hazards. Ensure all cables are properly rated for their intended use and have them installed by a qualified solar installer or electrician.
Avoid DIY Solar Panel Installations
This is not a do-it-yourself project. Unless you are a qualified solar system installer or electrician, you should not attempt to install solar panels yourself. Not only is a DIY solar panel installation dangerous, but it can also void your warranty and lead to subpar performance.
Immediate Steps to Take with Solar Roof Fire
If you have a solar panel system installed on your roof and there is a fire, it’s essential to take the following steps:
- Call the fire department immediately.
- Avoid trying to extinguish a large, rapidly spreading fire yourself.
- Turn off the solar panel system if possible.
- Evacuate the area and stay away from the solar panels until the fire department arrives.
How Should I Plan for a Solar Panel Emergency?
We don’t plan for a solar panel fire because we don’t think it will happen to us. But, solar panels are a type of electrical equipment, and all electrical equipment has the potential to catch fire.
Here’s how you can plan for a solar panel emergency:
- Include solar panels in your home fire escape plan.
- Know where the solar panel system shut-off switch is located and ensure everyone in your household knows how to turn it off.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near the solar panel system and know how to use it.
- Get solar insurance and fire coverage in your home insurance plan. Most insurance plans don’t include solar panel fires, so you’ll need a separate policy.
Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to save money on their energy bills. But this increase in popularity is accompanied by an increase in the risk of solar panel fires. So, take time to educate yourself on solar panel safety and be prepared in an emergency.
Solar panels are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while also saving on your energy costs, but there are some things you need to consider before making the switch. If you have any questions or want to schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Iron City Construction LLC is your go-to source for quality solar installation services in Hernando County. We have the experience and expertise to get the job done right, and we take pride in our work.
Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about how solar panels can benefit your home or business.