Just How Safe Is Solar Power?

By   November 10, 2016

If you have made the decision to install solar power in your home, congratulations! You’re being a part of the solution and that is awesome!

But just as you did your research on taking on this energy source, you should also be informed on the safety aspects.

 Up On The Rooftop

Solar power panels are installed on the roof and pumps out up to six-hundred volts when the sun is out. Across the country, building owners and fire departments are updating fire codes regarding safety measures for solar power panels.

Chances are you won’t have a reason to get up on your roof, but sometimes it is necessary. Maybe you need to clean the gutters, retrieve a football or put up holiday decorations. There are precautions you should take first:

Get Disconnected First

The first thing you should do is locate the control panel for the electrical system and disconnect your solar system. It will usually be located at the front of your home. By law, when your solar power system was installed, the contractor should have marked the box for easy identification. If you aren’t able to locate the box, contact the company that installed it or call the fire department. If it isn’t an actual emergency, please call the base number not 911.

The safe assumption is every circuit is live. Even with the main meter pulled and breakers shut off. The DC volt is dangerous in the sun shine because it is still generating power to the PV panels. You can eliminate this power from generating by using an opaque tarp to cover the panels. If your home has a battery backup, the AC circuits are most likely live.

 In Case Of Fire

First of all, in case of a fire, the rooftop is not a safe place to be, with or without solar power panels. But if a situation arises where you must exit the house onto the roof top, be aware of possible electrocution from the solar power panels. Do not stand on the panels and do not break or cut the panels or the wiring running to them.

Basic Information

Even with the breakers to the solar power panels turned off, extreme caution should be used. Solar power panels are not meant to support any amount of weight other than their own and they are slippery when wet too.

When you have your solar power system installed, the contractor should review safety tips of solar power panels. If they don’t after installation, call the company and request they send somebody out to just that.