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House catches on fire and solar panels installed

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  1. #1
    2K Club Member barney118's Avatar
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    Default House catches on fire and solar panels installed

    I have heard that if your house catches on fire the fire brigade may refuse to put it out if you have solar panels installed, is this a myth? Is this the case with generation 1 type? (I dont even know if thats the right term)
    Can they be possibly electrocuted becasue the panels are still producing electricity?
    If so what are the implications for house insurance? would they refuse coverage in such event?
    The thought had never crossed my mind until it was brought up in conversation, it may make me think twice of installing at a late date.

  2. #2
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by barney118 View Post
    I have heard that if your house catches on fire the fire brigade may refuse to put it out if you have solar panels installed, is this a myth? Is this the case with generation 1 type? (I dont even know if thats the right term)
    Can they be possibly electrocuted becasue the panels are still producing electricity?
    If so what are the implications for house insurance? would they refuse coverage in such event?
    The thought had never crossed my mind until it was brought up in conversation, it may make me think twice of installing at a late date.
    This is a myth! Insurers fully insure PV arrays so long as they are legally installed.

    It is possible to have a fire caused by incorrect installation that does not meet the standards. The most likely cause would be the use of AC circuit breakers on the roof adjacent to the panels instead of DC breakers or reversed polarity connection of the DC breakers (this is no longer an issue as auto-polarity sensing breakers should now be used).

    Fire fighters (and other emergency personnel) are trained about solar PV systems - the systems have a circuit breakers on the roof that can be turned off and at the inverter as well as switch at the meter board. There are compulsory warming labels at all locations. Inverters are also intelligent and have sensors to determine the state of circuits and they switch off if a fault is detected.

    See here: Clean Energy Council | Solar PV

    and here: Clean Energy Council | Consumer guide to solar PV
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

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