Add solar panels and lose your home in a fire
Firefighters across the nation are alarmed at the prospect of battling blazes in buildings topped with solar panels, which can create new risks of roofs collapsing, an inability to gain footing and even potential electric shock.
Two recent fires involving structures decked with solar panels have triggered complaints from fire chiefs and calls for new codes and regulations that reflect the dangers posed by the clean-energy devices. A two-alarm fire last week at a home in Piedmont, Calif., prompted Piedmont Fire Chief Warren McLaren to say the technology “absolutely” made it harder on firefighters. Weeks earlier, in Delanco, N.J., more than 7,000 solar panels on the roof of a massive 300,000-square foot warehouse factored into Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt’s refusal to send his firefighters onto the roof of a Dietz & Watson facility.
“We may very well not be able to save buildings that have alternative energy,” New Jersey’s Acting Fire Marshall William Kramer told The Star-Ledger. . . .