Solar Panels

Like Any Other Source of Electricity, Solar Panels Can Pose a Hazard

If you have panels installed on your roof or elsewhere on your property, please be aware of the risks and keep a safe distance from the electric equipment. Emergency responders should also be aware of the risks involved with a solar array (Solar water heating systems are slightly different and are not discussed here).

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Most of the electric wires run through conduits along the outside of the building.

  • Typically, an AC disconnect switch is mounted near the electric meter or the home’s main distribution panel
  • Each disconnect switch must be labeled to identify the solar array to which it is connected
  • The disconnect switch will only disconnect the home from the solar array
  • The panels will still generate DC power and can cause a shock
  • If the solar system has a battery backup, it will also continue to produce power

Large Solar Installations

Treat a large solar farm as you would an electric substation.

  • Don’t enter a solar farm without permission from the electric utility. Only enter the facility when the utility confirms that the equipment is de-energized.
  • If a bystander is inside the area and requires assistance, do not enter until it is safe to do so. Shout instructions to the bystander from a safe distance.
  • Warn and signal any bystander to remain a safe distance from the area
solar panels

Safety Guides