Solar Safety 101
You’ve heard a lot about solar panels: how they can save energy, save you money, save the environment, and more. Under the right circumstances, they can be a great investment for your home. But before you get them, there are a few things you need to know. You need to learn about solar safety.
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. The roof as a whole can turn out around 600 volts at any given time, which is harmful if you touch it. What this means for you is that you should be very careful about going up on the roof.
First of all, don’t go up on the roof at all unless you have to. If you have to clean the gutters or make a repair, be sure to exercise caution, as well as proper solar safety procedures. Turn off the power to the solar system before going up. There should be a large, clearly marked box near the front of the house, with a switch to cut the power.
Even once the power is off, be careful when walking around on the roof. Treat any electrical circuit like it’s live—because it still might be. Anytime the sun is out, the panels are generating electricity in the form of direct current voltage. If you want to stop this, you need to cover every panel with a tarp.
During a fire, there’s added danger of electrocution. However, firefighters are thoroughly trained in solar safety and will know what to do. Leave it to them.
In general, the roof should be accessed as little as possible. Even when exercising caution, there’s potential danger. And make sure your children know never to go on the roof, under any circumstances. If you’re thinking of getting solar panels, start enforcing the rule before they’re installed, to get them used to it.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.