Urgent solar panel safety warning for NSW floods

Master Electricians Australia

Tuesday, 01 March, 2022

Urgent solar panel safety warning for NSW floods

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has issued an urgent warning about injuries and potential deaths from solar panels and other electrical equipment as flooding increases in NSW.

MEA CEO Malcolm Richards said solar panels continued to produce electricity during a flood event, even if the power supply has been cut off and the panels turned off at the switchboard He urged residents in areas affected by devastating flood waters to be extremely careful around their solar panel installations.

“Homeowners who are forced onto their roof due to flooding need to be extremely careful around solar panels as they present a real electrical safety risk,” Richards said.

“This also applies to people in boats or other craft moving around near submerged homes.

“Even if the network supply is turned off, solar panels still produce electricity and the associated wiring is also live.

“This is a very serious threat affecting thousands of homes and has the potential to cause death or serious injury if people come into contact with the wiring to the panels.

Richards advised that flood-affected residents can use the shutdown instructions to safely turn off the isolation switches located next to the solar inverter — these instructions are usually located on the switchboard.

“If you’re unsure of anything we urgently recommend engaging a fully qualified electrician,” Richards said. “Where a solar PV system has been flood-inundated, an electrician can check the system and safely isolate water-damaged components.

“It is vital that residents ensure that the system is electrically safe before it is recommissioned.”

MEA has also launched a free hotline to connect homeowners affected by flooding with local electricians. Residents affected should phone 1300 889 198 and a contractor will assist them to get back on the grid quickly and safely.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/On-Air

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