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Fire Incidents involving Solar Power

Project Description

The BRE NSC has been commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS, formerly DECC) to lead a three year study on fires involving solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The study involves a review of historical incidents, relevant literature, standards and training.

Another important part of the project is to conduct on-site forensic investigations of current incidents, where appropriate. The NSC is partnering with Fire Investigations (UK) LLP for these investigations.

 

Who needs this information?

The findings of the project will be used to inform the fire and rescue service, technical standards writers, training companies and the PV industry supply chain via published reports.

As well as BEIS, the project is being supported by the Building Regulations and Standards Division of the Department for Communities and Local Government and by the Chief Fire Officers Association.

Why are we looking at this issue?

There is no reason to believe that the fire risks associated with PV systems are any greater than those associated with other electrical equipment, such as washing machines. Nevertheless, PV systems are now more common and it is therefore important that any risks associated with PV installations are more widely understood and minimised.

Presentations from BRE's conference 'Photovoltaics and Fire - Separating fact from fiction' are available on the BRE Slideshare page.

 

Interim Reports

The below interim reports detail the research carried out to date and early recommendations to both the Solar and Fire Industries.  BRE National Solar Centre will be disseminating this information to the Solar Industry through Stakeholder Workshops and looking for ways to progress recommendations to improve guidance and training.  BRE will also be working alongside the Chief Fire Officers Association to improve guidance to Fire Rescue Services responding to fires where PV is present.

A final report will be presented to BEIS early 2018 concluding this research.

How to report incidents

Please report fires involving PV systems - Anything from a smoking electrical component to a full-blown building fire.


Send an email to: solarfire@bre.co.uk

In office hours, please call: 0333 0033 314


Please leave contact details, including your phone number.

The incident does not necessarily need to be caused by the PV system, but if there is a PV system present, we would like to know the location of the building and the approximate time of the fire (and any other relevant information immediately available). If necessary we will then gather more details from building owner, the relevant installer and the fire service involved.

In order to promote the reporting of incidents, all personal and commercially sensitive data (e.g. Installer and product names) will be kept secure so that only anonymised reports, approved by BEIS, will be published. No personal or commercially sensitive data will be shared outside of the project.

 

Please help to make solar power even safer!