The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), a Sacramento, Calif.-based publicly owned utility, is offering a new training program to educate firefighters on the dangers of solar rooftops.
While PV panels are not considered fire hazards, SMUD says they generate electricity and may contain materials that can be hazardous if ignited. The program helps fire training instructors teach basic fundamentals of photovoltaic technology and the uniqueness of rooftop installations as well as the dangers involved. These include tripping hazards, electrical shocks and potential hazards from chemicals released during a fire or explosion, SMUD adds.
The program was developed in partnership with the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) and includes information given by fire training experts from various fire departments in California. The program, which is in CD-ROM format, is available free of charge from SMUD or CALSEIA. For more information about SMUD or its solar programs, visit www.smud.org