N.J. Assemblymember Bob Schroeder, R-Bergen and Passaic counties, has introduced legislation designed to protect firefighters from potential dangers posed by a live PV installation. The measure has been approved by the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee.
Schroeder's bill, A-266, would require buildings to clearly label with an exterior emblem whether a PV installation is present. Exterior disconnect switches would also be required. The safety measure was recommended by the National Fire Protection Association, which noted that buildings with solar power systems ‘can present a variety of significant hazards’ in a recent report, Schroeder notes.
‘New Jersey is one of the fastest-growing markets for solar energy and trails only California in terms of installations, but solar panels pose an unintended threat to firefighters,’ states Schroeder, who is a volunteer firefighter.
‘Safe firefighting requires knowledge and awareness of the situation,’ he adds. ‘This bill will let emergency responders know at a glance when there's a threat of electrocution because the building is actively harnessing power from the sun.’
The full text of the legislation is available here.