Firefighters alarmed by latest rescue risk: solar panels
Firefighters across the nation are alarmed at the prospect of battling blazes in buildings topped with solar panels, which can create new risks of roofs collapsing, an inability to gain footing and even potential electric shock.Now, call me crazy, but I would think that the extra weight should be taken into consideration when putting the panels on the roof. Then again, I'm just a regular guy, not a green energy crusader, so things like load-bearing weight and fail points are above my pay grade to understand and implement. Apparently the greenies aren't too concerned with firefighter access or the inability to shut off the panels in case of a fire, and it's up to the building code to catch up.
Two recent fires involving structures decked with solar panels have triggered complaints from fire chiefs and calls for new codes and regulations that reflect the dangers posed by the clean-energy devices. A two-alarm fire last week at a home in Piedmont, Calif., prompted Piedmont Fire Chief Warren McLaren to say the technology “absolutely” made it harder on firefighters. Weeks earlier, in Delanco, N.J., more than 7,000 solar panels on the roof of a massive 300,000-square foot warehouse factored into Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt’s refusal to send his firefighters onto the roof of a Dietz & Watson facility.
Problem is, the fire fighters already have a solution: let it burn. They're not about to risk their lives fighting a fire if they can't access the roof because it's completely covered with solar panels, so bye-bye building in that case. How green are you now that you have to completely rebuild and replace everything? The real world will intrude - whether it's fighting a fire in a building with solar panels or protected wildlife being turned into eagle salad by wind power.
Then again, as the saying goes, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few endangered condor eggs...
That is all.