Solar Power & Firefighting Training Material

Do you know what Photovoltaic (PV) is?

What are the safety hazards with PV?

What tactics should be used at fires with PV present?

How do I secure utilities on a PV system?
If you are not able to answer these questions, then hopefully this post can give you the sources to gain the knowledge to this modern fire ground hazard.

Photovoltaic (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect.

The U.S. solar market had its second largest quarter in history. The industry installed 832 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity, up 15% over deployment levels in Q1 2013. The utility PV market drove much of the growth in Q2 2013 with over 450 MW of projects commissioned in the quarter. The overall solar electric market remains on pace for another record year, with 4,400 MW of PV and over 900 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) projected to come online in 2013.

This growth increases the potential of your fire department responding to a building with PV, irrespective of the PV being involved with the initiation of the fire event.

3 basic types of PV:

Free Training Videos:

Free Online Module:

Every Incident Commander, Company Officer and firefighter will greatly enhance their safety by taking this online class. UL has developed an online interactive training module. The program includes a professionally narrated description of all of the experiments, their results and the tactical considerations. Experimental video is used and graphical data is explained in a way that brings science to the street level firefighter. (Click on photo for module)


Firefighter Safety & Photovoltaic Installations Research Project

NFPA Firefighter Safety & Emergency Response for Solar Power Systems

California Fire – Office Of State Fire Marshal has provided coursework for how firefighters can better understand and respond to these incidents. Download Course Information.

Orange County Guideline for Fire Safety Elements of Solar Photovoltaic Systems

This brochure from Duke Energy is designed for fire personnel responding to a fire where rooftop- and ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have been installed.



Office of State Fire Marshal CalFire Photovoltaic

Hands-On Training Company:

Energy Response Solutions

Green Maltese PV links:

Please share this infomation with your crews

Thanks Lt. John Shafer



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John Shafer

An 18 year veteran of  the fire service, and currently a Lieutenant and the Training Officer for the Greencastle Fire Department.  An Indiana regionally recognized instructor on building construction, fireground search and command management, he has traveled throughout the State of Indiana delivering specialized training programs on building construction, fireground search and firefighter safety.

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I read the article and much is true, but where I find some issue is where the author digresses into the flow path aspect. I find that it is important to note that while smoke did fill the floor, the fire itself was located in an area with no windows, a single door (which FF…
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I you have questions you can email me at Thanks John Shafer
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i am doing bachelors degree in bulding technologies in final year currently iam doing my project "fire fighting systems for green buildings" so i need your valuble guidence and references.iam very thankful to you if you can do....
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Another Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Attic Fire | Green Maltese
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[…] in September I wrote a post to raise awareness of Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) for the fire service. In this article I […]
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Nicely analysed John. Notice at 3.02 that the flame issuing from the front windows was right down to the bottom of the opening indicating that these were all functioning as exhaust outlets. Which means that there must be other openings that are serving as the inlets on side B,C,D. The front door showed a bi-directional…
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