Maryland House fire with Solar Panels

Hartfold Co maryland fire solar 1

Photo Courtesy: Mark Ensor, EVD BAVFC

Firefighters from Abingdon Fire Company, The Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. (Official) and Aberdeen Proving Ground FD have the Winterberry Drive fire under control (20min). One civilian male taken to a regional hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Media: Jenn will be POC for your calls. Rich/Jenn

Original Source: Harford County Md Fire & EMS PIO Media Page

Comments from their facebook post:

Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. (Official)We absolutely stay away from them. Venting the roof (cutting a hole) cannot be completed. The panels conduct electricity and offer a huge weight concern. Fortunately the back side of the roof did not have panels, so we were able to remove the superheated gases from that side instead.

Harford County Md Fire & EMS PIO Media PageGreat question Missy Marsh Braun ! It plays a big role in ff operations. If the ffs have to go to the roof to cut a hole for ventilation the panels make it very difficult to do so. If those crews operating inside cant get that ventilation then things can turn tragic. In addition this is a live electrical system and must be dealt with very cautiously. There is a large concern over solar panels and ff safety ongoing, no just in Harford Co but throughout the nation. RichG


Firefighter  Solar Training Resources:

Videos by Matt Paiss


UL Online Training Course:

(Click on Photo for link)

ul PV class photo









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

A special thanks to Mike Dowling of Holding 1&1

Stay Safe

Captain John Shafer



  • Mark Cerny says:

    A Solar Safety ShutOFF with Arc detection covers all aspects of solar panel safety during an emergency, maintenance or when access to the roof is required. During a fire, first responders can flick a switch at the power box, or cut power to the building and the Solar Safety ShutOFF isolates panels using latest air gap isolation techniques providing up to 8mm air gap in less than 5 milliseconds. This leaves the system ZERO volts and stops back feeding into the grid. It can automatically shut off if heat is detected from a fire and installed with Arc Detection provides the ultimate solar safety system with 24/7 Safety monitoring and control. Search youtube, facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or visit

  • Mark says:

    With a Solar Safety ShutOFF installed fire-fighters can vent the roof by putting their axe straight through the panels if they wish without the risk of electrocution. Solar Safety ShutOFF leaves zero Volts circulating anand can be activated from the switch board or be disconnecting power from the street or sub station.

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