Do Solar Panels Increase the Chances of a Fire?

We occasionally get questions from our solar customers about the potential of their rooftop solar installations to cause a fire. While earlier solar systems did come with higher risks, a properly engineered and installed modern rooftop solar system poses very little risk of causing a fire.

Our team at Solar Bear Orlando discusses why the risk of fire has lessened so drastically over the years, and what we do to protect your home from the threat of fires.

Can the Solar Panel’s Electrical System Malfunction?

Every electrical device has some level of fire risk, but with the design of modern inverters, there are many levels of protection in place that minimize these risks.

These protections include ground fault, over-temperature, overload, and arc fault protection. Believe it or not, these protective elements on your solar system make them safer than other electrical equipment in your home such as your HVAC.

Further, when we install your solar array, our team at Solar Bear Orlando tests each part of the system its components to check for poor connections, damaged wires, or other issues.

Common causes of solar panel fires include:

  • Poorly installed panels
  • Defective connections
  • Faulty products
  • Over-voltage
  • Power surges
  • Lightning

Any of the above could lead to hot spots within your solar system, which can in turn cause a fire. They can also cause arcs between the ground and the conductor, which is a fire hazard as well. But as stated above, modern high-quality solar panels include protections that make them safer and prevent fires from occurring.

Does the Gap Between the Solar Module and the Roof Increase the Risk of Fire?

While this might seem possible, the risk of heat transfer from the solar module and your roof is quite low. Solar panels absorb energy from the sun that would otherwise be directed to your roof. Our systems are designed to allow for easy airflow between the module and the roof to help keep the space cool.

How to Prevent Solar Panel Fire Risks

Some precautions that you can take when getting your solar system installed are:

Choose Quality Solar Panels and Parts

Yes, you can get low-cost solar panels, but why put your home and family at risk? Low-cost solar panels can malfunction, cause a fire, and lead to higher costs for home repairs in the long run.

Purchase high-quality solar panels that offer long-term warranties in case of a malfunction or issue.

Maintain Your System

All electrical systems need regular maintenance. Check your panels regularly for damage from pests and clear them of any debris such as sticks or leaves. Look out for any holes in their cables that could pose a future electrical hazard.

Avoid DIY Solar

If you want to ensure that your solar array works properly and won’t malfunction, you should avoid DIY solar installation. Solar systems are complex and should only be installed by a trained solar installation expert like our team at Solar Bear Orlando.

Learn More> Why to Avoid DIY Solar Installation

Solar Panels and Firefighters

Though extremely rare, if a solar panel fire were to occur on your property, it is important to alert the responding firefighters that you have live solar panels on your home.

One of the main things that they will do when they arrive is switch off the system and later determine if it was the cause of the fire.

Key Takeaways:

  • Solar systems are safe and rarely cause fires.
  • Selecting a reputable and experienced solar installation company can ensure that the system is installed correctly and can mitigate the risk of fires.
  • System maintenance should be done periodically.
  • Don’t try to DIY your installation, you may regret it later.
  • If you have a fire, alert the firefighters that you have active solar panels installed.

Install Solar

Installing solar is a safe and reliable way to reduce your electricity bill and reduce your carbon footprint. However, just like with any electrical system, you must follow the precautions listed above to prevent solar panel fires.

Stay safe. Call our experienced solar technicians at Solar Bear Orlando for all your solar panel needs today; 407-904-7585!