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Home Blog Solar panels on your business premises: here's how to reduce fire risk

Solar panels on your premises: here's how to reduce the fire risk

Oct 17, 2023
4 min reading time

Solar panels have grown in popularity in recent years. Not only among individuals, but also among business owners. If you have business premises, you can choose to have solar panels installed. However, there are also disadvantages to solar panels. For example, two business premises recently went up in flames in Alblasserdam and Zeewolde. In both cases, solar panels were present on the roof, and these not only made extinguishing the fire more difficult but sometimes even turned out to be the cause of the fire. Therefore, many business owners are wondering how to ensure fire-safe solar panels on their premises.

Fire caused by solar panels

The risk of fire from solar panels is very small. Nevertheless, it does occur occasionally. What is important for fire safety is that the solar panels are made of high quality material and installed correctly. In fact, proper installation is the best way to prevent fire. Even if the origin of the fire is another cause, solar panels can get in the way of extinguishing the fire. This is extra true when the panels are placed very close together. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to reduce fire risk.

Tips to reduce fire risk

1. Have solar panels installed by a licensed installer

Installing solar panels is a technical job that cannot be done by just anyone. If the solar panels are not installed properly, it increases the risk of fire or other problems with the solar panels. By choosing a certified installer, you can be sure that the solar panels meet the safety requirements. You can recognize an approved installer by the Zonnekeur seal of approval.

2. Keep the inverter clear

An inverter is the connecting factor between the solar panels and the meter box. You need this to convert the generated power into electricity. Because an inverter can get very hot, it is important to place it on a fireproof background, such as a brick wall or drywall. In addition, you must keep in mind that the inverter must be able to dissipate heat. Therefore, do not place items within 50 centimeters of the inverter.

3. Provide non-combustible roof insulation

Solar panels can get hot. Especially with in-roof solar panels, which are installed as replacements for roof tiles, it is important to choose non-combustible roof insulation. This is because these are very vulnerable, as the insulation here is usually right under the solar panels and there is little room for ventilation, which can cause the insulation material to get hot and ignite.

Maintaining the solar panels

Solar panels generally require little maintenance, Nevertheless, it is important that you keep the solar panels clean and have them checked once in a while. In the first three years after installing the solar panels, you can do a check yourself. It is wise to do this regularly. Clean the solar panels and check that no objects have been placed near the inverter. In addition, check that the cables are not stretched, you do not see any copper color and that the casing is not worn. It is also important that you have the solar panels inspected from time to time. You can leave this to a professional, such as an independent inspector who inspects according to SCIOS Scope 12. These inspectors follow a specific method and check the entire solar installation.

Insuring the solar panels on your premises

With most insurers, solar panels are covered by default under building insurance or business property insurance. However, be sure to check this in your insurance policy terms and conditions. As the owner of the business premises, you are responsible for having the solar panels properly installed and maintained. If overdue maintenance on the panels is the reason for the fire, there is a risk that the insurer will not pay out or not pay out in full.

Are you looking for good insurance for your commercial property and solar panels? Our insurance advisors can help you find a good insurance policy. Be sure to contact us.

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