WHAT TO TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT SAFETY WHEN GOING SOLAR

Having your own solar power deserves a pat on the back. You have played your part in lowering worldwide carbon emissions, and a healthier environment for future generations. The dangers of climate change may be evident only when we are gone. It is therefore important to begin today. You can begin by teaching your children or grandkids about what solar power is, its advantages, and the dangers of using it.

The roof is off limits

A solar system on the roof means that your kids should know that the roof is a no-go zone just like they should not touch electrical wires. This is especially important if your home has direct access to the roof.

All the activities that usually happen on the roof, like hanging Christmas decorations, must now be done in a separate area of the home.

Solar panels on rooftops produce as much as 600 volts, this can be a dangerous amount especially for kids. You should make your kid aware of the safety rules and regulations to follow in the event of a fire caused by the solar panels.

However, if it’s absolutely necessary for your kid to go up to the roof remember the following tips;

Disconnect the power first

First, go to your electrical control panel and disconnect the cable transmitting power from your solar panels. It is usually found in an easily accessible place in your home such as the front of the house. Contacting your local fire department can make this easier.

Although you may have turned off the power connection, the solar panels may still be generating DC voltage which can be dangerous. You should, therefore, assume that all wires are live. An opaque tarp can come in handy by covering all the solar panels. Take extra care if your home has an AC battery.

Worst case scenario – Fire

What’s the worst situation that you might face while on the roof with your solar panels? Wind? Glare? No. It is fire. Fire is not easily tamed, and most people are not given proper training concerning situations involving fire on rooftops. The fire may come from within the house or on the roof.

Fires on rooftops are a deterrent to anyone who is not a trained firefighter, but if you are in that situation, and the roof has solar panels, then you should be more careful. The number one risk goes from fire to electrocution. Rooftops do not normally have fire extinguishers, therefore, you should have one available ‘just in case’.

You minimize your risk of electrocution when you avoid stepping on the solar panels and wiring, especially when the sun is out. If it is dark, you might have a better chance given the non-lethal voltage during night time. Assuming that the panels can be stepped on could result in injury as they are not structurally designed to carry a person’s weight.

Talk to a reputable solar installer who has your best interest at heart and will guide you on everything about solar with efficient technicians and sufficient expertise to weather any solar storms.