Is it Safe to Have Solar Panels on Your Roof?


Can Solar Panels Cause Fires?

Solar panels generate and transmit electrical energy, making electrical safety a top priority and concern. The installation process includes intricate electrical work, such as connecting panels to inverters and linking them to the utility grid. Certified professionals with expertise in electrical systems must assist and approve the installation.


As with anything relating to an electrical system, there is a fire risk if installed, managed, and maintained improperly. When solar panels are installed correctly, there should be no significant risk to your home. Fires from solar panels are rare, but the National Electrical Code established safety standards to help address and mitigate the concern. One requirement is all solar panel systems have a rapid shutdown feature. This is used as a quick way to de-energize your solar panels and allow first responders to act quickly in the event of a fire.  


To further support first responders in an emergency, your home should have clear labeling indicating which power lines are connected to your solar panel system. Your solar installer should also factor in fire access pathways, or fire setbacks, in the design of your system, as solar panels cannot be placed on any area of the roof below an emergency escape or rescue opening. The specific requirements vary by your location, so it’s important to ensure you choose a solar installation company knowledgeable of the requirements in your specific area.


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