Firefighters on the scene as photo voltaic panels sizzle

Workers were evacuated from the Bellinger Shire Council chambers today when a solar panel on the roof began to smolder.

The Bellinger unit from Fire and Rescue NSW was there and was there at 3 p.m. (February 2).

There has been a spate of rooftop fires across the state in recent years.

Fire and Rescue NSW data shows that firefighters participated in 139 solar panel fires over the past year, compared to 22 in 2018 and 56 in 2019.

Ironically, many of the incidents have been linked to DC circuit breakers to isolate the solar panels from the rest of the house and to protect firefighters from electric shock.

Last year 101,224 solar module systems were installed in NSW, an increase of 26 percent compared to the previous record of 2011.

At the same time, only 619 sample inspections were conducted in the twelve months ended June 30 last year, compared to 954 inspections the previous year.

More details will follow

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