dietz & watson warehouse blaze: solar panels hampered firefighting, officials say

by:Tunto     2020-02-25
Seth ogenstein and Amy EllisNutt/The Star-LedgerDELANCO —
Local officials said today that more than 7,000 solar panels on the roof of a burning warehouse in Burlington County proved too dangerous for firefighters.
\"It is very likely that we will not be able to save buildings with alternative energy sources,\" said William Kramer, acting New Jersey fire chief, after Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt refused to send his firemen to the roof of 300,000, he said
Since Sunday afternoon, square feet of plants at Diz and Watson have been lit.
According to Ken Willette, department manager of the National Fire Protection Association, solar panels are particularly dangerous for firefighters for many reasons.
He said: \"It is possible to get an electric shock because the electricity on the panel cannot be turned off . \" \"There is no clear road on the roof to cut the vent holes is another challenge.
Willette said: \"Basically, solar panels consisting of photovoltaic cells will generate electricity from solar radiation, and any type of light will activate solar panels, including street lights, floodlights, and even flashlights for firefighters.
These panels are extremely efficient.
\"According to Kramer, those fighting the fires of Diz and Watson are also hampered by the water supply problem, and even if most of the fires have been extinguished today, the building is still being doused by the water from the fire hose.
Experts say electric shock, slipping and tripping on the solar panel roof display are just two potential hazards of a \"green\" structure fire-fighting.
Others include structural collapse and inhalation exposure due to the weight of the panels on the roof, as solar cells exposed to fire can produce extremely corrosive smoke and gas.
According to a report of 9,000, Garden State has more than 2010 solar installations, which is the second largest solar market in the United States after California, \"Solar energy and its impact on fire services\" produced by the New Jersey fire safety department \".
Although the maximum voltage of the solar panel system is only 600 V, according to the division of the fire safety department, the voltage is very low, even instantaneous contact. . .
Sustained shock, heat damage, and ventricular fibrillation can occur.
In its 2010 report, the Fire Research Foundation said, \"it cannot be eliminated.
Exposed to the Sun to charge a single photovoltaic board is not too much emphasis.
Emergency workers must always treat the system and all its components as powered on.
This includes after an emergency has stabilized, because when exposed to the Sun, the system will continue to be powered on, possibly damage to the system components, which can pose a serious shock hazard, it can even lead to a reignite of the fire.
Willette said, \"even if there is no solar panel, 300,000-square-
Foot building poses a huge challenge to fire fighting.
Buildings like this will burn for a long time.
\"Ken Johnson, vice president of communications, Solar Industry Association, Washington, D. C. C.
He said, \"there are thousands of solar systems across the country, and only a few have been linked to fires since 1996.
By contrast, tens of thousands of fires have been associated with toaster, microwave, TV, washing machine and dryer, computer and entertainment equipment.
\"The solar industry attaches great importance to safety.
We are working closely with firefighters and organizations across the country to develop enhanced solar installation regulations and standards.
We also intend to increase education for all emergency personnel. . .
A review of product standards, building codes and first responder training, especially for firefighters, is an important starting point.
Diz and Watson were destroyed in the fire at Delanco\'s warehouse and continued to burn. The fire at Diz and Watson\'s warehouse was finally under control.
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