A spokesperson from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said the service had attended 15 fires caused by solar energy systems in 2015. The incidents have doubled to 33 fires last year. Firefighters have attended 16 fires caused by solar panels in the first half of this year. The QFES spokesperson said that they did not record fires caused by solar energy systems until 2015. The Victoria Metropolitan Fire Brigade said it attended more than 40 fires due to solar panels in the last 5 years, while Fire Rescue NSW responded to 7 fires that were caused by solar panels in 2016. Board member John Cutler of the National Electrical Contractors Association said the damaged caused by solar panel fires would be greater if the solar power system uses a lithium-ion battery. Cutler said the solar panel fires were usually caused by poorly trained installers that use cheap products. He also said that quality products and quality installations by experienced and recognised installers will minimise the risks of fire. The solar battery storage industry is pushing to kill the new regulations that would force homeowners to build a separate fire bunker for battery installations. Click here to read the full story on The Australian
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