Car wash fire prompts warning about solar power system maintenance

The Metropolitan Fire Service has saved a Murray Bridge business and issued a warning to property owners.

The Metropolitan Fire Service has warned property owners to get their solar power systems checked after a fire at a Murray Bridge car wash on Tuesday.

Smoke was seen coming from the roof of the Sparkle and Shine Car Wash on South Terrace around 12.45pm.

Two MFS trucks and an ambulance attended, but thankfully the risk to the public was minimal.

The business’ owner quickly shut off the power, and a couple of firefighters climbed up and used extinguishers on the fire before it really got going.

They were able to isolate the damage to two banks of panels.

However, fire crews remained on site for an hour or more, awaiting a specialist technician, as the solar panels on the roof continued to feed power into the burnt-out inverters.

MFS spokesman Ryan Hansen said the fire served as a useful reminder to home and business owners to make sure their solar power systems were in good working order.

“If (the business’ owner) didn’t see the smoke, it could quite easily have burnt down the entire building,” he said.

The Clean Energy Regulator recommends getting a licensed electrician or solar installer to inspect your solar power system in accordance with a maintenance schedule set out by the original installer.

As well as reducing the risk of potentially dangerous faults – as in any other electrical equipment exposed to the elements – maintenance may include cleaning solar panels to make sure they still work efficiently.


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