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ECFRS reassures public following solar panel 'kill switch' rumours

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is urging residents to be vigilant of bogus information regarding solar panels and their potential to affect emergency response.


It is understood that at least one company has advised customers with solar panels on their homes that, without a 'kill switch' to remove their power supply, our crews will not attempt to fight a fire at the property because of the risk of electrocution.


ECFRS would like to reassure residents that this is completely incorrect.

Station Officer Paul Fenwick, Community Engagement Officer, said: "We have received reports regarding solar panels from several owners recently, who were concerned that they may prevent us responding to an emergency.


"Let me be very clear - suggestions that a ‘kill switch’ is necessary for us to fight a fire at a property with solar panels are categorically untrue. We have procedures in place to deal with every type of incident in the safest possible way, including fires involving solar panels.


"Please do not attempt to tackle a fire yourself based on these rumours - get out, stay out and call us out."


Companies in other areas of the UK had previously falsely claimed that fire services would not attend fires involving old solar panels - encouraging them to purchase new ones.


If you have been approached by an organisation that has made similar suggestions, contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice helpline on 03454 040506.

 

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