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Queensland's floods, solar panels and electrical safety

The Queensland Electrical Safety Office has issued a warning to residents about the electrical safety risks posed by solar panels in flooded areas.

The Electrical Safety Office, part of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, advises that anyone working around solar panels should treat the panels and their cables as if they were live.

The current emergency in Queensland has seen people being forced on to their roofs to seek temporary safety from localised severe flooding.

Many houses and businesses have solar panels installed on their roof and these can present electrical safety risks unless care is taken. If you are on the roof, keep well away from solar panels and their cables.

Solar panels (often called photo-voltaic panels) generate and supply electricity to homes and commercial premises. Because they are powered by the sun (or any other source of light), they continue to supply electricity, even when the mains power has been switched off.

This means that even if the street power has been disconnected from a house or place of business, and the main switch turned off, there may still be live cables within the building which, due to flood damage, may present a risk of exposed live electrical parts.

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Last reviewed
13 September 2012
Last updated
5 November 2015

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