Solar Electricity Safety Training for Fire Departments



Through our partnership with the Canadian Solar Industry Association (CanSIA), we identified the need for firefighters to be properly trained for emergencies where solar panels are present.  We developed a Solar Electricity Safety Training Program that addresses safety considerations and firefighting protocols to successfully fight fires where photovoltaic (PV) or solar electricity systems are in place.
 
The goal of this training program is to assemble and widely disseminate core principles, tactical and rescue considerations and best practice information for firefighters, incident commanders and other emergency first responders to assist in their decision-making process in an effective manner at emergencies involving solar electricity – ultimately reducing property loss and potential loss of life.


Course Information 

The course is three hours, delivered in a classroom by an OAFC Solar Instructor. Course materials include the Solar Electricity Safety Training Handbook for Firefighters, and an Electrical Safety Handbook for Emergency Responders. A certificate will be issued after the completion of the three-hour course.
 
The objectives of this course is to ensure students understand:
  • Basic electrical knowledge
  • Basics of solar electricity generation (photovoltaics or PV)
  • The skills required to recognize and size up the hazards of electricity
  • Safe approach limits to electrical devices
  • When and how suppression or rescue can be carried out
  • When to provide crowd or traffic control
At the end of the course, the student will:
  • Understand basic electrical terms
  • Understand how electricity is distributed
  • Know the safe limits of approach
  • Recognize some hazards of electricity
  • Know how the human body reacts to electrical contacts
  • Discuss common electrical fire causes
  • Know the required personal protective gear
  • Understand solar photovoltaic systems
  • Discuss fire ground operations in rescue situations
  • Discuss fire ground operations in firefighting situations
  • Understand the applicable Section 21 guidance notes
  • Understand the intent of the ESA database

Guidelines for Hosting a Solar Course

There are two registration options for departments to choose from when booking a Solar Training course.

OPTION 1: Solar Course with an Internal Instructor:  Select this option if you have someone in your department that is an OAFC qualified solar instructors, and you want to do the training within your own department.
  • Cost: $12.76 per person, plus a $13.00 fee for one Electrical Safety Handbook for Emergency Responder handbook. This book is referenced in the course materials, and must be on hand should students wish to refer to it.  The Solar Electricity Safety Handbook for Firefighters is included in the $12.76 fee for each student. If you wish for each student to receive a copy of the Electrical Safety Handbook for Emergency Responders, the cost is $25.76 per student.
OPTION 2: Solar Course with External Instructor: Select this option if you do not have anyone in your department that is an OAFC qualified solar instructor.
  • Cost:  $13.32 per person, plus instructor expenses (mileage & $250 instructor fee) and a $13.00 fee for one Electrical Safety Handbook for Emergency Responder .  This book is referenced in the course materials, and must be on hand should students wish to refer to it.  The Solar Electricity Safety Handbook for Firefighters is included in the $13.32 fee for each student.  If you wish for each student to receive a copy of the Electrical Safety Handbook for Emergency Responders, the cost is $26.32 per student.

For More Information

For more information on Solar Training, to register for a session, or to book a course, please contact Alexandra Kearns, Marketing & Member Services Coordinator, by email alexandra.kearns@oafc.on.ca or phone 905-426-9865 x226.