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As solar photovoltaic systems and generators become more common, it is important to better understand how they work. Learn more about the safety tips involved with this next innovation today to ensure a safer tomorrow.


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solar panel safety
  • ​We recommends against climbing on, walking on, or cleaning roof mounted solar panels, as serious slipping/tripping hazards exist. Contact your solar system provider to have your system maintained or you panels cleaned.
  • Do not tamper with any wiring from the solar panels back to the service entrance section. If you suspect an issue contact your solar system provider, and/or APS.
  • In the event an electrical fire originating at the solar panels occurs, contact 911 immediately. Do not attempt to put out the fire with water, this could result in serious injury or death.
  • Ensure that our crews and first responders have 24/7 access to the utility disconnect switch. The utility disconnect switch with the switch handle opened, will prevent the solar system from back-feeding our equipment. Do not remove the APS padlock for any reason. If you or your solar system provider requires maintenance in which the utility disconnect switch door needs to be unlocked, contact us. 
  • Opening the utility disconnect switch will not stop the solar panels from generating electricity. Solar panels generate electricity when the sun is shining, even during overcast days. 
  • The required utility disconnect switch is not a dead front, when the switch door is open electrical shock hazards exist. 
  • Solar panels, when on fire, pose serious health risks from the toxic fumes released, stay upwind of the smoke whenever possible.
  • Do not paint over any of the required APS equipment labeling, these labels aid our crews and first responders in isolating the solar system should an issue or emergency occur.
  • If a battery backup system is installed, ensure all devices (utility disconnect switch, inverter, battery disconnect, and AC critical load disconnect) have 24/7 access.
  • Battery banks installed as part of a backup system can present toxic inhalation and explosive hazards when on fire, do not attempt to extinguish a battery fire with water.
generator safety

​If you’re planning on using a generator, here are some safety precautions to keep in mind.

  • Make sure to read the operating manual carefully.
  • Keep the generator outside in a well-ventilated area so the exhaust doesn’t come into your facility. 
  • Plug items that you want powered by the generator directly into the outlets on the generator. 
  • If you use extension cords make sure they are adequately sized.
  • Turn off all equipment before starting the portable generator, then turn on the items one at a time.
  • If a generator is connected to your buildings wiring system, back-feed can occur. This can pose a potentially fatal shock hazard to anyone working on our electrical system. Also, when APS has restored power, your generator is likely to be severely damaged or destroyed. 
  • If it is absolutely necessary to connect the generator to your buildings wiring system, ensure that a “break-before-make” transfer switch is installed. This switch will connect the wiring system to either the generator or our system, but never both at the same time.
  • A transfer switch should only be installed by a licensed electrician, and requires an electrical permit and electrical inspection.
  • If you install a generating source to power your buildings wiring system and do not also install a transfer switch, we have specific interconnection requirements that you must follow. Please call 602-371-6959 for details.