Size Up the Scenes

A size-up is the process of gathering information when you arrive on the scene. The more information you take in at the start, the better prepared you will be to respond safely and efficiently. Even if your department is already aware of certain PV systems in your community and their potential hazards, pre-planning assessments should never take the place of a comprehensive size-up at the incident scene.

Perform a 360-degree size-up by walking in a circle around the structure or area involved. Take note of the layout of all sides and roofs of any structures and be on the lookout for PV system components that may not be immediately obvious, such as arrays, inverters and control switchgear.

In addition to physically sizing up the scene, talk to knowledgeable people like building owners, property managers and solar installers. Integrate the information they provide with the observations from your size-up to form a more comprehensive understanding.