NJ: New Solar Panel Mandate

Feb 21, 2014

Many tragic events lead to a better understanding of hidden dangers which lead to new/stricter mandates.  A Dietz and Watson cold storage facility in Delanco, NJ had solar panels affixed to the roof structure.  The solar panels restricted the efforts of the fire department in reaching the roof in a timely manner along with the risk of electrocution from not being able to shut off the electrical current within the panels.  These factor along with the additional weight caused the roof to collapse in a shockingly short and unexpected amount of time.  The extreme danger and ultimate destruction of the building led to the proposal and acceptance of a new law that was recently passed.  Governor Chris Christie signed into law Assembly Bill A-266 (S-507) that requires building owners to provide notice to local fire officials of any solar panels mounted on rooftops.  

Please note, this DOES apply to community associations.

Passed Bill (effective immediately):

This bill requires that an identifying emblem displaying the letters "S/P" be placed next to the main entrance of a building if solar panels are attached to the roof of that building. Current law requires identifying emblems with truss construction display the letter "F" to signify a floor with truss construction; "R" to signify a roof with truss construction; or "F/R" to signify both a floor and roof with truss construction. This bill requires an additional emblem with the letters "S/P" to signify "solar panels" be placed to the left of the main entrance of any structure that has solar panels affixed to its roof.

In addition, this bill requires that all existing and newly constructed buildings that have solar panels be equipped with an external shut-off switch. The purpose of this bill is to protect the safety of firefighters who respond to an emergency call at a home that has solar panels.

Read the full text of Assembly Bill A266 including a list of requirements under the bill.

The above information was supplied to CAI by The Falcon Group.


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