June 19, 2023

Solar is a Must Have This Fire Season

As we move into the summer months, fire season will become a growing concern for the country at large and California in particular. With the record hot temperatures of last year, California residents can expect to be on guard for the next few months, but there may be some good news ahead as well. The record hot temperatures of last year were followed by a historically wet winter, which should provide a critical moisture buffer.

Buffer or not, preparedness is the name of the game when it comes to fire season. There are steps that every homeowner can take to protect their homes and surrounding areas from a potential fire, and with the addition of a solar system to your home, you’ll be ready to go whether the power is on or out. Let’s investigate some of the potential challenges of fire season, and  explore some proactive steps we can take to increase our home’s resilience.

Grid Stability in Fire Season

As fire season tends to follow the summer, we can expect to see fire activity as early as July, with the potential to extend through October. Now, fire season is an unpredictable time, so there is of course no hard start and end date to the potential for wildfires. However, given that we can generally forecast when to be on the lookout for fire activity, we can also ensure we are prepared before and throughout the season.

One major factor to keep in mind is that during the summer, the energy grid tends to struggle under the increased usage of homebound residents. With homes more full now than any other time of year, and with larger levels of energy consumption due to AC usage, it becomes more likely by the day that an issue will arise with utility power. We’ve seen what can happen when unstable conditions and aging equipment cause grid failures, so the more we can lighten the load the better. Solar systems are an excellent way to reduce the amount of energy you draw from the grid, as they enable you to generate, store, and export energy right from your home.

Outages Abound

During fire season, this grid instability will ultimately lead to outages, whether due to fire activity or actual grid failures. In any case, homes equipped with solar systems and battery storage will be able to maintain power even if the lights go out. This can be critical in the midst of fire season, for a number of reasons. With the power on, you can keep your devices powered, meaning you won’t lose contact with your friends and family who may be in the area, or concerned for your safety. You’ll also be able to maintain access to vital emergency information, like wildfire trackers or evacuation notices.

Crucially, if you have medical or mechanical devices that rely on power, you’ll be able to continue using them with battery power, even if your connection to the grid is interrupted or impeded by natural disaster. Outages are all but a guarantee in fire season, but with the proper equipment, you’ll be able to keep the lights on and your critical devices powered.

Fire Season Preparedness

To prepare for fire season, California homeowners should begin to make preparations in and around their homes. These simple steps can increase your resiliency against outages and fires, and ensure your family is prepared in the event of a fire.

Defensible space is the name of the game when it comes to home fire safety. With a preparedness guide like this one from CAL FIRE, you can take the necessary steps to prepare the area around your home by removing flammable and combustible materials from within 100 feet of your house.

You should also have an evacuation plan in place, along with an emergency preparedness kit in case you are unable to leave your home for supplies. Planning ahead is the key to safety in the moment, and the more you are able to prepare for fire season, the more peace of mind you can enjoy as we get through the summer together.

Finally, a solar system can help you keep your devices charged, your battery system topped up and ready to go, and reduce overall grid reliance, which should hopefully contribute to a more stable grid overall. Together, these preparedness tips will help you achieve increased resilience, and put you in a better position to weather the upcoming fire season. To get started on the solar component of your fire preparedness plan, schedule a free consultation today.

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