July 7th, 2022
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.– On the afternoon of Friday June 10th, a large IKEA warehouse located at the Matrix Global Logistics Park at 586 Gulf Avenue in Staten Island, NY, caught fire. Over one hundred firefighters from the New York City Fire Department responded and began to battle the fire at approximately 2:40 pm. After about 20 minutes, the scene escalated to a two-alarm fire, meaning the fire required aid from additional FDNY units. Many residents from the area said the smoke was visible for miles, observing the flames from their homes and commute.
After about an hour and a half of battling the fire, twenty FDNY units were able to contain the incident. A spokesperson from the Matrix Development Group reported that the fire was caused by a solar panel malfunction. The panels occupied the roof of the warehouse. Fortunately, the fire did not spread to other areas of the 975,000 square foot building. One firefighter suffered minor injuries.
Solar panels themselves are in fact very safe, with an incident rate of less than 1 per 10,000 installations. Incorrect installation causes most of these fires, although potential for faulty panels is a factor as well. These panels cannot be shut off with the flip of a switch, meaning that battling these fires be very hazardous. Therefore, proper installation and inspection of these solar panels is critical to ensure safe operation, and to prevent these types of dangerous fires before they have a chance to break out. Risk Logic can prevent incidents like this IKEA warehouse fire with annual property loss inspections. Learn more about the fire risks of photovoltaic solar panels and how to prevent them by reading “The Fire Hazard of Solar Photovoltaic Panels”.