Cape Winelands - Drakenstein Fire and Rescue Save Paarl North Home from 8kw Solar Lithium Battery Blaze

Posted by SAPAC Reporter on

8KW Solar Lithium Battery Blaze

Source: Drakenstein Farm Watch

Article: Independent SAPAC Reporter

Article Classification: Public Awareness

Discipline: Electrical solar installations
Areas: Southern AfricaNorthern Cape, Western Cape,Cape Winelands, Free State, Gauteng, North West Province, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Natal 

8KW Solar Lithium Battery Blaze
Drakenstein Farm Watch - South African Professionals and Contractors Collective

(Photo credit: Drakenstein Farm Watch)

It was a close call for a newly-built property in Paarl North when a lithium backup battery pack caught fire. Fortunately, the Drakenstein Fire and Rescue, along with the DFW Fire and Rescue, sprang into action and saved the day.

Cape Winelands - Drakenstein Fire and Rescue Save Paarl North Home from 8kw Solar Lithium Battery Blaze

(Photo Credit - Drakenstein Farm Watch)

Thanks to the quick thinking of an observant resident, who noticed smoke coming from the structure, the DFW commander was alerted, and emergency services were quickly dispatched. Had it not been for their fast response, the fire could have easily spread throughout the entire house.

For the first time, the crews were faced with a lithium power bank that kept igniting even after being disconnected. This incident serves as a reminder that the firefighting scenario is rapidly changing as new dangers are discovered in the burning of batteries and polycarbonate materials.

Despite the potential danger, Drakenstein Fire and Rescue, along with their partners, were able to contain the fire in the garage, limiting the damage to the home. Smoke did, however, spread throughout the house.

Thanks to the heroic efforts of Drakenstein Fire and Rescue and their partners, disaster was averted. Remember to always be vigilant when it comes to potential fire hazards, and don't hesitate to contact emergency services when you suspect danger.

Note: Should you have questions or concerns, please direct them to

Note: Should you have questions or concerns to direct them to

Public Notice: Disclaimer!

It is the prerogative of SAPAC to inform the public on the hidden dangers associated with different industries; however, the cause of the fire was not yet known when this article was released. SAPAC places great importance on informing you, the public, to first check and vet your service provider when it comes to choosing an installer with SAPAC. This service is free to the public; to obtain assistance, press this link:

What causes battery fires?

The primary cause of battery fires is thermal runaway, which occurs when a battery undergoes a temperature surge that leads to cell short-circuiting or disintegration and, ultimately, a fire.

There are three main abuse factors, and possible contributing factor(s)

Mechanical, thermal, or electrical factors can contribute to thermal runaway. Physical damage to the battery, for instance, can cause gas generation or increase the heat of a battery cell, resulting in mechanical abuse. Thermal factors, on the other hand, can result from a lack of air conditioning or airflow reaching the cells, allowing heat to accumulate. Electrical abuse, meanwhile, may result from overcharging, undercharging, or shorts from the inverter.

"Possible" contributing factors are on the rise in South Africa.

1. Societal factors and price-driven bargain selection by the public
2. Incorrect selection of installer
3. Incorrect installation performed by a non-compliant person.
4. Lack of supervision by a competent person, i.e., relying on photographs to write out CoC's.
5. Incorrect selection of installation hardware, i.e., wire thickness, control units
6. Profit, pressing installations, and doing haphazard installations on the go
7. In correct CoC obtainment, CoCs are provided that are not in accordance with the electrical industry norms and standards.

SAPAC is in touch with an investigator and will provide feedback on this issue once all facts are known.

What the public should note!

1. You cannot bargain or barter on the price of a COC; correctly performed COCs are priced correctly and start roughly at R2,000.00 already. And continue upwards depending on the scope and technical requirements of your home. Remember: electricians are professional tradespeople! They carry a range of credentials to ensure you are looked after correctly.
2. Selection of installers: contact SAPAC to check your installer before hand if the installer is not associated directly with the electrical trade. Alternatives can be provided! It is safer. SAPAC is national!

Ensure your Safety!

ensure your safety!

Quick detection of damage can often lead to reversals and prevent more significant damage from occurring. So, it's essential to be vigilant in monitoring and identifying any signs of trouble with your batteries.

To ensure the safety of your household, it's essential to follow several fire safety precautions. These include:

  1. Ensure your family knows your area, suburb, and street name, and ensure that your house number is visible and identifiable. 
  2. Installing an adequate number of smoke alarms and testing them once a month Be sure to replace batteries at least every 6 months.
  3. Educating children on the sound of smoke alarms, what to do when they hear them, and not touching the installation neither uninformed persons
  4. Ensure that all members of your household know at least two ways to escape from each room in your home and the designated meeting spot outside. (Front Yard) You will need to provide access to firefighting personnel.
  5. Establish a family emergency communication plan to ensure that everyone knows who to contact if they are unable to find each other.
  6. Practicing home escape plans at least twice a year. Be sure to sound the smoke alarm test button or shout "Fire!" to alert everyone to evacuate.
  7. ensuring that everyone knows how to call the local emergency services in case of such an emergency.
  8. teaching other household members the "Stop, Drop, and Roll" technique in case their clothing catches fire.
  9. Ensure your insurance is fully updated with regards to any COC and inform your insurer of any new changes or additions to your dwelling.
  10. Ensure you have backups of important information stored on personal emails. (scanned, stamped, and verified) or kept with your attorney.

By following these simple steps, you can help prevent potential disasters and ensure the safety of your loved ones.

    By following these simple steps, you can help to prevent potential disasters and ensure the safety of your loved ones. 

    Other reading: Press to read

    1. What you need to know about structural stability with PV installations...

    2. Son Krag Sisteem installasie, CoC en waarom SAPAC jou veiliger opsie is.

    3. Solar Installations, CoC, and Why SAPAC is Your Safest Option

    4. Information for Real Electricians


    Ensure your safety!


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