This week’s news: PV safety is a burning issue

Australia
NSW: PV system safety is a burning issue.

In recent years, there have been a number of international reports of fires and of unsafe installations in domestic solar PV installations that could have posed a fire risk. Last year, in Australia, the NSW Government issued details of a survey of solar PV installations in western Sydney that found that 18.5 percent of the installations had major defects. Of the 658 systems inspected, 122 were found to have significant safety issues and a further 418 (63.5 percent) were found to have minor defects.

Vic: Black Saturday arsonist to be sentenced
A former volunteer firefighter who lit a Black Saturday bushfire that killed 10 people will be sentenced tomorrow. A Victorian Supreme Court jury last month found Brendan James Sokaluk, 42, guilty of arson causing death over the February 2009 fire at Churchill in Victoria's east.

SA: Hi-tech maps put CFS in the picture
Firefighters are updating their arsenal with sophisticated mapping technology used in the Queensland floods. The Country Fire Service is working with location intelligence specialists on a Geographic Information System that contains layers of information - updated in real time.

SA: Firefighters stand the test of time
The Metropolitan Fire Service launches its 150th birthday celebrations; it was established on November 5, 1862 by the South Australian Parliament.

International
UK: Individual managers facing prosecution over four firemen deaths
A trial following the 2007 deaths of four firefighters has commenced at Stafford Crown Court. Ian Reid, John Averis, Ashley Stephens and Darren Yates-Badley were killed in a fire at a vegetable packing factory at Atherstone on Stour in Warwickshire in November 2007.

USA: Firefighters overwhelmed by Detroit's decline
The documentary Burn, which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival, follows Detroit firefighters facing a staggering problem: the city has three times as many structure fires as Los Angeles, a city more than five times its size.
Grant awarded to Detroit Fire after documentary film
Fire departments across the country regularly struggle with limited budgets and ongoing needs for equipment, but few face the severity of the crisis the Detroit Fire Department works with every day.

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