Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels: Are They Safe?

Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels: Are They Safe?

A circuit breaker’s purpose is to assure and guarantee your home’s electrical safety, but can the panel be trusted to be safe?

In short, no. If your home was built between 1950 and 1960 and is equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breaker panel, your risk of a breaker malfunction and fire increase substantially.

A circuit breaker inside of the panel is designed in order to protect your home from an overvoltage by preventing circuit overloads, outside power surges rushing into the home, short circuits, and other such electrical risks. Should an overvoltage occur, a breaker protects your home by shutting down, or tripping, the power to the circuit board.

What makes FPE Breaker Boxes So Dangerous?

What makes FPE breaker boxes so dangerous is the FPE itself, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) concern with money over the safety of people. A New Jersey court ruled that when the FPE had tested circuit breakers, they fabricated their results so they could meet the UL standards. Two years later, the CPSC closed its investigation and cited “budget issues” as the reason. The FPE has been out of business for many years, but the risks due to its negligence persist in millions of homes across the nation.
FPE circuit breakers have a red strip across the Stab-Lok breakers, so they are rather easy to identify.

What to Do if You Own an FPE Breaker Box

If your place of residence has an FPE breaker box, call a professional electrician immediately. You should really consider replacing your breaker box if yours is, in fact, one from the FPE.

A proper homeowners insurance can cover your home from electrical-related damage, like fire. For all of your homeowners insurance needs to ensure your home is fully covered for a complete reconstruction, contact Miller Insurance Associates in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.