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Federal Pacific Break Panels: Is Your Home at Risk of Fire?

Kevin Johnson Buyer Advice , Home Improvement , Seller Advice Leave a Comment

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Over 80% of Federal Pacific Panels Present Serious Fire Risk

Your electrical breaker panel in your  home is there to keep you and your family safe, but is it doing the job? If your home was built between 1950 and 1990, you need to check to see if your home is equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel with Stab-Loc breakers. If it is, you run an extremely high risk of the breakers not doing their job and resulting in a catastrophic fire.

Breakers inside home electrical panels are designed to guard your home’s electrical system against being overloaded, short circuiting and power surges. When this happens, the breaker protects you and your family by tripping thus stopping the power to the troubled circuit. However, if the breaker is not working properly then it will not trip and put your home in imminent danger.

Many tests have been performed on Federal Pacific Electric’s panels since 1980 and the results have proved alarming. In excess of 80% of all panels have proven defective. Unfortunately for homeowners, when testing began in the 1980’s, a New Jersey court later ruled that FPE committed testing fraud and covered up their actions. They were found to have been labeling panels stating they met UL standards when in fact they were defective.

In 1983, the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) closed a two-year investigation and felt it was not possible to create a product recall due to budget reasons. This decision came down even as Federal Pacific continued to install millions of defective panels in homes around the country. It is estimated that nearly 3,000 fires each year can be directly linked to a Federal Pacific defective breaker. Even though the company has been out of business for years, the danger and damage caused by their negligent behavior continues.

Does your home have a Federal Pacific panel?

If your home was built between 1950 and 1990, check your breaker box. A Federal Pacific panel will usually have its name or logo on the front cover. Inside, you will find the name Stab-Lok printed near the center or side of the panel. The intact breakers will have the signature red strip that runs across the front.

If you find you do have a Federal Pacific panel or Stab-Lok breakers, call a licensed electrician for further information regarding replacement.

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