Breaker Panel Fire – Every year nearly 3,500 Americans die in home fires and approximately 20,000 are injured. Electrical fires are one of the leading types of home fires, especially in manufactured homes. ?Today, there are two brands of panels that may have major manufacturing and/or design flaws that potentially put homeowners at risk—Federal Pacific Electric panels and certain Zinsco panels. There are also millions of people today who have panels that are more than 40 years old and may no longer protect their homes from overcurrents and/or short circuits.
Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was one of the most common manufacturers of circuit breaker panels in North America from the 1950s to the 1980s. ?Yet, as the years passed, electricians often found Federal Pacific Electric panels failed to provide proper protection to homeowners and their families. Experts now say that FPE panels can appear to work fine for years, but after one overcurrent or short circuit, they can overheat and become fire hazards. Below is what a Federal Pacific panel looks like before and after a fire.
When a breaker fails to trip, an extreme amount of power from the outside electrical supply surges into a home’s panel and circuits. Once that happens, it cannot be stopped or shut off manually. Electricity will burn until it runs out of fuel or the wires melt. The panel could overheat and catch fire, causing serious harm to a home and its occupants. Many Federal Pacific Electric panels and breakers can operate properly for years. But if and when they do malfunction, a disaster could occur.
At Trim Electric we believe it is extremely important to replace older breaker panels (30+ years old)?specifically FPE and Zinsco breaker panels. ?These older panels can’t handle the electrical loads placed on them by newer appliances and our expanding appetite for new computers and appliances.
Zinsco Breaker Panels are pretty much obsolete today, but were also very common years ago.? Many of these panels have worked fine in the past, but modern homes use much more electricity because of increased technology and more electrical appliances…..which can cause the Zinsco panels to overheat and cause fire or shock hazards.