As discussed in Part 1, Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Stab-Lok circuit breakers are vulnerable to failure, which can lead to deadly electrical fires. If you own a home that was constructed between 1950 and 1990, you should prioritize finding out whether or not it has an FPE circuit breaker panel with the help of a licensed electrician. Part 2 will discuss FPE Government Investigation and Spotting an FPE Breaker Panel.
FPE Government Investigation
After two years, the Consumer Product Safety Commission ended its investigation of FPE Stab-Lok circuit breakers in 1983. Although they found that the circuit panels were faulty and dangerous, no product recall was ever issued. Instead, they declared it could not be carried out nationwide because of budgetary problems. As a result, FPE circuit breakers continued to be installed in American homes years after the manufacturer closed shop. As a result, these defective products continue to cause damage, injuries, and fatalities. As Dr. Aronstein pointed out in Part 1, 2,000 fires are caused by defective Federal Pacific Electric products every year.
Spotting an FPE Breaker Panel
Homeowners can check if their home is equipped with an FPE circuit breaker box by looking inside to see if there’s a red strip running across the breakers. This Stab-Lok feature makes them hard to miss. In addition, the “Federal Pacific Electric” label will typically be on the breaker panel’s front cover. Inside, you will find “Stab-Lok” either printed close to the center or on the side of the panel.
What may be a better option is to ask an experienced and licensed electrician to perform a safety inspection of your home. If you cannot recall the last time this was done, take this golden opportunity to protect your home and family. During the process, the professional can certainly confirm whether or not your home is equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric panel.
Electrical Services You Can Trust
Founded in 1991 and serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services you can trust, including:
- Standby Generator Installation
- Panel Upgrades (Heavy-Ups)
- Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
- Structured Cabling
- Circuit Breaker Replacement
Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.