Is Your Older Electrical Panel (FPE) a Fire Hazard?
Welcome to 2018. Just look back over the last few years and you will be slapped in the face with technology growing faster than a Bit-Coin stock or Super Bowl appearances by Tom Brady. People are relying more than ever on technology to get them through their daily routine. With personal assistants like Alexa, and iPads, smart watches, home computers and gaming systems, your electrical outlets are getting more action than ever.
The age of technology is synonymous with electricity use. Families are saying their good nights, then checking to see if their computers, phones and watches are charging overnight before they head off to dreamland. That's why it is important to make sure your electrical panel follows you into the modern world.
THE FEDERAL PACIFIC ELECTRICAL PANEL (FPE), aka THE BREAKER BOX
The FPE panel houses your circuit breakers. And if they are old or outdated you could find yourself trippin' in a very uncool way. Similar to sporting a mullet at a hip-hop party, but much worse. A breaker that fails to "trip" when it's overloaded or has a short circuit, can be very dangerous and even deadly. It can lead to a fire. And many fires have been caused this exact way in homes and businesses throughout the United States. A malfunctioning FPE can also cause other issues. If it's in the off position and is sending power to the circuit, it can electrocute someone working on a circuit he or she believes is off.
I am referring to the FPE panel because it was primarily used as the standard breaker box for decades in the US. And it's currently in millions of homes. However other old breaker panels can pose similar risks, such as Zinco panels that still exist in older homes. They are also known as GTE-Sylvania panels.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR FPE OR BREAKER BOX IS UNSAFE?
It's imperative to have a licensed electrician evaluate and test your FPE or other panel, such as a Zinco, a Split-Bus or even a
simple fuse box. Many electrical companies will offer a safety inspection. Electricians can tell you whether too much energy is being used on one circuit which can lead to overloading, and potentially a fire. They can also tell you if the actual switch is defective or damaged, or is simply as old and outdated as flannel and Dock Martin shoes. Many breaker boxes are old, but they are working just fine. Electricians will be able to confirm this. With todays growing technology and increasing dependency on electricity, you should have your electrical panel inspected by an electrician sooner than later. It's typically a low cost and sometimes free inspection. Electrical panels are generally not considered expensive to upgrade or improve. And when you consider the alternative risks... a simple safety inspection, can be a life saver.
If you live in the Central Florida area near Clermont, Leesburg or Orlando, Advance Electric can provide you with licensed electricians to make sure your
electrical panel is safe. Just give us a call at 352-394-2874 for a free estimate, and book your safety inspection today. Our electricians can also provide a full safety inspection on your entire home or business. This is one area where there is no reason to take any chances.
If you live or work outside our the Advance Electric service area, our electricians suggest checking the reviews of your local electrical companies through home advisor or Angie's list. And always make sure to use a licensed electrician. Have a safe 2018!