Prevent Residential Fire | Common Electrical Panel Causes Fires in Utah

Prevent Residential Fire with the Help of a Salt Lake City Electrician

Getting your home electrical system inspected could protect your home from a fire

Circuit breakers are supposed to prevent a fire, not cause it. However, a brand of circuit breaker still in use in many homes today is apparently well-known for this. As NBC New York’s I-Team found out in 2012, these circuit breakers weren’t supposed to pass safety inspection in the first place. Between the 1950s and 1980s, millions of Federal Pacific circuit breakers were sold with these malfunctions.

The company that carries this brand is now defunct. On the other hand, the danger the circuit breakers pose is still alive and blazing, as discussed in the NBCNewYork.com article:

According to fire investigators, the Federal Pacific Electric breaker in Clarissa Rosario’s New Jersey home did not trip when overheated wires were burning in the ceiling between her bedroom and the attic in 1999.

“I saw the light flickering and I thought it wasn’t normal,” said Rosario. “When I opened the attic, it was full of smoke.”

Rosario was able to grab her two children and escape. Firefighters saved her home.

If your house was built prior to the 1990s when Federal Pacific Electric breakers sold like flapjacks, it’s best to have them replaced. Given the nationwide market for the breakers, Salt Lake City homes may still be relying on these faulty devices. Have a professional electrician from companies like ESCO Services replace them with brand-new circuit breakers that no longer use the Stab-Lok system.

How did the breakers manage to sell, let alone receive approval, if they’re known to fail at a critical moment? Jesse Aronstein, who has been studying the breakers for decades, believes these companies cheated:

“They were applying UL labels to products that did not meet the UL requirement,” said Aronstein.

According to Aronstein, representatives of Federal Pacific Electric would use a remote control to “trip” the breaker if it didn’t trip properly during UL testing.

It wasn’t until the early 1980s when the breakers were redesigned and passed safety tests with flying colors. Nevertheless, many old homes were carrying a breaker that would fail if the wires overheat.

Avoid your home from being included in the 2,800 fire incidences being reported every year due to a breaker failure. A replacement breaker may start at $500, but no amount is comparable to the lives, as well as homes, you can save.

Contact us for information on possible replacement breakers.

(From I-Team: Faulty Circuit Breakers in Thousands of Homes Could Cause Fire, NBC New York, Published December 13, 2012)