"Circuit breakers are designed to keep you and your family safe from fire, but one brand of breaker might not only fail to protect your family – it could actually cause a fire.
“There’s thousands of them out there,” Clifton, N.J. Fire Chief Vince Colavitti told NBC 4 New York's I-Team. “It’s a ticking bomb waiting to happen.”
The breakers, mostly found in homes built before 1990, were made by a now-defunct company called Federal Pacific Electric, and experts tell the I-Team there are scores of those breakers in homes throughout the tri-state.
“Instant red flag. You see those and they’re suspect immediately,” said Colavitti, who is also a fire investigator.
A circuit breaker is designed to trip during an overload or short circuit, thereby cutting off the flow of electricity and preventing a fire. But if the breaker doesn’t trip, the increasing current can cause the wires to overheat, and even ignite. Sometimes, Federal Pacific Electric breakers fail to trip.
Colavitti said firefighters around the country as well as home inspectors and even some insurance companies are aware of problems with Federal Pacific Electric breakers. Some insurance companies are refusing to cover homes that have the breakers."
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As you add electrical appliances and circuits, you increase the demand on your power panel. Depending on when your home was built and how much electricity you use, your power panel may need to be replaced or a sub-panel added to keep up with demand.By making sure you have a thorough electrical inspection completed by a qualified Mister Sparky® electrician you can help ensure your home's electrical system operates at the highest level of safety possible. Our trained technicians can provide a whole house evaluation of your electrical circuits to ensure the safe delivery of current within your home. Visit our website or give us a call at (951) 602-5198 today.