Firefighters warn of danger from failing circuit breakers

Columbus firefighters are warning of a potential fire risk in some aging home and commercial electrical panels.

According to the Columbus Fire Department, panels that were manufacture red before 1990 by the Federal Pacific Electric company may have defective circuit-breakers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced that tests of these panels with the “Stab-Lok” circuit breakers fail often and up to 1 in 3 are defective. The concern is that the faulty circuit breakers could lead to a fire, by failing to interrupt the flow of current when needed. Fire Marshal Troy Todd said that the panels are believed to be responsible for thousands of fires nationwide, 13 deaths and millions of dollars in property damage.

According to the fire department, if you have a property that was built between 1950 and 1990, with a Federal Pacific power panel, you should check to see if it contains the “Stab-Lok” circuit breakers. If you do, you should contact a licensed electrician about replacing the circuit breakers.

The Federal Pacific Electric company is no longer in business.