Federal Pacific Panel Recall
If you are a homeowner in zip code 02904 North Providence, Rhode Island, you may have heard about the recent recall of Federal Pacific panels. As a reputable and experienced electrical company in the area, B&K Electric wants to make sure that all homeowners are aware of this important safety issue. For over seventeen years, we have been proudly serving the residents of North Providence and the surrounding areas as their go-to electrician for electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation. With our commitment to community and customer service, we feel it is our duty to inform you about this potential danger and offer our expertise to keep your home and family safe.
What is a Federal Pacific panel?
A Federal Pacific panel, also known as a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel, is an electrical distribution panel commonly used in residential homes from the 1950s to the 1980s. These panels were manufactured by the Federal Pacific Electric Company and were popular because they were affordable and had a compact design. However, these panels have since been found to have safety defects that can potentially lead to electrical fires.
What is the Recall?
In the 1980s, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched an investigation into the safety of Federal Pacific panels. They discovered that the panels had a design flaw that could cause the breakers to malfunction and not trip when needed, leading to electrical fires. However, no recall was issued at the time due to lack of evidence and the company going out of business. In 2002, another independent investigation confirmed the initial findings and recommended a recall, but no action was taken by the CPSC.
In 2011, a class-action lawsuit against Federal Pacific Electric was settled, stating that the company knowingly sold defective panels and failed to inform consumers. As a result, the CPSC finally issued a safety alert about the panels, stating that they should be replaced. However, the recall was not mandatory and did not cover all states, leaving many homeowners still at risk.
In 2020, the CPSC announced a new investigation into the safety of Federal Pacific panels, with a focus on the efforts made by the company to correct the initial defects. This further heightened concerns and put the spotlight on homeowners in states where the recall did not apply, including Rhode Island.
What are the Risks?
As mentioned earlier, the main risk associated with Federal Pacific panels is the potential for electrical fires. The design flaw in these panels can cause the breakers not to trip when there is an overload or short circuit, which can generate intense heat and lead to a fire. This risk is heightened with the aging of the panels and the increased demand for electricity in modern homes.
Another concern is the difficulty in obtaining replacement parts for these panels. With the company out of business, finding proper and compatible breakers can be challenging and may require rewiring of the entire panel, which can be costly.
What Should Homeowners Do?
If you own a home in North Providence or any other area with Federal Pacific panels, it is crucial to have a licensed electrician inspect your panel immediately. B&K Electric has the knowledge and experience to identify if you have a Federal Pacific panel and determine if it needs to be replaced. Our trained professionals will thoroughly examine the panel and its components to ensure you and your family’s safety.
If the panel does need to be replaced, we will work with you to find the most affordable and effective solution. Our team is well-versed in modern panel options and can efficiently install a new panel that meets your home’s electrical needs.
As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your home and loved ones. Be proactive and have your Federal Pacific panel inspected by a licensed electrician to prevent any potential hazards. The safety of our community is a top priority at B&K Electric, and we are here to serve and protect our neighbors in North Providence and beyond.