ESFI Designates May Electrical Safety Month

May is National Electrical Safety Month, which means it’s time to check your year-round electrical safety awareness efforts, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).
 
It is estimated that electricity causes 140,000 fires each year. Aging electrical systems, combined with the growing power demands, contribute to electrical fire hazards. Overloaded circuits, flickering lights, and discolored electrical outlets and light switche point to the need for electrical upgrades. Addressing these hazards can save lives, reduce injuries and cut economic losses caused by electrical fires. This is where the electrical contractor comes in.
 
“Despite the fact that improved product safety engineering, standards and electrical codes have reduced electrical hazards, thousands suffer from electrical shock and fires each year,” said Brett Brenner, ESFI president.
 
Each year, electricity kills nearly 400 people and injures thousands more. Increasing awareness of electrical safety could help avoid most of these deaths and injuries. Power line contact with construction equipment, ladders and gardening tools are among the leading causes of electrocutions. Use of ground-fault circuit interrupters to protect against lethal electrical currents also can reduce electrocutions.
 
Take time this month to re-evaluate your safety practices and help others raise their awareness.
 
 
 

Lighting Strike and Testing of Electrical Wiring

Many people ask; “after a lightning strike how can I properly test my electrical wiring?” or “my home was hit by lightning, what should i do?”
 
After lightning strikes, we highly recommend having CurrentSAFE® electrical hazard detection test performed on your home. This test locates any electrical hazards concealed behind your walls; during the CurrentSAFE® process our technician will inspect the wiring inside the walls using minimally invasive tools.
 
North Carolina ranked on the Top Ten States for Number of Lightning Claims by State Farm in 2014*. Lightning may not seem as destructive as other disasters, yet a strike can cause serious damage to electrical equipment and appliances, disrupt electrical service for long periods of time, and spark fires. In 2014, State Farm paid nearly $149 million dollars for insurance claims as a result of damage from lightning strikes.
 
 

Do You Have A Zinsco Panel?

 
Zinsco Panel Boxes May Produce Dangerous Situations ….
 
At one time, Zinsco panels were extremely popular and installed in many homes throughout North America but many are obsolete today! Electricians and home inspectors discovered that certain Zinsco panels often can fail to operate properly as much as 25% of the time and can be a fire or shock risk to homeowners.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Zinsco Panel Boxes and Report Flaws
* Zinsco panel may not pass updated safety codes. Leading experts on panel safety says that older Zinsco panels would not receive today’s UL listing. These panel can’t be sold to general public because they don’t meet current safety codes. Safety standards that were once acceptable years ago are no longer considered safe.
* Zinsco panels may have been created with significant design flaws. Zinsco panels reportedly have defects not shared by others. Often times breakers have loose connection making them useless.
* Zinsco Electric panels may have manufacturing defects. Experts noted design flaws in older panels that may not share with other panels. For example, some components are aluminum; the connection between the breakers and bus bar may not be solid; and breakers can appear to be off, yet the panel still allows power to flow.
 
 

Zinsco panels may contain hidden damage that cannot be easily seen. Only professional electricians should explore the panel due to the risks of electric shock. Please give ARC Electric Company and we would be glad to assist – 704-821-7005!

 
 

Outdated and Potentially Hazardous Panels

Outdated and Potentially Hazardous Panels Should Be Inspected Immediately!
 
The panel box is one of the most important parts of a home’s electrical system. It constantly distributes and receives electricity. The breakers in the panel boxes are designed to protect homes from over currents or short circuits and any possible damage they may cause. With regular maintenance by a licensed electrician, experts say that today’s panels can function properly and hopefully protect homes for 30 years or more.
 
If you suspent that you may have a Federal pacific Electric Panel, an older Zinsco panel, an outdated panel in your home, or in any event, you have not had your panel inspected recently, we recommend that your panel be inspected immediately by a qualified electrician.
 

If you believe you may have one of these panels, please call ARC Electric Company for a free estimate to upgrade your electrical panel (704) 821-7005

 
 

Expert Opinion on Zinsco Panel

 
We started this series because we came across a very informative electrical panel safety alert from a consumer safety company and in part of the series they sought out an experts opinion as well electrician and homeowners accounts.
 
Expert Opinion on Zinsco Panel
“These circuit breakers do not offer the level of over current and fire protection provided by most other electrical panels and circuit breakers. This equipment presents greater risk of fire or other electrical hazard. Where Zinsco electrical panels are discovered in buildings, they should be replaced to reduce some very real fire and shock hazards.”
 
“Where Zinsco electrical panels and Zinsco circuit breakers are in use, arcing, contact-point burn, and even circuit breaker case blow-out have been observed in the field. A principal Zinsco circuit breaker point of failure appears to be at the point of contact where the circuit breaker contacts clip onto the electrical panel bus, combined with the use of aluminum electrical panel bus.”

Dan Friednman
Educator, Author, and Building Failures Researcher

 
 
Examples of Damage Created by Zinsco Panels:
Below are the 2 excerpts from emails sent to Dan Friedman from electricians regarding their experience with Zinsco panels. Below are the excerpts:
 
Email dated 09/02/2003 – I was at a site to do an estimate and noticed a Zinsco panel. I asked the customer if it was alright to check it, and he agreed. He said the only trouble he knew about was the water heater didn’t always give them real hot water. I pulled the panel cover off and everything looked okay. I checked the breakers with a volt meter, and it had proper voltage at all circuits. Then, I started (carefully) removing breakers and found the top (water heater circuit) breaker had welded itself to the buss and came apart when I tried to remove it. (This could be very dangerous for a homeowner or home inspector!) I removed several other breakers and found them to be badly damaged, and the bussing was burnt in several locations. After seeing the situation it was not hard to convince the owner that it was time to replace the Zinsco panel.
 
04/15/2003 – I recently stumbled upon a Zinsco and asked the customer if it was okay to inspect. With the okay, I proceeded to pull the cover off. The breakers and panel looked to be in great shape. There was no obvious heat damage or signs of conductor damage. Upon removing the breakers, I found serious damage to the breakers and bussing. One had become welded to the buss. Another breaker fell apart when I tried to remove it. The panel did not have a main breaker, so there was no way to shut off power to the top section! This could have been extremely danagerous if a homeowner had tried to remove the breaker to replace it or check it.
 
 

If you believe you may have one of these panels, please call ARC Electric Company for a free estimate to upgrade your electrical panel (704) 821-7005