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Electrical Panel Safety: Dangerous Brands and Warning Signs

November 1, 2023

Your electrical panel is the most important part of your home’s electrical system. It’s responsible for distributing electricity throughout your home and keeping you and your family safe. However, some electrical panels are more dangerous than others, and if you have an outdated or defective panel, it could put your home and your family at risk. Here are the most dangerous electrical panels and the signs you need to replace them:

Federal Pacific Electric (FPE)

The Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Stab-Lok panel was a popular panel installed in many homes from the 1950s through the 1980s. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous electrical panels ever produced. The FPE panel has a high failure rate, and when it fails, it can cause electrical fires, electrocutions, and other hazards. If you have an FPE panel, you should replace it immediately.


Sylvania electrical panels were manufactured from the 1950s to the 1980s and are no longer produced. They have been known to have defects that can cause them to overheat and fail, leading to fires or electrical shock. Signs that your Sylvania panel may be failing include flickering lights or power surges. If you have a Sylvania panel, it’s best to have it replaced.


Zinsco electrical panels were popular from the 1950s through the 1970s. They have been known to fail due to their aluminum wiring and outdated design. When a Zinsco panel fails, it can cause power surges, electrical fires, and even electrocutions. Signs that your Zinsco panel may be failing include flickering lights, tripped breakers, and burning smells.


Pushmatic electrical panels were popular from the 1950s through the 1980s. They have a unique design where the circuit breakers are replaced by pushing them inwards, hence the name Pushmatic. While they were once considered innovative, they are now outdated and prone to failure. Pushmatic panels have been known to cause fires and electrical shock, so it’s important to replace them if you have one.

Signs you need to replace your electrical panel:

  • Your home is over 25 years old
  • You have flickering lights or power surges
  • Your circuit breakers trip frequently
  • You smell burning or notice scorch marks near your electrical panel
  • Your panel has one of the dangerous brands mentioned above

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to have a licensed electrician like Don Green Electric inspect your electrical panel. Our experts will evaluate the condition of your panel and determine whether it needs to be repaired or replaced.

At Don Green Electric, we provide a range of electrical services, including panel upgrades and replacements. We understand the dangers of outdated electrical panels and the importance of keeping your home and your family safe. Contact us today to schedule an inspection and ensure that your electrical panel is up to date and functioning properly.