Dallas Morning NEws Report
No one can say how many house fires can be traced back to faults the experts see in the boxes, although fire departments and insurance inspectors say they regularly see fires start there, or start elsewhere in a home because a circuit breaker fails to do its job.
Several engineering experts who have tested the boxes under laboratory conditions have found them to be defective. Potential problems with the Federal Pacific circuit breakers are such that many Texas home inspectors regularly advise home buyers to remove them before a purchase.
NBC DFW Reports
The federal government has issued a message of caution about Federal Pacific Stab-Lok electric panels to homeowners, electricians, home inspectors and real estate agents. The panels were installed in thousands of homes in North Texas in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s.
"We've seen people injured, burned, and we've seen houses range from a small fire in a closet to almost completely burned down," said Mark Goodson, an engineer who investigated a fire linked to the box for an insurance company.