Everyone should know these electrical control safety panel tips. The panel is where electricity enters a building. It contains circuit breakers and has a main switch for shutting off all power in an emergency.
Be prepared for when a breaker trips
- Always keep a flashlight with fresh batteries stationed by your circuit breaker panel.
- Keep access to your circuit breaker panel clear.
- Keep your panel information up to date by posting a breaker directory on the inside of the panel door. The National Electrical Code states, “Every circuit and circuit modification shall be legibly identified as to be its clear, evident, and specific purpose or use.”
- Write the number of the circuit breaker on the inside of each outlet and switch faceplate in your home with a marker. This way, when you’re preparing to perform electrical work, you can also be sure that you turn off the right breaker by popping off the faceplate and reading the breaker number.
If a circuit breaker frequently blows, the circuit may be inadequate for the equipment.
- Make sure all electrical systems are properly grounded, and always keep water away from the control panel!
- If there is a power outage, check the control panel first.
- Reset it (them) to “off” or “on.” with one of the correct amperage.
- If possible, check why the circuit blew (or contact an electrician).
- Never overload a single circuit with high-wattage appliances. Check appliance labels.
- If there is frayed insulation or a broken wire, a dangerous short circuit may result and cause a fire. Circuit testers can be used to inspect circuits. If power outages continue, or if there is a frayed or broken wire, contact an electrician.
— University of Maine Cooperative Extension, DirectEnergy.com