Was your home built sometime between 1950 and 1980? Do you have a Federal Pacific Electric Company panel? Chances are likely that you do, since Federal Pacific was the leading manufacturerer during that time span., installing over a million panels. However, there is much scutiny where the Federal Pacific panels are concerned. Although, they have never been recalled, the specific "Stab-Lok" line has proven to be a latent hazard, leading to electrical failure, arcing and fire. Even though the Government has pulled their UL rating, some experts now say that Federal Pacific Electric Comapny panels can appear to work fine for years. The problem is that just one overcurrent can cause complete failure or fire. Also, it has been documented that other issues such as entire panel and panel-bus fires have occurred.
Due to the hazards, homes with these panels should be checked out by a qualified electrical contractor to determine what the next step should be. More than likely they will advise you to eliminate the Federal Pacific Electric panel and upgrade to something newer. In some areas of the US, insurance companies will not cover the home if it has this panel installed. For more information regarding Federal Pacific Electric Company panels or hazards check out this website:http://www.inspectapedia.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm.