Clearance Around Your Breaker Box

Having the appropriate clearance around your home’s breaker box is essential for several reasons:

  1. Your home likely has several safety features you may not know about like GFCI and AFCI protected breakers.  When these trip, an electrical circuit providing power to lights and receptacles will no longer do so.  You will need access to this panel to restore service.
  2. As a home owner you may have an emergency that would prompt you to disconnect electric power to a specific point in your home or the entire home.  This is not the time to discover you have covered up the panel in the garage with tubs full of Christmas decorations.
  3. Someone other than you may be at your home while you are away and have an emergency requiring them to stop electrical service to a certain point in your home.  If the panel is covered, they will not even know where to go.
  4. Home electrical fires often start at the breaker box.  Having combustible material nearby only makes things worse.
  5. At some point, you or a family member will want to sell your home to the next resident.  It is important that the home inspector have access to this panel to provide information about the home’s electrical service and identify any potential electrical hazards.

Put a reminder in your phone to take a few minutes next weekend to make sure you have access to your Breaker Box.  You will be glad you did.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
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