Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Electrical Hazards

...Federal Pacific circuit breakers have a long and well documented history of inadequate performance. The presence of an FPE panel is a "Safety Defect" . These breakers often fail to trip when overloaded which can lead to fires. For more information search the internet for "Federal Pacific electric panel".


The main thing is to provide a circuit breaker that will trip before the wire or insulation melts
Most electricians or electrical inspectors can only look at the breakers ("they look OK to me"), and operate the toggle ("they click on and off OK"). But the question is: will they trip properly on electrical overload or short circuit? The history of Federal Pacific panels show them to be primary safety devices of questionable reliability. It is not correct to call non-tripping FP breakers a “fire hazard”. A fire hazard is any electrical failure that causes ignition

Zinsco breakers are not much better
The breaker’s function is to stop electrical processes that could (if allowed to proceed) lead to fire in the building. If an electrical fire hazard develops in the building, the breaker is supposed to trip and minimize the possibility of ignition. If the breaker is defective, fire is more likely to result. FPE STAB-LOK circuit breakers are a danger in that regard.  Installation of Arc fault breakers and thermally protected outlets is the best available remedy for this type of hazard
There is no question that the FPE STAB-LOK® panels should be replaced. 
There is no practical and safe alternative.