What are the dangers with old circuit breaker panels?
Circuit breaker panels installed in the 1950ties to the 1980ties often have Zinsco, Zinsco Sylvania and FPE breakers installed. These circuit breakers have been identified as failing to trip on overcurrent events and often create arcing and burn-ups at the breaker to busbar connection. Zinsco and FPE Breakers have been removed from the UL Listing a long time ago and is advisable to replace these circuit breakers with UL Listed breakers.
Popular Brandnames for currently listed Circuit Breakers are: Eaton, GE, Schneider and Siemens. The National Electric Code and the California Electric Code require most but not all Circuit breakers in Homes to be Combination AFCI Breakers.