As part of the inspection process, we are required to inspect all readily accessible electric panels in a property. Several times a week, my inspector or I run into the situation where either unhandy Andy or some lazy electrician has used improper screws to hold the dead-front cover on the service panel.
This is a very dangerous situation as the pointed screws can bite into the soft insulation on the conductors which can cause a short-circuit, electrocution or fire. Several years ago, one of my inspectors re-installed one of these screws and got the shock of his life. We do not re-install these screws any more.
These screws were taken out a cabinet in a new construction property! The final electrical tag had been placed on the cabinet stating that it was in compliance. NOT
Properly designed panel screws will have a wide flat head and have blunt ends to prevent damage to the wires. If you see hex head screws, wood screws or something similar to what I am holding in my hand holding the dead-front cover in place, have a licensed electrician replace them with the proper fastener.
This comment has been brought to you by Michael Thornton an ASHI certified inspector and president of Complete Home Inspections, Inc. proudly serving Davidson and Williamson Counties in the Middle Tennessee area.