This metal box is an electrical panel. It’s where the main power line from outside enters the home and then gets routed throughout the electrical system inside the home. Inside the box, these are the circuit breakers. Circuit breakers have a built-in safety mechanism that will shut off the power or trip if there’s an electrical problem. This may occur in the kitchen when you run your microwave and a blender at the same time. The tripping breaker means that the circuit is overloaded. Your home’s electrical panel was put in to handle the power needs you had at the time that it was installed. So how do you know that you’re ready for a panel upgrade? Well, first, your circuit breakers are constantly tripping. If you find that you’re resetting your circuit breakers a few times a week whereas before you were resetting them a few times a year, your panel is warning you that it needs repairs, an upgrade, or possibly a full replacement. Second, you smell a bitter odor or you see evidence of an electrical fire like this charring. Worn out wires, or broken wires can cause fires. They can burn out quickly, but they can still be dangerous so you need to get an electrician in right away. And last, if you have an old fuse box that uses these, then you definitely need to upgrade. Circuit breakers are a lot safer and some home insurance companies won’t insure a house without them. If you need more information about your electrical panel, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you out.