Electrical panels provide a centralized hub for a building's electrical outlets, from powering the refrigerator to the bedside lights. When remodeling, or constructing a building, careful consideration must be made when deciding on the panel's location.
The electrical panel houses the circuit breakers controlling all the electrical lines within the building. Power can be shut off to individual outlets or, if necessary, the entire building's electricity can be switched off.
According to the Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative, electrical panels must have an open space 30 inches wide and 36 inches deep for overall electrical and fire safety. These panels can be placed in a laundry room, as long as appliances and piping do not infiltrate the open space rule.
Electrical panels may not be installed in bathrooms or closets, due to the fact that they are confined areas limiting access. The electrical panel must be safe from obstructions,so that, in an emergency, the area can be accessed easily to shut down the electricity.