I always struggle with outdoor main disconnects. On one hand, I want to tell my client to lock the panel to prevent tampering. On the other hand I envision an emergency situation and the panel being unable to be easily accessed. What say you?
I am not in the security business. I am in the safety business.
Problem is that both scenarios present safety risks.
If there is no service disconnect at the interior panel, outdoor disconnects should be unlocked and accessible.
Depending on where the house was located, I would not lock it. But, I may put a closed circuit camera above it or a motion sensing light.
No one tampers with outdoor panels/disconnects, we have zillions of them around here.
You are not wrong. But, that is how I personally resolved it. Get a dog, get a fence, get a camera etc. I decided not report on it either way.
I don’t see a lot of them but I have been telling clients to secure them in some fashion that allows them fast access in an emergency. Problem is there really isn’t a a good recommendation on what that method is.
Living in a rural area where most have “Smith & Wesson” alarm systems, meter box security is on a very low level.
I live in the sticks and there is a large red lever on the side of my meter box to kill all power, lol. It is not secured and you don’t even need to open the panel. And frankly I never gave it a second thought until I started doing home inspections.
A lineman told me in an emergency the power company would just pull the meter. But that doesn’t help if there is a lock and no power company personnel handy.
Pulling the secured label, on the meter, tight and raking a key across the wire will break the tiny wire quite quickly…don’t ask how I know.
Here in the Phoenix area they are all outside. Some people lock them, but most don’t. It is an urban myth about those bad teenagers, or burglars, etc. running around and turning off the power or stealing breakers.
The fire department has a key to all padlocks, a bolt cutter.
Here in CA most panels are outside, malicious breaker shut offs are not a major problem.