Ask Capt. Oliveira: OK to Lock Electrical Box?

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

“Is it illegal to put a padlock on your electrical box (circuit breaker box)? I’ve heard both yes and no.”


Dear Reader,

Since this isn’t something the police department would enforce, I reached out to the City’s Housing/Dangerous Buildings Department for the answer. In general, whoever actually lives at the home can put a lock on the circuit breaker box. If the home is rented, owners shall not lock a tenant out of an electrical panel. The legal occupant of the dwelling shall have access to all circuit breakers of their dwelling.

This topic is covered in the 2019 California Electrical Code: 240.24 (B) – Occupancy. It states that each occupant/tenant of a dwelling shall have ready access to all overcurrent devices protecting the conductors supplying that occupancy. Exceptions are commercial multi-occupancy buildings, guest rooms and guest suites.

—Capt. Oliveira

Capt. Steve Oliveira oversees the Sacramento Police Dept.’s north-area command, which includes Natomas. To submit your questions to Capt. Oliveira, send an email to [email protected] with “Ask Capt. Oliveira” in the subject line.

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