Skip to Content

Safely Decorating Around Breaker Boxes: Tips and Ideas

Picture over a Breaker Box, Hanging pictures in your home can be a daunting task. But you’ll never look back if you know how to do it right. Most people consider a decorative home improvement, such as hanging a picture, can be a deadly mistake.

 For homeowners, decorations can be necessary when the walls are bare and tell no story of your personal life. A picture can tell by itself that you enjoy sailing, or in this case, having a house with a seaside view. This post will discuss how you can hang a picture over a breaker box.

Features of a Breaker Box

Picture over a Breaker Box

Breaker boxes in the home are designed to contain the electrical components of a circuit breaker. As such, they have several features to help them perform their function.

Breaker Boxes:

  • Contain circuit breakers. Circuit breakers are devices that are designed to cut off an electrical circuit when it gets overloaded or shorted out by excessive current flow. Circuits can be overloaded by too many appliances being plugged into them or by surges in power caused by storms or other factors. Breakers also protect people from electric shock if there is a short circuit, so they need to be able to handle large amounts of current without overheating and melting down.
  • Have safety switches on them. These switches ensure that the user cannot accidentally turn on the power while working on the breaker box or any component, such as replacing fuses. They also prevent children from contacting potentially dangerous live wires inside the box.
  • Have fuses. Fuses are designed to blow out when an overload occurs so that you don’t have to replace expensive parts like circuit breakers and fuses every time there’s a power surge or someone plugs in too many appliances per breaker outlet. 

Can you Hang a Picture over a Breaker Box?

When hanging a picture, it’s important to ensure you are not putting any weight on the breaker box. If you hang a picture over the breaker box, it can cause damage to the breaker box and also cause a fire hazard.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you not place anything on or near your electrical panel as it can cause an arc flash or an electrical shock hazard. If you need to hang something from your electrical panel, you should use a secure bracket, so there is no chance of the item coming loose. 

The NFPA also recommends that if you need to access your panel, you should turn off all power at the main switch and use a noncontact voltage detector before touching anything in your home’s electrical system.

Where is the Best Place to Hang a Picture over a Breaker Box?

The best place to hang a picture over a breaker box is directly above it. This will allow you to hide the breaker box and still have easy access to it if you ever need to make any changes or repairs.

It’s important to remember that, while this is the preferred method, some things could cause problems with your electrical system if you choose this location. For example, if you were to hang heavy pictures on this wall, they could put too much pressure on the wiring in your walls and potentially cause damage.

If you’re looking for ways to hide your breaker box but still want access to it in an emergency, consider using a flush mount cover instead of hanging something from the wall. You can also opt for wall plates or recessed outlets so that nothing hangs over them.

How Do you Decorate around a Breaker Box?

You can hang a picture over a breaker box. Just make sure it’s mounted high enough, so you don’t have to worry about bumping into it and not so close that you’ll get shocked if you touch it.

The best way to mount your picture is to use a corded drill to pre-drill holes for the screws that will hold your picture in place.

A second option is to use an adhesive mounting strip to stick your picture to the wall without making holes. This can be a good choice if you don’t want to damage the wall or if you want to move the picture later on down the road.

If you’re hanging a picture over an outlet or light switch, there are two options for how far away from them you should mount it:

  1. Mount the frame at least 4 inches away from any electrical outlets and switches so that nothing touches them when the door closes or opens; or
  2.  Leave enough space between your frame and any electrical outlets and switches so that nothing touches them when they’re open or closed, but make sure that there’s no more than 1/4 inch of space between them to prevent short circuits.

What Should you do if you Damage a Breaker Box?

Picture over a Breaker Box

First, avoid hanging anything from the breaker box. Heavy things on top or around it can damage the box’s wires and disrupt electrical flow. Since painting or concealing your breaker box label makes it tougher for electricians to troubleshoot, avoid doing so.

Instead, choose a place for your image away from the breaker box and follow these tips:

If there’s an outlet near where you want to hang your picture, use an extension cord instead of connecting directly to avoid tripping over or breaking cords while walking by.

If you must plug straight into an outlet, anchor it so it doesn’t fall off if someone crashes against it.

Apply hook-and-loop tape. To hide wires when hanging something near a breaker box, place hook-and-loop tape to the back of your picture frame or artwork and secure it directly to your wall.

Final Verdict

How you decorate the breaker box depends on how close you are to the breaker panel itself. The most important part is to ensure that you do it well, taking into account the electrical needs of the room and ensuring that there aren’t any concerns where those wires meet with your décor. Trust your instincts, and work with an electrician if you have concerns about your project. A quality electrician should be able to give you peace of mind that everything is up to code.