I do not see the code as restricting panel installations in these areas.
The 'easily ignitable' provision is, IMO, an attempt by the code panel to stress that they were discussing clothes closets, and specifically did NOT want the stricture expanded to include all closets.
Naturally, 'pantry' and 'closet' are somewhat subjective - as we've all seen panels placed inside cabinets (or cupboards). We have to rely upon working space rules to clarify things.
Under 'working space' rules, I find it hard to imagine a box of cereal, 30" away from the panel, even getting warm from panel operation.
"Working space" also applies to the storage of mops and brooms. At least, that's the ideal.
That's where we need a reality check. As much as we would like a panel to be the centerpiece of the living room, that is never going to happen. Folks are going to continue to hide those ugly panels - and there's not a thing we can do. Here are a few "war stories:"
- One restaraunt here has applied a mural on the panel covers. While in plain sight, in the dining room, you have trouble finding them even when you know where they are;
- A business called to repair some lights. The problem traced to a tripped breaker; the panel was hidden directly behind the managers' desk, carefully covered by aframed picture;
- A local nursing home was, for over a decade, unable to locate the source ofpower to some circuits. The panel was in the main hallway, concealed by an open door.