Safety Switches Save Lives
Regardless of whether you own or rent, you should consider having safety switches installed on all circuits. Safety switches protect you, your family and anyone visiting your property from electric shock by turning off the power in a fraction of a second if a leakage of current is detected. Follow our simple steps to determine if you have safety switches installed at your home and to test if they are working properly.
How To Confirm You Have a Safety Switch Installed
To see if you have safety switches installed at your home, look inside your switchboard for a ‘Test’ or ‘T’ button near the circuit breakers (you can read about the difference between safety switches and circuit breakers in our other blog post here). The test buttons can be various colours and range in size and shape. They could also be labelled ‘Safety switch’, ‘ELCB’ or ‘RCD’. If you are unsure, please contact AMP’D Electrical & Solar so we can check which circuits are protected.
Even if your home has a safety switch installed, one may not be enough to protect you from electric shock. A safety switch only protects you if it’s on that circuit. You should consider having safety switches installed on all circuits in your home, including power points, lights, air conditioning, oven, hot water and pool equipment circuits, even if they are on a separate tariff.
Testing Your Safety Switches
To ensure your safety switches will protect you, they need to be tested every three months to ensure they are working properly. To test your safety switches, take the following steps:
- Let everyone know you are about to test your safety switches, especially if they’re using a computer or recording something on TV—the testing process will cut power to those circuits connected to the safety switch.
- At the switchboard, press the T’ or ‘Test’ button located on the safety switch. If it flicks off and cuts the power, it is working. Check to see which lights or appliances are now off—these are protected by the safety switch. If it has not cut the power to the connected circuit then you are no longer protected and you should talk to your licensed electrician as soon as you can.
- After testing, turn the safety switch back on. Depending on the safety switch type, push it back upwards or twist it into the ‘on’ position. For circuits with a refrigerator or air conditioner, wait for two to three minutes before resetting to avoid possible appliance damage.
Source: WorkSafe Queensland
If you need to have safety switches installed, replaced or tested, please do not hesitate to contact AMP’D Electrical & Solar, your local Gold Coast Electricians, on 0475 415 414. You can also email us at [email protected].
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