Safety switches installation and upgrade
Electrical safety comes first
Keeping your home and family safe is so important. And there are a few important electrical devices you must have, including safety switches, also known as RCDs or Residual Current Devices.
Whilst fuses and circuit breakers protect appliances in your home, only safety switches are designed to protect people. Technically, they interrupt excessive current by switching the power off immediately when dangerous levels of electricity leak through faulty switches, wiring or appliances to the earth. Under those circumstances, they provide a high level of personal protection against electrical injuries.
Why should you install safety switches at home?
Safety always begins with awareness. And what better way to understand safety switches than learning about their purpose?
RCDs or safety switches are required by law in every Queensland home. They can safeguard your family, home and electrical appliances by:
- Helping to prevent electric shock or electrocution
- Protecting you against electrical fires
- Detecting faulty and dangerous appliances
- Preventing short circuits
- Most importantly, RCDs can save lives!
Jaric Electrical will keep your home safe at all times
Need reliable, high-quality safety switches? With Jaric Electrical, it can be as simple as flicking a switch. From repairing or upgrading your old fuse box to installing safety switches in your new home, we will assist you every step of the way.
In addition, we’ll teach you how to easily test your safety switch. This way we will ensure that it’s actively protecting you and your family.
Frequently asked questions
What is a safety switch?
Safety switches offer you insurance against electric shock by shutting off the electricity supply when current leakage is detected. This avoids serious electric shock and possible electric burns by stopping the current flowing through a person.
Is a circuit breaker the same as a safety switch?
No; circuit breakers are installed to protect circuit wiring and appliances, while safety switches protect people.
Where circuit breakers protect an electrical circuit by quickly cutting power when there is a high current fault or overload that may cause a hazard, a safety switch shuts off electricity supply when it detects a leakage to earth.
What does a safety switch look like?
Safety switches have a ‘T’ or ‘test’ button on the front face. If the devices in your switch board do not have a test function, they are probably circuit breakers not safety switches.
If I already have a safety switch, do I need to install more?
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.
Can I install a safety switch myself?
No – like all DIY electrical work, attempting to install a safety switch is dangerous and illegal. Talk to a licensed electrician like Jaric for professional safety switch installation.
Are safety switches failsafe?
No, a safety switch cannot protect you if it’s not working properly. To ensure a safety switch continues to work, you should check your safety switch test functionality every three months.
It is also important to make sure that any observed damage to your electrical appliances, electrical wiring, extension leads and other electrical equipment is repaired or the faulty appliances are discarded for new ones.
How do I test my safety switch?
Safety switches can be easily tested using the ‘test’ button. They need to be tested regularly to ensure the mechanism continues to work freely and is not gummed up with dirt or other foreign matter.
Simply push the button marked ‘T’ or ‘test’. If the safety switch flicks off and cuts the power to the intended circuits, it is working correctly. Check inside your home to see which lights or appliances have been turned off. The circuits turned off by the safety switch test mean they are protected by it. If it doesn’t turn off the power, contact your licensed electrician to check it immediately. After testing, turn the safety switch back on. For circuits with a refrigerator or air conditioner, wait at two to three minutes before resetting to avoid possible appliance damage.
How often should I test my safety switch?
The Electrical Safety Office recommends that push button testing should be done every three months. As a reminder, test them every time you receive your quarterly electricity account or set up a reminder on your calendar.
How long will a safety switch last?
Under the current Australian standard, a safety switch is manufactured to last for a period of 4000 tests. Unless there is a significant problem with a device, they should last a lifetime.