Safety Switches: What are they and do you need them?

You have most likely heard of a ‘safety switch’, perhaps even seen one when looking at your switchboard in the event of a power outage.

But what do they actually do?

Safety switches, otherwise referred to as ‘Residual Current Devices’ (RCD’s or RCBO’s), are designed to break an electrical current if they detect an abnormality in the flow of electricity.

This essentially means, if there is a risk of overloading, short-circuiting or electric shock detected, the safety switch will be enacted and stop the flow of electricity within milliseconds.

Basically, the safety switch protects your appliances from damage and you from severe injury or fatality. A pretty good deal I would say.

Do I need to get a safety switch installed at my residence?

Every switchboard installed in Victoria is required to have at least one safety switch.

Safety switches have been mandatory in all homes built in Victoria since 1991. They are also required with the installation of any new power point or lighting fixture.

Although it is only mandatory to have one safety switch, you could benefit from having more than one.

How, you may ask?

Well, if you have more than one safety switch in your house you can have different power circuits running off different safety switches.

This means you can protect specific circuits that are at a higher risk of enacting the safety switch (ie. power points used for hairdryers, toasters, etc.) without cutting power to areas that require a constant power source (ie. fridges, freezers etc.).

Can I install a safety switch myself?

No. All safety switches must be installed by a licensed electrician – it is illegal to install one yourself.

If you would like a quote on getting safety switches installed or inspected at your residence, simply click the button below and one of our qualified technicians will be in contact shortly!

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