Electricity is a part of our everyday lives, providing us with all our creature comforts, entertainment and business tools.
Don't become complacent. There are many different causes of electrical accidents, from a family member putting a knife in a toaster to a handyman hitting a live wire whilst drilling through a wall.
A frayed cord, damaged plug, faulty tools or appliances are all accidents waiting to happen.
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of injury or death from electric shock in your home or business is with the installation of Safety Switches, also known as RCD's (Residual Current Devices).
What is a Safety Switch?
A safety switch monitors the flow of electricity through a circuit. If it detects a problem that may pose as a potential risk to your personal safety, it shuts the power off in literally less than a heartbeat - 0.03 of a second to be exact. Quick enough to save your life!
Where Are Safety Switches Used?
As your first line of defence, Safety Switches are installed in your electrical switchboard on the lighting and power circuits.
Additional protection can be achieved by the installation of RCD protected power outlets. These are typically installed in areas such, but not limited to, bathroom, laundry, workshop and kitchen areas.
On the move? Don't forget your protection!
There are many products now available to help provide portable protection in the form of plugs, plug adaptors and heavy duty cord sets.
What is the difference between a Safety Switch & Circuit Breaker?
Safety Switches provide personal protection against electric shock. They save lives.
Circuit breakers are designed to protect the electrical cables and fittings of your home or business from being overloaded or damaged. They quickly cut the power when there is a high current fault or overload that may cause a hazard. Such as when a power point or power board is overloaded. They are not designed to protect you from electrocution or electric shock.
Visually, you can tell the difference by looking for the 'Test' or 'T' button. These buttons are found on Safety Switches only. Test buttons vary in colour and range in size and shape. They could also be labelled 'ELCB' or 'RCD'. The below picture is an example only and is not depictive of all Safety Switches and circuit breakers
The difference between a Safety Switch (RCD) and Circuit Breaker
The circuit breaker, pictured right, DOES NOT have a test button, while the Safety Switch (RCD) has a small round test button (Photo sourced from Energy Safety WA).
How Many Safety Switches Are Recommended?
In the Northern Territory, the installation of Safety Switches is mandatory on all power and light circuits in all structures, domestic, commercial and industrial.
A safety switch only protects you if it's on that circuit. For full protection, regardless of whether you own or rent, you should consider having safety switches installed on all circuits, including air conditioning, oven, hot water and pool equipment circuits etc.
Don't Become A Statistic
Sadly, 15 people are killed in Aussie homes every year in preventable electrical accidents where no safety switch is installed, and 300 people are hospitalised every year with serious electrical injuries and burns.
All could have been prevented if a Safety Switch (RCD) was installed on the electrical circuit.
Unsure Of The Level Of Protection In Your Home or Business?
CE are happy to conduct an electrical safety audit of your home or business and advise of the best solutions in order to provide you the greatest protection.
Call us today to arrange an obligation free quote and feel at ease knowing that your loved ones and fellow workers enjoy the added protection that electrical safety switches provide.