Time to Test Your Safety Switch

One of the essential parts of modern life is electricity, but people tend to disregard how high-risk it can also be. With this, it is a must to protect your business from electrical hazards such as electrical fires, shocks, and arc flashes. An excellent way to prevent these serious incidents is to check the condition of your safety switch, also known as RCD, (residual current device). While you can perform the testing easily, registered professional electrical services can provide you with extensive work and a detailed report.

What Is the Difference Between Safety Switch and Circuit Breaker?

Both safety switches and circuit breakers are integral components that help your place free of electrical hazards. A safety switch protects people from hazards by shutting the electricity off if it detects a problem, while a circuit breaker cuts power to protect appliances and wiring in case of a system overload or fault. They are also similar in appearance, but a safety switch comes with a test button, which is absent in a circuit breaker. A safety switch typically monitors the electricity flow through a circuit.

When there is a power point overload, the circuit breaker creates a short circuit override, and protects your computer, toaster, coffee maker, and other appliances from electrical surges, helping to prevent damage or fire. However, it cannot keep an electric shock from happening to you. This is because a safety switch is the only one that can turn the power off as soon as an electrical issue occurs, in approximately 0.03millisecond.

For example, if you touch a live conductor of an oven, electricity will run through your body as a conduit to the ground, causing your heart to stop. A well-functioning safety switch can provide you with life-saving protection by stopping the electricity in 300 milliseconds.

Where Can You Find the Safety Switch?

In general, safety switches are inside fuse boxes or switchboards, in the same location where meter readings often are. Not all safety switches look the same, depending on the manufacturer. For maximum safety and protection, install a safety switch on each circuit breaker in the property. In other words, you need a safety switch for the air conditioning, lighting, power points, pool, hot water, etc. They will be your additional line of defence against electrical failures.

Ways to Test a Safety Switch

The safety switches in your circuit boards need regular inspections every six months to make sure they function properly. It is best to call an Electrician for a comprehensive report and efficient testing.

The first thing that the electrical expert does is to locate the switchboard on your property. They will check its door hinge and clean the general area of the locking mechanism and exterior of the switchboard. Next, they will test the safety switch usually using these two processes:

  • RCD testing. This method refers to the checking of the RCD safe tripping to determine if it can quickly do its job of avoiding hazards. The RCD should be able to trip in about 30 milliseconds. This quick tripping produces only a small shock, so it is a safe process.
  • Push-button test. During ground leakage, the specialists at the electrical services will test the RCD trips to ascertain their operational status. The testing will determine if the safety switch can protect people from electric shock or electrocution, and if it can break the circuit. When the expert presses the button, the residual current device should disconnect or power off if it detects an imbalance. If your electricity takes longer to trip off than a millisecond or stays on, then you have a faulty safety switch.

Comprehensive Report

Your electricians should record all the results of their testing and recommend a proper course of action to ensure safety in your property. The report also includes information regarding the location of your safety switch and if it has failed or passed the test. You can take the best approach to keep everyone safe within your premises, based on the information you get from the test results.

The risks of electricity-related injuries and accidents are real. Installing safety switches is a must on all circuits, whether you rent or own the place. If you want to be sure that your commercial property is safe, call an electrical contracting company immediately because it is best to leave this kind of job to the experts.

Types of Safety Switches & their Use

In Queensland, all residences and private properties are required to install safety switches in their electrical systems. Failure to adhere with this standard can cost you to pay fines of up to $1,500.

There are several types of safety switch that you can install on your property.

Types of Safety Switches

There are three main types of switches. These are the switchboard safety switch, the power point safety switch, and the portable safety switch.

Switchboard Safety Switch

This type of switch monitors and regulates a specified path of electrical wiring in the house. They monitor the current from the extension cords to the electrical appliances and quickly shut off electricity coming from the protected power points once they detect electrical leakage.

At residential properties, switchboard safety switches can be found alongside circuit-breakers. The device can be distinguished from other switches by looking for the “Test” button on the front surface. Most homeowners and electricians prefer to combine circuit breakers with safety switch for power and lighting circuits in the same board.

Contact AZZ IND for professional electrical services today.

Power Point Safety Switch

You can opt to have your electrical system installed with power point safety switches. These devices will work to monitor your extension cords and electrical appliances plugged in the same power outlet, as well as the electrical wirings embedded on the same circuit.

Power point safety switches are typically installed on the first power point after the safety switch. They are highly advisable for residential buildings and commercial properties with multiple power points.

Portable Safety Switches

The first two switches require mounting and installation. Portable safety switch, on the other hand, is mostly used by electricians for conducting area inspection, repair, and maintenance.

Portable switches will need to be attached to a power board first before it can protect the circuits plugged to it. They are used for outdoor electrical equipments and other circuits where only temporary switch protection is required.

Proper and informed installation of safety switches are required to ensure safety and prevent electrical accidents. The Queensland government advises citizens against DIY installation and encourages people to get help only from licensed electricians.

For a guaranteed switch installation, contact Azz Industries in Brisbane today! They are a trusted residential and commercial electrician in Brisbane who can provide assistance and expert advice on all kinds of electrical matters. Just dial 1300 AZZ IND (1300 299 463) to speak with a qualified professional today.

Safety Switches & Why You Need Them

Safety switch is an essential component of electrical system. Without this, you might encounter injuries and fatalities brought by electrical accidents at home or in your workplace. That’s why in Queensland, safety switches are mandatory requirement for all properties since 1996.

What is a safety switch?

Safety switches are regulatory devices that automatically shut off power flow once electrical leakages become apparent.

Safety switches monitor electrical current going through wiring systems. It works on the premise that the current at all points of the wiring system must be equal with each other. If it notices a certain discrepancy in some points of the current, it assumes that the current is leaking through a hole or fault in that circuit. It will then block off the power flow to avoid the current from leaking further. This way, it prevents a person from coming in contact with potentially harmful electrical currents.

These devices are used to minimize electrical accidents and fatalities. However, safety switches can also become dysfunctional or faulty if used for a long time. You will need to regularly have these devices checked and renewed by a professional electrician.

The Need for Safety Switch

If the electrical current will not be shut down despite the electrical leakage, there’s a great probability that the current will find a path to the earth (or flow to the ground) through a conductor. In most instances, the human body becomes the conductor.

Almost sixty percent of the human body is composed of water; a good conductor for heat and electricity. A person who comes in contact with low voltage electricity will feel slight tingling sensation due to mild electrical shock. The case is different with high voltage current.
This can result in any of the following:

  • Pain in the muscles
  • Severe electrical shocks
  • Burns and scalds(up to third degree for worst cases)
  • Heart failure due to electrocution
  • Death

Operating electrical appliances and wires without safety switches equates to risking your life. Whether at home, in your office, or on public premises, it is definitely a must to have safety switches for avoiding unnecessary deaths or injuries.

Are your homes or properties secured? Contact Azz Industries to have your safety switches checked and or renewed today.

Azz Industries are a team of master electricians, who are industrial electrician Brisbane certified. They can work with all types of installation, repair, and maintenance depending on your electrical needs. Dial 1300 AZZ IND (1300 299 463) to speak with a qualified professional today.