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How safety switches protect your home

Safety switches protect you when an electrical fault is detected. They monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit. If there is a leakage of current, they turn off the electricity in a fraction of a second and protect you from serious electric shock.

Also known as Residual Current Devices (RCDs), safety switches also protect against the most common cause of deadly electric shock – where electricity passes through the body to earth.

One safety switch may not be enough to protect your household from electric shock or fire. A safety switch only protects you if it’s on that circuit. Each circuit should have its own safety switch, for example, one safety switch for your lights and a separate one for your electrical appliances. Older houses and apartments may only have a single safety switch protecting several circuits.

Check with Selectrical Services Australia to make sure you have the right number of switches to prevent the risk of electric shock or electrical fires that may cause injury or death. Safety switches look slightly different on each switchboard but always have a ‘T’ or ‘Test’ button.

If your home isn’t covered by safety switches or you are unsure if you have them installed, contact Selectrical Services Australia for help. A simple installation can cost a few hundred dollars but can vary depending on the work that’s needed, specific to your home. Selectrical Services Australia can tell you more.

Make sure that the electrician has a current licence and is the same person as the licence holder who comes to do the work at your home. Following any electrical work, your electrician will need to provide you with a uniquely numbered Certificate of Compliance Electrical Work.

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