What is a safety switch?

You will find your safety switch in your electrical switchboard. It’s whole purpose is to protect you and your loved ones in your home and here’s why:

“On a normal power circuit, the current flowing to an appliance returns through the neutral wire. If the circuit is compromised, the electricity can leak to earth through a person in contact with the appliance, causing death or serious injury. A safety switch detects the loss of power from the circuit, and cuts the supply of electricity in as little as 30 milliseconds – 0.03 seconds. Importantly, this response time is faster than the critical section of a heartbeat, and therefore significantly reduces the risk of death or serious injury.”

– Master Electricians Australia

Why do you need to test your safety switch?

In simple terms, within a safety switch there are moving parts and also self lubricant that is activated when it is operated. If the safety switch does not operate for long periods of time, the moving parts within the switch do not get lubricated, hence, allowing for the switch to seize. If your safety switch seizes because it is not used/tested frequently and an electrical fault occurs in your home, the safety switch will not trip the power, allowing the possibility for yourself or one of your loved ones to be severely electrocuted. This is not only dangerous, this could be fatal.

How do you test your safety switch?

Firstly, ensure your sensitive appliances (TVs, computers, etc) are switched off before conducting your safety switch test.
Find your safety switch located in your electrical switchboard. Here is an image of our safety switch.
Press the ‘T’ (Test) button. The switch should flick down and cut your power out.
Flick the switch back up and turn your power back on then repeat again to ensure your safety switch has been well lubricated.
Press the ‘T’ (Test) button. The switch should flick down and cut your power out.
Flick the switch back up and turn your power back on.

How often should you test your safety switch?

Our Company Director, Tyler Johns, recommends testing your safety switch once every three months. A great reminder is every three months when you receive your electricity bill, use that as your alarm to go test your safety switch.

Warning: Testing your safety switch is a very simple and safe exercise to do, however, if your switch board is broken or your switch board is deemed unsafe, call a qualified electrician before touching it.

How to test your safety switch

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