Safety Switches

RCD’s, Circuit Breakers & Surge Protectors

Safety switches (or Residual Current Devices, known as RCD’s) provide extra protection against electrocution.  Safety switches help save lives!

In QLD, it is now mandatory that all new premises or renovated premises with electrical circuits include a safety switch.  All RCD’s must be installed by licensed electricians.

Electric shocks occur when a live electrical conductor (such as everyday electrical appliances) come into direct or indirect contact with a person.  This causes electricity to flow through a person’s body to earth and can cause serious danger to the normal operation of the heart.

A safety switch detects fluctuations in a premise’s normal electrical circuit and will result in the safety switch disconnecting the power within 10-50ms of the residual leakage being detected.  This minimizes the chance of a person being electrocuted or an electrical fire starting.

Types of safety switch

1. Switchboard Mounted – provides protection on electrical circuits and electrical appliances and extension cords connected to these protected power points.  Used in new premises.

2. Power Point Mounted – used in older homes without switchboard mounted safety switches, these provide protection to appliances and extension cords plugged into these sockets.  Often used in workshops and bathrooms.

3. Portable – Used for outside appliances such as power tools.  Only provides protection for the appliance plugged into this type of safety switch.

Testing your safety switch

Existing safety switches should be tested every six months.  Press the “Test” button to check that all power is cut immediately after the button is pressed.  Call us if you are unsure whether your safety switch is working properly.

Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers protect equipment by automatically turning off the electricity when over-loading of a circuit occurs due to overloading or short-circuit faults in an appliance or wiring.

Surge Protectors

Abnormal voltage surges beyond the normal capacity for appliances and electrical installations can cause extensive damage to (often expensive) equipment.  Such surges may be the result of a lightening strike or other surges generated in the normal electricity system.  Regular inspections of surge protectors are recommended.  Some surge protectors can be used only once and must be replaced after a voltage surge.

Surge protection works with UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) for ultimate computer protection.  Note that surge protection units will not protect against “brown outs” (when voltage drops lower than 210v).

For more information on the benefits of safety switches, circuit breakers or surge protectors, to install electrical protection or to test your existing protection, please call us on
(07) 3378 5525.