Safety switches

Regardless of whether you own or rent, you should consider having safety switches installed on all circuits.

Safety switches protect you, your family and anyone visiting the property from electric shock.

The risk is real. One safety switch may not be enough.

If you are unsure, call your electrician to see if your home is safe.

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Video transcript

Transcript

Girl: Dolly’s house only had one safety switch to protect her from electric shock, hey Dad?

Dad: But only on the circuit it’s fitted to – that one’s just on the power points.

Girl: So I had one fitted for the lights, the air con and the pool.

Dad: Switchboards have lots of circuit breakers, but it’s safety switches that save lives. The risk is real. One safety switch may not be enough. Call your electrician to see if your home is safe.

Authorised by the Queensland Government, William Street, Brisbane

 

Video transcript

Transcript

A safety switch will turn off the electricity in your home within milliseconds of a fault to protect you from a serious electric shock.

But the safety switch will only protect you if it is working properly and it is connected to the faulty circuit. That's why we want you have safety switches connected to all the circuits in your home, including powerpoints, lighting, air-conditioning, stove, hot water and pool equipment, even if they are on separate tariffs.

It's also important to test your safety switch every three months to ensure that it continues to function properly and protect you from electric shocks.

Your safety switches can be quickly identified by looking for one or more buttons marked 'T' or 'test' at your switchboard. You will need to look carefully as there may be more than one and they can be different colours, shapes or sizes.

Before testing your safety switch, make sure everyone in your home knows you're about to do the test. If anyone is using a computer or recording their favourite program, turning the power off without warning would be pretty annoying.

To test, simply press the test button on each safety switch. This should automatically trip the switch to the off position and you will hear a 'clunk' sound.

You should check inside your home to see which lights or appliances are now off. The circuits turned off by the safety switch test mean they are protected by it.

Let's try another one. This is for the power points circuits.

Once you're confident that each safety switch has worked correctly, reset them by lifting or twisting the switch to turn it back on.

If you have a fridge or air-conditioner on the circuit, it's best that you wait 2-3 minutes before turning them back on to prevent damage. If during the test your safety switch didn't make a sound and didn't switch off any lights or appliances, then it has failed. Contact your electrician to have it checked immediately as you will not be protected from electrical faults.

To help you remember when to test your safety switches, use the arrival of your quarterly electricity bill or rates notice as a reminder. Or, set up a reminder in your computer's or mobile phone's calendar to alert you when the next test is due.

Having safety switches installed is good, but it isn't enough, it is just as important to regularly test them to make sure they work. For more information visit www.electricalsafety.qld.gov.au or call 1300 362 128.

 

Video transcript

Transcript

Do you know if you are protected by safety switches on your electrical switchboard? Or are they just circuit-breakers?

Safety switches, circuit breakers and fuses are often confused as being the same thing. They're not, and there are some important differences in what they do. This film will help you to see and understand the differences.

Safety switches protect you from electric shock. They turn off the electricity within milliseconds when a current leak is detected. This can happen if a faulty power point, wiring or electrical appliance is being used. Circuit breakers and fuses on the other hand protect the circuitry. They cut the power when electrical wiring has too much current flowing through it. Too much current such as that from a surge or lightning strike can overheat an electrical appliance or wiring and cause an electrical fire.

Circuit breakers and fuses do not protect people directly, only safety switches save lives. The easiest way to identify whether you have safety switches installed is to check your switchboard.

Look for marked labels and any switches with a 'T' or 'test' button. There are lots of different types. Sometimes they are separate items on the switchboard or they can be part of a circuit breaker. The test buttons can be blue, white, black or orange and they range in size and shape. Here are a couple of common safety switches that can be installed by your electrician. There are different ratings and types depending on the circuits they're to be installed on. Your electrician can advise which you need. All the switches on your switchboard should be correctly labelled for easy identification.

If you''re still not sure, check with your electrician about which circuits are protected by a safety switch, or use the safety switch test button to see which circuits are switched off by the test.

If you look at this switchboard it has a number of circuit breakers for the electrical circuits in your home and two safety switches.

In this case, this safety switch protects the lighting circuit this one covers the power point circuits. Check your home's switchboard and see if you can spot your safety switches. If you're still unsure, call your electrician to check whether your home is safe.

Adding extra safety switches to your switchboard package will protect other circuits, such as the air-conditioner circuit, hot water system, oven and pool equipment. Only use a licensed electrician to do this work. For more information visit www.electricalsafety.qld.gov.au or call 1300 362 128.

 

Video transcript

Transcript

Do you know if you are protected by safety switches on your electrical switchboard? Or are they just circuit-breakers?

Safety switches, circuit breakers and fuses are often confused as being the same thing. They're not, and there are some important differences in what they do. This film will help you to see and understand the differences.

Safety switches protect you from electric shock. They turn off the electricity within milliseconds when a current leak is detected. This can happen if a faulty power point, wiring or electrical appliance is being used. Circuit breakers and fuses on the other hand protect the circuitry. They cut the power when electrical wiring has too much current flowing through it. Too much current such as that from a surge or lightning strike can overheat an electrical appliance or wiring and cause an electrical fire.

Circuit breakers and fuses do not protect people directly, only safety switches save lives. The easiest way to identify whether you have safety switches installed is to check your switchboard.

Look for marked labels and any switches with a 'T' or 'test' button. There are lots of different types. Sometimes they are separate items on the switchboard or they can be part of a circuit breaker. The test buttons can be blue, white, black or orange and they range in size and shape. Here are a couple of common safety switches that can be installed by your electrician. There are different ratings and types depending on the circuits they're to be installed on. Your electrician can advise which you need. All the switches on your switchboard should be correctly labelled for easy identification.

If you''re still not sure, check with your electrician about which circuits are protected by a safety switch, or use the safety switch test button to see which circuits are switched off by the test.

If you look at this switchboard it has a number of circuit breakers for the electrical circuits in your home and two safety switches.

In this case, this safety switch protects the lighting circuit this one covers the power point circuits. Check your home's switchboard and see if you can spot your safety switches. If you're still unsure, call your electrician to check whether your home is safe.

Adding extra safety switches to your switchboard package will protect other circuits, such as the air-conditioner circuit, hot water system, oven and pool equipment. Only use a licensed electrician to do this work. For more information visit www.electricalsafety.qld.gov.au or call 1300 362 128.

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