Have you ever wondered why your house needs a safety switch installed when you already have circuit breakers? To put it simply – safety switches save you, while circuit breakers save your house

All too often, safety switches are confused with surge diverters (protectors) or circuit breakers. All three are needed to ensure your house is as safe as possible – but in different ways.

What is a safety switch?

Safety switches, also known as residual current devices (RCDs), are installed in your building’s switchboard to provide protection against electrocution and fires caused by electrical faults.

Safety switches constantly monitor the flow of current in both the live and neutral wires supplying an electrical system or home appliances. If a fault is detected, the safety switch turns off the power within 0.03 of a second – literally in a heartbeat – to eliminate any risk to personal safety. It is the speed of a safety switch that saves lives.

Of course, appliances aren’t the only causes of potential danger in your home. There can be many electrical hazards around your home that you need to be aware of in order to maintain a level of electrical safety for your family.

You might like to check out a blog on electrical safety at home for more.

What is a surge diverter?

Surge diverters (sometimes referred to as surge protectors) protect your home or property from possible voltage surges. For example, in the case of a lightning strike, the surge diverter captures the voltage spikes in the wiring that would otherwise be transferred into your home/property equipment or appliances, possibly frying your computer or TV as it goes. Imagine losing all those important documents you’ve been working on or those family photos stored on your computer for the sake of not installing a surge diverter – it just isn’t worth it, right?

What is a circuit breaker?

Circuit breakers in your main switchboard provide short-circuit and overcurrent (the condition where the current in amperes is greater than the rated current of the equipment or appliance) protection such as when a power point is overloaded. These devices can be operated manually or automatically and control and protect the electrical power supply.

So do I need all three installed?

The short answer is yes.

Remember, surge diverters and circuit breakers do not act as safety switches for personal protection against electric shock. Without a safety switch installed, there are a myriad of everyday occurrences that could be putting you and your family at risk in your home or your staff members at work. At the end of the day, the use of a safety switch, surge diverter and circuit breaker, saves homes and lives.

In our next blog “Safety switches (RCDs) – what is triggering your safety switch?” we’ll be taking a look at the causes of tripped safety switches and the 8 easy steps to identify and deal with the problem.

Of course, if you’re experiencing electrical faults or you’re unsure if a safety switch is installed at your property and you’d like to know more, we’d love to help! You can give us a call on 1300 045 103 or request a quote now.

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