Why You Need Safety Switches In Your Home
What is a safety switch? Safety switches interrupt the flow of electricity if a fault is detected – immediately switching it off. Every new home is now legally required to have these switches installed to protect lighting circuits and power points. But less than 75% of homes actually have them fitted. Look at why you need safety switches in your home here…
Safety Switch Benefits
Here’s what safety switches prevent:
- Risk of fires that are electricity-related
- Electrical accidents from damaged plugs or faulty appliances
- Hospitalisation due to serious burns from electrical injuries
- Fatalities from electrocution
The Difference Between Safety Switches and Circuit Breakers
- Safety switches protect individuals from electrical accidents
- Circuit breakers protect electrical systems and wiring
To see if you’ve got a safety switch installed look inside your switchboard. “Safety Switch” will often be written underneath the switch and test button. There are variations as defined below.
Residual Current Devices
A residual current device – abbreviated to RCD – is a safety switch that’s installed into your switchboard. How does an RCD work? This switch will automatically turn off the electricity when a leak is discovered. This process takes just 0.03 of a second. The flow of electricity is stopped so quickly that a shock won’t be received.
An RCD is similar to an electricity transformer. The live and neutral cables from the electricity supply are wrapped around an iron core inside the device. Alternating current flows through the live wire and creates a magnetic field.
An opposite alternating current flows through the neutral wire, and under normal conditions, the magnetic fields cancel each other out. If you cut through a wire, for example, the current becomes imbalanced and the relay is immediately activated. All power is stopped faster than the shock that could stop your heart.
Safety Switch Styles
The types of switches used in homes include:
Powerpoint safety switches
These safety switches are designed to protect electrical appliances in bathrooms, and areas such as workshops. They are fitted to particular individual powerpoints. They’re often found in older homes that don’t have switchboard mounted safety switches. You’ll be able to protect specific parts of your home from an extensive range available.
Switchboard mounted meter boxes
You’ll find these switches in the meter box or distribution board – located next to the circuit breakers. They are by far the most efficient method of protection as all power and lighting circuits in the home can be protected.
Portable safety switches
You can attach these to an extension lead to protect the connected appliances – such as outdoor power tools that aren’t otherwise shielded by a meter box safety switch. If you’re working in wet areas, or where you’re at high risk of becoming an electrical conductor you’ll need a portable safety switch. Make sure you press the test button before use to see that it’s working properly.
Safety switches and circuit breaker combinations
When existing meter boxes have little space, this option will protect the appliances, electrical circuits, and stop electrical shocks. You’ll get high-performance circuit protection alongside exceptional electrical protection for you. This simple installation will protect your property and your life.
Get Safety Switches Professionally Installed
When you need safety switches fitted the installation must be done by an expert. Make sure your electrician is registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting. And will meet every British Standard for electrical installations.
Specialists will be with you in less than an hour to advise and install the safety switches you need. Your service will be covered by complete insurance protection. And your electrician will be certified, qualified, and have years of industry experience. Get 24/7 support from your trusted emergency electrician.