Do you need to consider Separate Safety Switches for your home?
Well, let’s take a look at what you a required to do. As stated in Energy Safe Victoria’s Electrical Safety Guide:
“Safety switches are mandatory on both power and lighting circuits in new homes and older properties where extensive renovations are carried out.”
This legislation has no doubt saved countless lives throughout the state.
However, Hit The Switch strongly recommend going one or two steps further, by installing separate safety switches...preferably one for each circuit.
Or even the new Circuit Breaker Safety Switch [see below].
While it is not mandatory – yet – to have earth leakage circuit breakers installed by a qualified Home Electrician to all additional circuits, it definitely makes sense if you want to enjoy unmatched peace of mind.
Having ONE safety switch installed can give you a false sense of security.
If a faulty or damaged appliance is plugged into a power point that is not directly connected to a safety switch, it can cause a potentially lethal shock.
But isn’t EVERYTHING connected, you might think.
There are many parts of your home’s electrical system which surprisingly might be on a different circuit, such as:
That’s why it’s important to work out which electrical system is covered by each safety switch.
The way to do this is to simply look at your switchboard.
There are many different types of modern switchboards, but they are still basically configured the same. If you only have one safety switch, you may want to consider a Switchboard Upgrade to install separate safety switches.
When you look at your switchboard, you should see a bank of switches, however not all of them will be safety switches; some will be circuit breakers. (To work out which is which, we suggest you watch this You Tube Video)
Once you discover how safety switches and circuit breakers differ in looks, it’s a matter of working out exactly what each of them does.
A lot of people think that it’s just a different name for the same thing, but that’s not the case.
The important thing to remember is that circuit breakers are designed simply to protect appliances, while safety switches are there to actually save lives.
Also remember, safety switches are no substitute for common sense.
Though safety switches are critical, circuit breakers are also important.
Where circuit breakers come into their own is for bigger appliances, such as:
With a much wider range of appliances in use around the home or office, more and more strain is being put on existing wiring circuits.
The problem is that the more appliances and electrical equipment you have, the more chances of a problem – and unfortunately it’s often a case of ‘one out, all out’.
The solution is to get Hit The Switch to fit circuit breakers to all circuits running through your switchboard.
That way if one circuit overloads, the breaker will only shut down that part of the system, not your home’s entire power supply.
And we all know how frustrating it can be when a kettle or iron trips and you lose power on your computer, TV, and all the other appliances that were operating.
Imagine if this happened when you were on holidays, or away for the long weekend; it would be more than frustrating, it could be very costly with all the food in your fridge or freezer being ruined.
To make homes even safer, an all-in-one solution has been patented – the Circuit Breaker Safety Switch.
As its name implies, it combines a safety switch with an RCD circuit breaker, providing exceptional electrical protection for your home.
As well as the obvious safety benefit, there’s also the convenience of having the CBSS only trip whatever is on that particular circuit, not the whole house.
These are destined to become mandatory in Victorian homes in the near future.
The current law is that safety switches must be used for appliances that are connected to a power point, however in June 2017, Energy Safe Victoria is changing the rules to ensure that light fittings also have to be on a safety switch.
Installing separate safety switches is not an expensive upgrade – in fact, you’ll be amazed how little it will cost to protect you, your family, your home and your pets.
Other blogs you may be interested in:
Home electrical fault finding guide – common electrical problems solved!