SAFETY SWITCHES or RCD's
What is a safety switch?
An safety switch or RCD, is a residual current device, is a life-saving device which is designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire. It can also provide some protection against electrical fires. Safety switches offer a level of personal protection that ordinary fuses and circuit-breakers cannot provide.
What does an Safety switch do?
An safety switch is a sensitive safety device that switches off
electricity automatically if there is a fault. A safety switch is
designed to protect against the risks of electrocution and fire
caused by earth faults.
For example, if you cut through the cable when mowing the lawn
and accidentally touched the exposed live wires or a faulty appliance overheats causing electric current to flow to earth.
How does it work?
A safety switch constantly monitors the electric current flowing through one or more circuits it is used to protect. If it detects electricity flowing down an unintended path, such as through a person who has touched a live part, the safety switch will switch the circuit off very quickly, significantly reducing the risk of death or serious injury.
Are Safety Switches reliable?
Fixed safety switches are about 97% reliable. This improves if they are tested regularly. If you have fixed safety switch protection, it will reduce the risk of electric shock to you and your family. It can also protect your home against the risk of fire caused by faulty wiring or appliances.
Remember – Although safety switch protection reduces the risk of death or injury from electric shock it does not reduce the need to be careful. Have your wiring checked at least once every 10 years to ensure the safety of you, your family and your home. If you find a fault with your wiring, or an appliance, stop using it immediately and contact us.
Don’t forget to test – You should test all fixed and socket safety switches about every three months. Manufacturers recommend that portable safety switches are tested every time you use them. If you are unsure how to do this give our electricians a call and we will be happy to help.