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The Importance of An Electrical Safety Switch

In January 2019 the laws changed to make it compulsory to have safety switches installed in and residential and commercial building on every circuit up to and including 32 amps.

Most people just know about protection by circuit breakers. It is true they do but the protection is quite limited. Circuit breakers protect the wiring from overloads. These overloads can result from plugging in too many appliances or from wire short-circuits. They switch off the electrical supply to a specific room or area when a power disturbance is detected. They can’t prevent everything and therefore additional protections have to be put in place. That’s where a safety switch comes in.

An electrical safety switch is a device that switches off the power supply if any fluctuations in the electrical current are detected. It offers the highest possible level of protection since it goes beyond what circuit breakers can do.

When it comes to safety, nobody can be extremely careful. Children who usually don’t know the use of electrical devices can be at a huge risk. Even if they are under constant supervision, children will always do things they shouldn’t do. Therefore, a safety switch will go a long way in preventing anything fatal.

How does it work?

An electrical safety switch offers protection by constantly monitoring the current flowing through the wires supplying the electrical system with power. Normally, the current flowing through the two live wires is equal. In case of an earth leakage due to a faulty circuit or accidents when using electrical appliances, there will be a power imbalance. The safety switch detects it and will automatically cut off the power supply thereby avoiding any injury or damage.


  1. Combinational safety switch and circuit breakers – these ones are the best when fitting into meter boxes with little or no spare space.
  2. Portable safety switches – these are fitted to an extension lead and offer protection to the appliances connected to the extension.
  3. Power point safety switches – fitted to a power point and offer protection to specific areas like workshops and kitchens.
  4. Meter box mounted safety switches – These ones are put alongside circuit breakers in the main meter box.

Installing a safety switch is one thing and making use of it is another. If a safety switch isn’t working properly, it will make no difference. It has to be checked whether it is working efficiently.

How to ensure that a safety switch is working properly

Ensuring that a safety switch is fully functional can be tricky sometimes. However, following the steps below will help homeowners to do so without causing any electrical hazard.

In most cases, safety switches have a test button marked with the letter ‘T’. Pressing this test button should switch it to the off position immediately. The switch should also turn back on when the test button is pressed again. If it turns on and off when the test button is pressed, then everything is working perfectly fine.

If the switch does contrary to that, something is wrong. In such a case, electrical appliances should not be used so that any complications can be avoided. Contacting an electrician would be the best option. The electrician will address the issue accordingly and recommend what should be done.

Ensuring safety is essential when using electrical components. Electrical hazards can be difficult to notice since many of them are hidden. A safety switch will notice them and offer protection against them.

For more information on safety switches or for a free quote, contact CLF Services today on 1300 257 561.

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